Thursday, January 3, 2019

End of the Year

It has been a while. 2018 wasn't the easiest year, but we ended it on a lovely note with a weekend spent with another couple in Jones Mountain Cabin in Shenandoah National Park. We hiked the four miles to the cabin under gray skies after yet another in a long series of downpours in the wettest year on record in the mid-Atlantic. I was glad that we didn't have to cross the two rivers we hiked along - the Rapidan, which was running bank to bank, and the Staunton, which was also running high. We made it to the cabin in time to see the skies clear at dusk. Jones Mountain Cabin doesn't have any electricity or running water. Heat is from the wood stove and water is from the spring outside. We spent a lovely weekend eating good food, hiking a little and relaxing on a lovely porch. It was a great way to send off 2018 and welcome the new year.
 A tributary of the Staunton River.
 Club moss carpeting the forest floor.
 Near sunset, the valleys filled with clouds, which can seen through the trees. This is from the porch of the cabin.
 Sunrise from the cabin.
 Jones Mountain Cabin at sunrise.
 The overlook near Bear Church Rock. We hiked up here on Saturday morning.
 Ferns and moss.
 Bear Church Rock.
 Bright green moss.
 Taking a break at Bear Church Rock.
 Michael and I took a walk up the hill near the cabin near sunset.
 Turkey Fan fungus on a tree on our hike out.
 One of the many waterfalls on the Staunton River on the hike back to the car.
Orchid leaves. This species of orchid sends up its leaves in the winter when there is less undergrowth to compete with. They die off in the spring and the plant blooms in mid-late summer.

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