We entered the park and and found our trailhead. Everyone packed their lunches and gathered up for a quick lesson in trail etiquette. As it ended up, we had the trail virtually to ourselves. We hiked approximately four miles roundtrip including a small section of the Appalachian Trail. During lunch a National Park Service ranger came through our lunch site and we got a private fifteen minute naturalist program on "leave no trace" hiking. The ranger was a friendly guy and I think he sized us up as a group that believed in what he was preaching. We left our lunch location spotless.
We hiked across Calvary Rocks to Chimney Rock. There were many impressive views and some boys saw an impressive lizard and some saw a small snake.
After our hike we drove a few more miles on Skyland Drive in the Park to a park store for a treat...one of the paybacks for such a great day of compliments yesterday. Most of the boys had an ice cream cone while some chose a different treat.
But the real treat came a few minutes later as we were heading home through the park. We were treated to two different bear sightings approximately ten minutes and a couple of miles apart. The second one was amazing. The juvenile bear was foraging for food in the woods just 100 feet or so from the car. All the boys saw both the bears and this second bear was going no place soon and we were able to observe for three minutes or so before we decided better not hold up traffic too long. Some boys also saw a deer, a turkey, and other assorted creatures.
It was a great day in Shenandoah.
We returned to the hotel for swimming and resting and then had a nice dinner of pizza at a local establishment.
Here's video footage of the second bear of the day.
And don't forget to check out all our photos from Monday.