Saturday, April 30, 2016

Exploring Sperryville, VA

We decided to head over to Sperryville, VA one weekend recently. I was on a mission to find a dedicated gluten free bakery I had discovered online. Triple Oak Bakery.

Honestly, I was soooooo excited! Seriously. A dedicated gluten free bakery. It lived up to my expectations.

We picked up baklava, donut holes, and bagels. So. Delicious. We'll definitely be back! For my birthday, I've already requested a cake from TOB.

Our next stop was Central Coffee Roasters. I'm not a coffee drinker, but Jon is. He tasted everything they had out for tasting and decided on one that he liked. He got a bag of the beans & will be using it as soon as he's done with the coffee he's currently using. The shop was quaint.

There are a few other places in Sperryville that we'd like to explore, so I'm sure we'll head back over there at some point.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Seasonal Again - First Hike of the Year

This year, we decided to seasonal at the Luray KOA again. We've got a couple of trips planned, but for the most part, we'll be in Luray. So, you probably won't see too many campground reviews this year... again. When we do go elsewhere, we'll (I'll) do a write up. I'm going to try to be better about blogging our weekend adventures - when they're interesting enough to blog. For instance, when we go hiking, exploring towns, or discover a cool place we'd like the world to know about.

This year, I'd really like to get some hiking in. We didn't do nearly enough of it last year and I was regretting it. In order to track our accomplishments on this goal, I decided to create a spreadsheet. Because you know, everyone has a "to hike" spreadsheet.

Our first hike of the season was on April 17. We decided to head into Shenandoah National Park (SNP) and south on Skyline Drive to the Big Meadows area. Once we parked at Big Meadows Visitor Center, we had a choice to make: Story of the Forest Trail or Big Meadows.

After talking with the park rangers in the center, we decided on Story of the Forest Trail for this visit. It's a 1.8 mile loop, with the last .8 miles being paved. There's one slight incline, but the rest is pretty flat. It's a great "beginner" hike - and great for getting back into the hiking mode! There was only one group of people behind us, which was nice. Apparently this trail can get kind of busy during the months when there are higher numbers of visitors.

The day after our visit to SNP, we learned that a firefighter from our home area was suspected to be lost in the park. There was also a fire that was started in the backcountry about 40 miles further south from the area we were hiking. It was a sad week for the park. The firefighter was found, unfortunately not alive. The fire continues to burn, but is almost contained. It's burned over 10,000 acres in the time it's been burning. The fire was in an area that hasn't been burned in over 20 years, so there was a lot of fuel for it. The one good thing about the fire is that there will be a lot of new growth!

Looking forward to our next hike!

Look very closely & you'll see the deer