Friday, December 25, 2015

Trip to Shenandoah National Park

First things first. Shenandoah is beautiful in fall! Don't ever say no to a trip to Shenandoah if you get a chance.

The colour of the dead and dying leaves ranged from yellow of the sunflower to blood red. The wind was chilly and the sun was struggling to break out of the prison of clouds. Amidst this, we reached Shenandoah around mid-day and were transported, as if by magic, to a different world. An inexplicably beautiful world. A world full of colour. A world (mostly) devoid of human influence. A world like most of us had ever seen. Near the entrance to this enchanted place was an inn, a resting place for weary travellers, before they begin their long journey through the wonders this place had to offer. Before starting our journey, we waited for our companions who were somehow left behind on the long road to this place. As soon as our band of 20 was complete, we started the first part of our journey. Blue mountains as far as the eye can see imparted a sense of wonder about the adventures the day had to offer.

The first part was a very short hike which got over in a few heartbeats. Being the adventure loving young band that we were, none of us was satisfied by the short walk. We wanted more. We drove through miles of stunning scenery, looking for the next trail to conquer. Imagine this for over 50 miles:

We finally found what we were looking for and started another hike. This hiking trail was quite a bit longer than the previous one and a lot more enjoyable. The group members got the time to talk and get to know each other. The trail ran parallel to a small stream of crystal clear water snaking through rocks, dirt and the fallen leaves.

Everyone was tired at the end of the long walk though rocks and uneven ground. Everyone needed a rest. And nothing can be more refreshing than sitting at the edge of a vast expanse of land covered with coloured grass and leaves at sunset with a cool breeze blowing through your hair.

However, after a few minutes of rest, everyone remembered how cold it was. And night had started to win the fight between light and dark. The company went to the nearest tavern and ate and drank warm things to prepare for the journey back to home. We left the place just after nightfall and drove for about three hours before reaching home. The return journey was much more enjoyable than the outward journey. The path didn't change. The companions were the same. But in the morning they were just that - companions. While on the way back they were friends.

The trip was a lot of fun. Everyone seemed to enjoy the beauty and the company. Shenandoah is definitely worth a visit in fall for anyone.