go take a hike!

as an early father’s day treat, we made a trip in early june to skyline drive and shenandoah national park in virginia and we loved it so much, we reserved another night’s stay in november, so we can see the park in all its fall glory! shenandoah national park is known as the yellowstone of the east, and for good reason. the scenery, the animals (we saw tons of deer, a few turkeys, and even a mama bear and her cubs!), the hospitality, and the amenities were reminiscent of what we saw on our trip to yellowstone back in 2007. and we don’t have to take a long plane ride to enjoy them! we stayed at skyland, the more northern of the two resort areas in the park, built by the civilian conservation corps. awesome history for two buffs like us!

but before we got to the park, we made a stop at one of the many caverns in the region, skyline caverns, for a cool (in more ways than one) tour! the kids liked the caverns, but were a little weirded out when the tour guide turned off the lights!

we made several hikes during our two-day, one-night stay. dave brought the backpack to carry phoebe, but she wanted to RUN! and she did a really good job, too. almost made it the entire way up stony man trail.

what an awesome view at the top of stony man. we all stayed up there a while, eating breakfast and enjoying the cool breezes and incredible sights. oh, and taking lots of pictures.

another trail we enjoyed hiking was “story of the forest,” which a park ranger told us about. the ranger gave us a free illustrated book which gave clues to find interesting points on the trail, such as crazy trees or interesting bridges. jackson got a kick out of the scavenger hunt-like hike!

another thing jackson got a kick out of was carrying his own camera with him, and snapping away at pretty much everything he saw. it paid off with the shot above! check out that great action of a mama deer and her baby. awesome job, j-man!

for more photos of our adventures, click through the images below!