Sunday, May 08, 2011

Camping in Shenandoah National Park

We spent this weekend camping in Shenandoah National Park, Big Meadows campground, elevation about 3800 ft.  Beautiful weekend, although with the change in altitude, it was something like March up in the mountains.  Trees were just starting to green up. 

We mostly avoided the rain (mostly), and were able to celebrate Becky's birthday and Mother's Day all at the same time.  Lots of great hiking and panoramic vistas.  We had steaks on Friday night, to celebrate Becky's birthday, with some German chocolate cake for dessert.

On Saturday night, Luke treated us to his dutch oven cobbler.  Simple enough to make, you take two cans of fruit, and cover the bottom of the dutch oven with them.  Then you sprinkle yellow cake mix on top, and slice up a stick of butter into pats on top of that.  Place onto some red-hot coals and put about 12 coals on the top of the dutch oven.  Check frequently.  When it is nicely browned, it is done!  Spoon into bowls and blow on them, because the cobbler will be hot as lava.  (But, oh so delicious!)  Nice job, Luke!

 Dinner on Friday night.  Steaks and potatoes.

 Beautiful sunrise Saturday morning, about six-am.

 Our modest campsite.

 The kids enjoyed the hammock QUITE a bit.

 These little flowers were all over the forest floor.

 Strangest tree I ever saw.  Look closely.  The tree grew up but became bent over by the large scrotum looking tumor, then a sucker grew from there becoming the main tree.  Very odd.  It also looks like some kind of dragon.

 Our fearless mountain man...

 ... and his best mate.

 Relaxing on the hillside is quite nice.

 Cabin at the top of the Hawksbill overlook.

 At the Upper Hawksbill overlook.

 The Emery, Harris and Whelan families.

 A very rare trillium, one of the only three-petaled flowers.

 As my friend Max will say, "We are men, not cave men!"

 We did suffer somewhat from the rain.

 Cobbler, step one.

  Cobbler, step two.

  Cobbler, step three.

 Cobbler, step four.

  Cobbler, step five.

 Ready to eat!

 Wild violets.

 Eddie was very proud of the artesian spring he found.

Yes, another great weekend getaway communing with nature and good friends!

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