After a week of too much work, with an equally demanding week ahead of me, I needed a break. So I met up with Amy and her sister Julie for a hike in the Shenandoah National Park.
We did a twelve mile loop through lush green forest. Part of time we were on a fire road, so it felt less like "hiking" than, well, strolling along a road. At least there were lots of yellow flowers.
But then the trail got hillier and a tad more challenging. It also got more humid and spiderwebby. I was in the lead at this point, so I spent the whole time pulling sticky threads off my skin and face. I took to swinging a big stick around in front of me like a machete for invisible jungle vines.
Along the way we saw only a few other hikers but lots of butterflies. Mostly of the Mourning Cloak variety. Or something black and gothic-looking like that. Looked pretty against the purple thistles.
And speaking of gothic . . .
Nothing like a creepy family cemetary in the middle of the forest. The headstones were all dated between the 1870s and 1920s. No other information available. We decided there was land feud and a massive fire. As we know from Charlotte Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier, mysteries are always better when there's a fire.