Where We Are in 30 Seconds! – (Shenandoah National Park)

The drive up the east coast was fast-paced. We drove through familiar cities, saw familiar faces, and drove on familiar interstate highways.

Nostalgia washed over us as we drove through the rolling Appalachian Mountains, in and through Asheville, and up into Virginia toward Natalie’s old stomping ground of Harrisonburg. Calling these hills mountains seemed like a joke after the Sierra Nevadas, the Colorado and Montana Rockies, the Cascades, the Canadian Rockies, the Chugach, and the Alaska Range. I almost felt sorry for these weathered grandfather hills, tired and tree-covered, so many thousands of years older than their west coast relatives.

Hiking outside of Asheville in Smoky Mountain National Park things felt settled and calm. Trails wound through forests and summits were nested with shrubs and soil. Sleepy, settled, cool and damp. We had returned to our neck of the world. We had made it through the dry heat of the southwest, the sharp mountain curves of the Rockies, the desolation of western Canada. We had survived Highway 1’s endless S-turns and barely maintained a safe distance from the Grizzlies of Montana and the Black Bears of Yosemite.

Family, friends, and the acquaintances we had met with seemed distant once again as distances shortened between states, cities, and home. A 5 hour drive started to feel like a long time….  1 more week started to feel like too long.

The trip was coming to an end.

Never the less, we found time to explore those things we neglected to explore in our own eastern backyard.  Here we are along the famous Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park:

 

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