After doing some research on trails in the area (because there are tons!) we drove out to Shenandoah National Park about 20 minutes from Charlottesville. We decided to do one and maybe two trails but after hiking a total of 4.7 miles (and the second half of it ALL up steep hills) we decided one would do for the day. I will say, though, that I felt much more challenged than I thought I would, but Joe and I are really ready to get back out there and tackle some more... once we get over the soreness. Our next trail will definitely involve some rock scrambling!
We decided to try the South River Falls trail which boasted a hike to a waterfall with an optional spur to the base of the waterfall (which we of course did) and an alternate route back which was longer (and steeper believe me) but it took you through part of the Appalachian Trail.
Our several hours in nature showed us some pretty interesting things...
Some VERY YUMMY wild blackberries; unfortunately only a few were ripe.
Very relaxing, beautiful mountain springs that also happened to be EXTREMELY cold.
And some very beautiful hillside flowers.
One thing I loved about our exploration was noticing the complexity of every rock and plant and hillside groove and tree and stream and waterfall and creature that existed just in the few miles of this land we took in and the fact that this was just one of many many mountains in many many mountain ranges that are present across the world. It is so incredible to imagine that the same God who created this vast structure of land also created every tiny petal on every small flower that grew just within the picture I took. God is so incredible, and it is always a divine pleasure to see glimpses of his massive creation.
"For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land." Psalm 95:3-5
I stand amazed.