We’ve had an unseasonably warm weekend with temperatures getting up into the low 70’s – that’s my newfound Farenheit knowledge talking! For those of us more used to celsius, this means we’ve had a couple of days in the middle of winter where the temperature has gotten over 20 degrees. The perfect opportunity to get outside and do some more exploring.
There are 25 state parks in Virginia and over 500 miles of hiking, biking and horse riding trails. In 2012 over 8 million visitors took advantage of the wide array of spaces looked after by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. We thought we’d do our bit for the 2013 visitor numbers and make a trip to the Shenadoah River State Park. This park is only 30 miles south of Winchester and boasts a mix of easy and challenging trails. Richard is really keen to get the girls used to riding off road as early as possible and Olive is particularly keen to become a mountain biker just like Dad. Edie still rides with her bike attached to Richard’s but we hope it’s not too long before she is flying solo.
The carpark was at the top of our chosen trail, which meant a short burst of DH – that’s mountain bike speak for down hill- before the track flattened out. Olive did amazingly well – got off and walked her bike if she felt it was a bit too scary – but by the end of the DH section she was staying on much more than she was getting off.
The scenery was beautiful and did much to distract me from my nerves – whizzing around the streets of Antwerp on my Dutch bike cannot be compared to navigating a mountain bike down a bumpy trail but I acquitted myself okay and was still on my saddle by the time we reached the bottom.
Down by the river we heard the tapping of a woodpecker on one of the trees – I had to resist the urge to break into the theme song from the Woody Woodpecker Show – and later on we saw one up close. The girls are becoming very keen bird watchers helped in no small part by the bird feeder we have set up in the back garden. For the past couple of days we have had a pair of cardinals stopping by for a snack.
The park is very well equipped, with campsites, RV sites and cabins, so we are definitely going to come back and stay for a weekend when the weather warms up.
As I write we are only two sleeps away from the birthday of the century – yes it’s the big five for Miss Edie Cate – a birthday she has been desperately awaiting. Check back here after Tuesday to see how she celebrated.
And you’ll be pleased to know I survived my first quilting class – if you’re interested, I’ve written about it on my How to Make an American Quilt page.
Take care everyone. Sending lots of love to you all xxx