Let's start with the eating for the last week. I was pretty good with the exception of one day.....
That is calories alone....And here is calories with exercise added in. (The net result!)
Did I learn my lesson? Nope....that evening I bought a king size package of Reece's cups.
Friday was a new day! I was a few hundred calories over my low end goal...but when I added in the walking/hiking we did in Front Royal...I was just fine!!!
We walked on a path called the William E. Carson trail. I found this trail because I was going after some geocaches. It was a nice path...and there were some smaller billy-goat trails that veered off the gravel path that we explored.
The path has gorgeous views
All in all we got about 3.5 miles on our legs on Friday.
Saturday dawned gorgeous! We got a slow start but we were pleasantly surprised to arrive at the gates of the SkyLine Drive (Shenandoah National Park) and found that it was the free week for national parks! Woohoo! I had been prepared to pay not just the $20 entry fee (7 day access) but up it to $40 for the annual pass. I happily put my money away and utilized the free pass!
We hit up a nice path and explored some in the northern district. We chose The Fox Hollow Trail as our main trail. It wasn't too long...but tacked on with the exploring around other areas, I managed about 4 mountainous miles.
This small graveyard was on the side of the mountain and had family of the people that farmed this area back at the turn of the century (early 1900's).
We enjoyed the Fox Hollow Trail greatly. It was full of history as we saw remnants of a farm and the inhabitants.
We both got a little pink from the sun...but nothing that was too bothersome.
Sunday the weather was even more gorgeous!!!! We headed back into the park and found a different trail, also in the northern district. We hit up the Snead Farm Trail Loop. This is a 3.5 mile loop. (With our other exploring I got just shy of 7 miles on my legs). This trail also took us to an old farm stead. Once again it was really neat to see the history.
This homestead site has the only remaining original farmstead buildings still standing. The barn is still standing.
(I fear the longevity of the barn as I could see that it's being maintained...just barely).
The root cellar is also still standing and in pretty good shape.
The house is gone...but the front steps and front yard and wall are still standing firm and solid.
I did a cursory look on the Internet when I got home...but this far I haven't found any pictures of this farm when it was in operation. There should be some out there as this farm was privately owned and in operation through the 1950's (I will keep looking)
We inspected the spring...and watched the frogs enjoying the water...
We figured out their water system...the spring fed a cistern through that was a few feet down the hill......
And the cistern fed the water trough (that's what we assumed it was) through more underground pipes. (We could see the pipes as this spring was mostly dry (or rather was no longer feeding into the man made pool.
We didn't take the out and back option for this hike (which would have been a round trip of about 1.3 miles). We headed for the big loop. 2 miles of steady uphill. Yup. I burnt off my breakfast and worked up quite a deficit for my dinner!!!!
This is where we got burnt. Yes we were walking in the forest. But in the mountains....in early spring where the leaves are still none existent.
We had plans to walk another trail...our legs were fine....but the sun beat us into submission.
So we drove in the skyline drive. We explored picnic grounds, overlooks, visitor centers and all sorts of fun places.
I will make it quite clear....we hiked 40 miles away from where some careless (dumb) person accidentally set fire to the forest! I was innocent and I would like to think a whole lot more responsible than that!!! We did drive down that way on Sunday in our travels...probably within 15miles of the fire. And from what we have read, the fire is in a location that they are letting it burn....fire ecology zone they call it.
This picture is still probably 30 miles or more away from the fire.
We drive home....and let me tell you. We arrived home exhausted!!!!
I took a quick peek at the scales this morning....it's looking nice. :-). This hiking stuff really does burn calories!
And once again, Jason and I ran into an older couple...easily in their 60's. They were heading out with backpacks and camping gear. It is really making us cognizant of the fact that our behavior right now is building us and creating a health that will lead us to be active into our 60's. And we want to be active...and not 'old'. (Jason said when we hit 80 we can stop camping and buy an RV.)