We knew we’d need a mountain retreat after visiting the cities, so we planned a trip to the Great Smokey Mountains.
We started with the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia.
Some friends of ours from Washington told us about a quaint place along the way called the Apple House. It was considered a must visit. How could we turn down apple donuts (again!)?
We made it to the Shenandoah mountains a little later that afternoon. After eating lunch in the van we visited the Ranger station in hopes of starting activities to help the kids receive their Jr Ranger badge. It was in the upper 30’s that, so it was chilly for our required hike that day, but it was still fun.
We learned about lichen:
“turkey tail fungus”
BUT we stumped the ranger with this fungus growing on the decomposing trees in the forest:
The kids worked hard and each earned their Jr Ranger badge! This was a more challenging badge that others, but it was a great one. It was engaging and fun. They even have a log book for each Jr Ranger!
Just as we were leaving the sun was setting. I got to capture a few gorgeous shots of the sun going down. It was breath taking!
There was the iconic haze over the mountains as the glow of the sun set.
I kind of wish we would have had a few more days in this park. It was relaxing and beautiful despite the chilly weather.