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Excursion to Skyline Drive

November 1, 2008

It was a brilliant, unseasonably warm, gloriously beautiful fall day!

The three kidlets and I went up on Skyline Drive. Fall is at its peak, and it was spectacularly beautiful. Everywhere we looked, there were miles of rolling mountains and hills that were a patchwork quilt of color. Driving through the forest, we sometimes drifted under canopies of yellow leaves that filtered the sunshine, bathing everything in greenish golden light.

We are blessed in such a beautiful area; it is really an embarrassment of riches. When I’m surrounded by nature, that’s when I see and feel revelation of God. Churches work well for some, but give me a forest or a mountainside any day. 🙂

I wish I could have taken good pictures, but my point-and-shoot doesn’t even come close to doing it justice.

We had a picnic at a scenic overlook, and we took a short hike. Along the way, the kids got a glimpse of a black bear. I was SO bummed that I missed it, but I was driving, y’know.

On the hiking trail, Trishy and I collected some treasures, while we talked about how animals, like squirrels, gather caches of acorns to prepare for winter.

We had the good fortune to spot a snake on the trail. I didn’t have time to snap its picture. Though snakes are, according to the Old Testament, doomed to slither on their bellies, this little critter was amazingly fast. 🙂 After consulting the handy e-nature guide, I’m pretty sure it was a racer.

The hike was a lot of fun, except for the fact that … well … we had US along. 🙂 (You hit me with a stick! I barely hit you! Well, it still hurt! Ouch! I think I banged my rib on that rock! MOM-EEE. I’m thirsty! My feet are tired! I need to pee. NoI I don’t want to pee in the woods!) I was beginning to think I’d have to experience these family bonding moments in nature when my kids are grown and paying taxes in another state. :-/ O.K. … so maybe this paragraph detracts from the post a bit. But — hey — that’s us in real life.

Then we headed back toward home. I gave James our map of Skyline Drive, and I showed him how to use a scale of miles. He used the scale of miles to estimate the distance back to the entrance of Skyline Drive, and he helped navigate.

The best part of the day happened on the drive back. We were around the point where James and Sarah had seen the bear. (Which I’d missed. Poor me.) Suddenly there was a load of traffic stopped at the side of the road, and several other drivers had stopped ON the road as well. All these people. Gawking. I thought, “Oh, *&^%##!, there’s been an accident.”

But no, everybody had stopped to look at this (again, I wish I had a better camera) …

There were four black bears foraging on a hillside. We guessed it was a mama bear and three nearly-grown cubs. Now THAT was the high point of my weekend. 🙂

Tomorrow, Sam’s mom is taking James to a corn maze. He is really excited! 🙂 Then Monday, we’re off to Williamsburg.

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