Destination Inspiration

taken from one of the many overlooks we visited along the way
A couple of summers ago I took a trip with my grandparents to place that will never leave me.  Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. It was built by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression  and it's not only a place that is rich with history but with nature as well. We spent most of our time traveling Skyline Drive stopping at its many overlooks and visitor centers.  While there we stayed a few nights a Big Meadows Lodge and then a few more Skyland Resort because we didn't want to leave.  It was also fun in a silly way because it reminds me of Kellerman’s in the movie Dirty Dancing. I like to pretend it is.

mama bear and baby bears at play

An amazing thing happened during this trip though that really made you see just how in nature you were. We had just arrived at Big Meadows Lodge after a six-hour drive. We were tired and I was helping my grandparents by unloading the car when we realized that we wouldn't be able to go to our cabin. Why?? Because a mama bear and her cubs were playing on the path. At first it seems scary, especially if you haven’t seen a bear in the wild before… which I hadn’t, but there were park rangers there who kept everyone at a safe distance. We just watched them play for 10 to 15 minutes until the wandered off.   It was a wonderful welcome.
view from Blackrock (30ft drop)
Posing on Blackrock, notice the sketchbook
(and yes I did the hike in a peasant skirt)
The atmosphere is so relaxing as well as filled with inspiration. I swear I must have spent more time then anything else by writing in my journal or sitting with my bag of graphite sticks and paper drawing up a storm. Literally one time while I was drawing at Blackrock it did really start to storm. Which brings me to my favorite spot to hike up to was Blackrock (about a half hour hike that is right by the lodge). From there you can see down into the valley and the view is just amazing.

It was my second time there and each time I have gone I am left only wanting to return.  

(just in case anyone wants more information here is a link to the website for the national park.)