Tag Archives: Shenandoah National Park

Hungry for Shenandoah

Have you seen The Hunger Games movie? Jason and I made it our date night for March and saw it on its opening weekend. That is rare for us, seeing a movie opening weekend, and it has been a long time since I’ve been in that packed of a movie theater.

I read the Hunger Games trilogy of books last year and absolutely loved them. I’ve been re-reading them over the last few weeks in anticipation of the movie. If you haven’t read the books or haven’t seen the first movie, I would highly recommend doing both.

In the lead-up to the movie, I found myself watching the trailer online each day. On top of that, I found the video for one of the songs on the soundtrack, Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift. I actually enjoyed it – and keep in mind that I am not a fan of country music. Even though the song is not upbeat by any means, I found myself fixated by the video. Why? The scenery reminded me of our fall trip to Shenandoah National Park.

Watch the video here:

Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars – Safe and Sound (The Hunger Games)


Have you watched the video? Now, tell me that it doesn’t look like this…


Stony Man Trail

Misty Mountains in the Morning

Maybe it’s just me and my memories of our visit, but the video definitely took me back. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed our visit to the park, however short it may have been. It’s definitely a place I would like to return to someday.

A Look Back at 2011

Is it just me, or did 2011 fly by? It certainly was a busy year, thanks to some great opportunities to travel. Here’s a little look back at some of my year’s highlights.

We completed our biggest renovation project in three years…

Before & After: Bonus Room Renovation

bathroom before after

Which was promptly ruined…

This Old House

We explored our land in the winter and snapped some pictures of our wild tenants…

Special Winter Photography & Peek-A-Boo Deer

Jason and I visited the Milwaukee County Zoo for the first time in ages…

Warmth Draws Me Outside

I entered photos into a photo competition, a first for me. I didn’t win, but it was a start…

Photo Contest!!

Fern Spring

After making it into the Yosemite High Sierra Camps for the 2011 season, Jason and I made preparations for our trip…

Working with My Strenghts

Which were promptly decimated…

Back to the Vacation Drawing Board


We kicked off summer by camping in the backyard with our niece, Reagan…

Great American Backyard Campout 2011

Happy Campers

July brought our revamped trip to California, where we visited three national parks – Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon – instead of the originally planned one.

Complete California Vacation 2011 Series

Lembert Dome

And thanks to a family wedding in Washington, DC, we were able to add a fourth national park to our itinerary this year, bringing our total to 4 of 58 national parks visited…

DC Road Trip and Shenandoah National Park Series

Shenandoah National Park

2011 was a pretty good year. Can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

Book Review: The Undying Past of Shenandoah National Park

Why, hello there! Long time, no write. Can you believe it is only five days until Christmas?? Where has this year gone?

I have one more DC/Shenandoah-related post to go. It stems from my inability to travel without purchasing many souvenirs. This makes my work trips to Walt Disney World incredibly dangerous.

On this recent trip, I did some shopping at the National Archives gift shop, and I showed good restraint at the shop in Shenandoah’s Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. Other than the all important Shenandoah National Park sticker for my National Parks Passport, I only made one other purchase: a book.

The Undying Past of Shenandoah National Park by Darwin Lambert provides a very thorough overview of the human history in the Shenandoah area. Before visiting the park, I really didn’t know much about it. Actually, the parks I know the most about were those focused on in the Ken Burns film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea – Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, Crater Lake, Biscayne Bay, and a handful of others. Shenandoah was not highlighted in the series. It’s nearby cousin, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, was. It turns out, their histories are rather similar.

The book starts as far back in human history as possible – with the “spear hunters.” Radiocarbon dated materials found in Pennsylvania can be traced to 18,950 B.P. (Before Present). If there were humans in the Shenandoah area at that time, it means they would have experienced…wait for it…the Wisconsin Ice Age. I thought that was a fun little tidbit  🙂

While I enjoyed the book, it was a little too thorough. I absorbed much more from the second half of the book, when the “story” got to the Civil War period and beyond. I took much more interest in learning about the farmers and tenants who lived in the park area in the 1800’s, the “mountain folk,” and their subsequent removal from their land for purposes of the park.

If you are planning a trip to Shenandoah and would like a comprehensive overview of park history, this would be a great book to read. I enjoyed reading it after the trip, but I wish I had read it beforehand. Then when you visit, stop at the Byrd Visitor Center near Big Meadows and walk through their exhibit chronicling the establishment and development of the park. It’s an excellent exhibit, and it nicely compliments the book.

Now that I’m finished with this book, I have started reading the other book I picked up on the trip, The People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present. Just a little light reading for the holidays…

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