South Eastern Seashore -Shenendoah NP

Just returned from a great little adventure with my mate, Gerry. Gerry hadaconference in Norfolk, so thanks to her this trip was possible. We jammeda 7day vacation into 3 1/2 days, but that seems to be our way. The quality ofthis mini vacation made it well worth traveling 4400 air miles and 1200 carmiles.This little trip back East took us to brilliant fall colors, sparkleingseashore, interesting colonial and civil war sites, wildlife refuges,Universities, National Parks, Appalacian trail, and an island full of wildponies.(Assateague)EL LOBO SEZ:See Virginia in the fall!!! Norfolk is a great launching point.On Saturday we drove up the Eastern shore of Virginia through Virginiabeachand went over to a couple of Islands on the National Seashore. We stoppedatseveral National Wildlife refuges including Chincoteague and saw manyinteresting bird species as well as butterflies. The walks were reallymellowand relaxing.We spent most of the afternoon at Assateague viewing the wild ponies. Twoherds make their home here between Virginia and Maryland. Each year horsesfrom the Virginia herd are rounded up and many of the foals are sold at thePony Penning and auction held in July.These wild ponies are descendantsfromdomesticated stock that were grazed here during the 17th Century. Thesehorsesswim in the ocean. Overall this was just too cool!!!! Certainly thehighlightof our trip.We drove up the Maryland coast to Ocean beach. This strip is where theEasterners go for their summer vacations to the beach. We ended up inDelawareat a local all you can eat crab house for Dinner. They just roll out brownpaper on the tables and bring on the crab and clams. Cracking all that craband drinking a few beers made for a long 200 mile drive back to Norfolk.The next day we headed towards Charlottsville, our launching point forShenendoah National Park. We stopped at Williamsburg, Yorktown battlefield,Jamestown, and a couple of plantations on the way. So much rich history!!!Williamsburg was pricy and a bit of a rip off.In Charlottsville we toured the University of Virginia, our country's firstPublic University. UofV is on Jake's short list for his doctoral work, sowewanted to check it out.On Monday we drove through Shenendoah National Park and hiked a couple ofnicesections of the Appalacian trail. The trees were gorgeous and the hikingverymellow. The park was not crowded and we really enjoyed our time there.El Lobo wanted to see Harpers Ferry in West Virginia -rich in all kinds ofhistory-the most notable being John Brown's slave rebellion. We arrived atHarpers Ferry at quarter to five and unfortunately had to to do a realquickietour of this great park.Again, it was a long drive that night back to our hotel. (200 miles)The next morning we went to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. This is a firstclass deal. Beautiful scenery and very interesting history. The tours wereexcellent.Jefferson was certainly a great man but a contradiction-owning over 400slaves.Overall I rate this mini vacation a solid 10. Very enjoyable, andstatistically beneficial.3 states added to list- total 46 -only four more to go-Kansas, Arkansas, SCarolina, N Dakota1 National Park-total 30- 22 left-5 in Alaska, 10 in the East 7 in the West4 added to the National Park System -Total 125- 250 left which includeshistoric sites, National parks, memorials, monuments, battlefields,recreationareas, Seashores, lakeshores, rivers -There are a total of 375 of thesebeautiful places in our country!!!! Only two people have been recorded asvisiting all 375-both college professors.El Lobo sez start seeing them now!!! and update your list!!!A little known fact is that the National Wildlife refuges (close to 400 ofthem) in the US are managed by a different agency than the National parks.They are managed by the Fish and Wildlife service.El lobo needs to start tracking the Wild Life Refuges visited and start anewlist!!!!

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