Hiking with Hermione – Snakes, and bears, and bees, oh my!

When Graham deployed last year, he left with 36 hours notice (due to a clerical error) and we were robbed of 10 precious days. We didn’t have a vacation planned, but we had lots of day trips planned. And the thing he most wanted to do was take Hermione hiking.

Graham returned from that deployment, but between buying a house, and fixing up said house, we never got around to going hiking. So, we decided to rectify that before he left for Honduras. We headed up to Shenandoah National Park, and hiked the White Canyon Trail. All three of us were out of shape, so we didn’t want anything too strenuous, and we wanted a trail with lots of places for Hermione to swim.

So, we made the drive, welcomed the cooler temperatures (60 degrees in late August? I’ll take it!) and started our hike. But when we ran into this guy not even 5 minutes into the walk, I wanted to turn around and go back.

2016-08-22-12-54-53The hike was pretty, but nothing spectacular. I’m still trying to play with my camera as much as I can, so I took a ton of random photos of things no one will ever find interesting except for me… 2016-08-22-00-24-112016-08-22-00-38-17Our adorable companion 🙂 Hiking + swimming + being with Graham and I really is her idea of the perfect day. I was never really a dog person until we adopted her, but now I can’t imagine my life without one. She’s so entertaining, she’s such a comfort to me when Graham is gone, and she keeps us (semi) active. 2016-08-22-00-41-482016-08-22-00-42-172016-08-22-00-42-482016-08-22-00-43-03-12016-08-22-01-04-242016-08-22-01-31-192016-08-22-01-35-452016-08-22-01-37-102016-08-22-14-34-47The hike was more or less uneventful, until we turned around and headed back to the car. Then we saw bear #1. We were going to stop and let Hermione swim some more, but luckily Graham saw this bear right as he had let her off the leash. We kept walking…2016-08-22-15-00-09On the way back to the car, we passed two more bears (no photos) and Graham got stung by a bee. I have never been so ready to get the hell out of the woods and back to the car in my life. We get back to the car, and see this guy at the wooded area across the street. 
2016-08-22-03-16-322016-08-22-03-16-34So, not the peaceful hike we had in mind, but if was definitely interesting. And we left the woods incredibly thankful that a bee sting was the only injury of the day.

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