Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

In Search of a Sunset at the End of Rainy Days

Friday July 10 and Saturday July 11, 2015                                                                Previous Post:
Big Meadows Campground                                                                                          We Spring Winnona and Return to Shenandoah
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia




Well the rains come.  Not that they really ever left but they had been just showing up in the late afternoon for a bit.  They mostly did the opposite for these two days in spite of the posted forecast at the campground entrance ranger’s station.  Today was rain and evening clearing for a bit.  The temperatures are still great though.




We do manage to move one site over to C139 in order to get further away from the road and the dumpsters in terms of noise. 


In the evening, between rains, we go to a Ranger program down at the Lewis Mountain Campground about 8 miles away.  It is about the very interesting history of that particular campground in Shenandoah National Park but I’ll wait to tell you about it until we move down to that campground. 

Suffice it to say that the ranger is nice and he knows many things about the campground but no more than I already knew from the excellent information at the Visitor Center at Big Meadows.  This is not his fault.  One of the real problems for seasonal rangers which is most of them, is they often move every year to a new park and have to quick learn everything about the flora, fauna and history so they can be the “experts” prepared to lead hikes and do programs.  Not everyone is as beloved as my friend Gaelyn who writes the Geogypsy Blog and gets to come back every year to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.



It is a nice opportunity to check out the Camp Store and the Campground which is very small with only 3 sites and has no dump station or place to take on potable water for your tank.  This was clearly intended to be a pretty much tents only campground and the tenters really love it.

On the way back to Big Meadows we stop to watch the sun set, IF we can see it with all the clouds.

The view is actually pretty nice and not as hazy or cloud covered as I am expecting.

No sunSET but pink skies.  The overlook has great wildflowers.



There was a break in the rocks which indicated a view point down this path.  Hmmmm it’s getting pretty dark to be going down into the trees.



The path is pretty grown over and the light is getting so dim my camera is trying to lighten things up and is turning out fuzzy pictures.    I know you are thinking ticks here but we actually didn’t get any.   Amazingly few bugs up here for which I am very grateful





But look what we find although the skies were not that white. 




They really are the ‘Blue Ridge’ Mountains.




Despite the skies in this picture, it’s nearly dark as we wade back through the little used path.  Nice spot for sunset.  Wonder why more people don’t go on down?








Today is pretty much ‘another one just like the other one’.

It rained all night long last night, heavily at times.  Everything is very wet this morning.  Too muddy for hiking.  That’s OK, it’s a Saturday and would have too many people out anyway.   I actually have a cup of hot chocolate on July 10 since the temperature is in the 50’s when we wake up.  50’s is predicted for tonight too.  I love it!  Wear long pants and long sleeves all day.

We noodle around the rig, read, update David’s blood results records, work on the blog, read. The rains and fog (clouds sitting on us) come and go.





Since it is so cool, there is no problem using the oven so we make up a pizza for dinner. This is a rare thing when boondocking in the summer. No AC usually means no oven. Sorry no picture, too busy gobbling it up.

Things finally clear up a bit so we think “maybe” there will be a sunset.  We go to a nearby overlook to see if there is anything to see.   Again, no real sun ‘set’ but there is beautiful pastel color in the sky, pinks, orange purple .



We find another trail starting out from a break in the overlook stone wall.  This one is to Powell’s Mountain, not just to a neat viewpoint nearby.  Looks interesting but not within 30 minutes of dark.



What is it about a trail that just makes me want to follow it as far as I can?




While I’m waiting to see what the sky is going to do, I enjoy the wildflowers at the overlook.








This was a neat new flower to me and try as I might, I cannot find any identification for it.  Neat pink buds and a star sort of flower.  If you recognize it, let me know.

I did however go back and update my previous post to put the identifications on if you are interested in knowing what they were.






No big blaze of orange tonight just subtle color over the blue mountains. Another a beautiful way to close the day.


The colors continue to soften in the sky.




One last look as the colors fade away.  Maybe we’ll be luckier in the sunset department tomorrow.  Sure hope these wonderful temperatures hold.



  1. Nice to have days to read and the cool weather must have been nice. The Sunset looks beautiful in it's own way.

  2. The variations in the skies really draw my eyes... those sunset shots do look lovely.

  3. You pink flowers might be the pink milkweed plant. The views and your hikes are beautiful! They remind me of my backpacking trips as a teen (many, many years ago) through that region.

  4. I'm so envious of the cool weather you are having! Nice! lovely photos of the Blue Ridge....Wish we were there!

  5. I swear I would be happy with temps in the 50's or 60's every day! Fortunately here in Buffalo, WY we are able to drive from about 4500 feet to about 8000 very quickly to get away from the 80's when we want to!

    Wish I could tell you what that flower is but I don't know. I'm working on my own unidentifiable flower, I'll probably do the same thing you did and ask the readers!

  6. Blue Ridge mountains sure got the name right. Too bad the sunsets weren't spectacular, but pastel blues and pinks are just as nice. I'm terrible with flowers that don't come with a tag :)

  7. I've never followed any trail at an overlook up there. Actually, I'm not sure that I knew that there were trails at overlooks. I'll have to pay more attention. Love the pictures. The wild flowers are so lovely there. I love it!

  8. So it's not just me that's struggling with the rain! ;c)

  9. What gorgeous pictures of the Blue Ridge in the fading light - those really demonstrate how the name came to be - beautiful. Sometimes rainy, cool days are nice - hot chocolate, pizzas in the oven - makes me think of autumn - no doubt a beautiful time there too.

  10. Those watercolor painted skies are just gorgeous! As are your photos of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They look so gentle compared to the mountains out West. So nice that you're getting some cool temperatures -- I'm with Lisa, I love cooler temps for hiking. Although my favorite is high 60's low 70's.

  11. I agree the flower looks like something in milkweed family. It's a stunner!

  12. Oh the beauty of the blue ridge mountains are captured beautifully! Even without the cloud cover your photos are so gorgeous and makes me missed our time at the mountains. I attempted to search for your flower, still no luck and to think I even purchased an app for wildflower identification.

  13. You're right that seasonal Rangers have to learn quick and hope to know more than the visitors. I think it's a bonus to return to a park several seasons. These are gorgeous soft sunsets over the blue ridges.

  14. I wish I did know the name of that flower as it is one of the most beautiful we have stumbled upon, and unlike a sunrise or sunset, we will have to be really lucky to see it again.


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!