Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shenandoah River

"O' Shenandoah, I long to hear you…" Views of the Shenandoah River Valley will put you in mind of that old ballad.
I stayed 3 nights at the Shenandoah River State Park, with views of the mountains from the campground.
And of course the river was calling too.
The launch site from the campground. I floated downstream and took out at the kayak ramp near the Visitor Center, a mile away as the crow flies, but several curves in the river.
"Away, you rolling river…"
The river was shallow, and had some "riffles."
This is one of two places I got hung up on the rocks in the middle of the river. At least no one was with me to capture the moment on camera. I was able to scoot myself off after a few tries, but decided one run on that famous river was enough.
Besides, there were many hiking trails to do. The only strenuous one was the hike to "wildcat ridge." Rated strenuous because of the steep uphill climb…not the length.
Made it to wildcat ridge... 
And the view was worth the climb. 
This trail followed the valley to the end of the state park boundary, and we returned by the River Trail. 
 Do you see what looks like an observation tower on the side of the mountain?
It is apparently someone's house…I could see at least 5 stories. 
Some sights along the trail….milkweed pods, 
One of several small cabins for rent, 
A large cabin for rent right on the river. 
Riverfront cabin site. 
Great Blue Heron across the river. 
Shenandoah Mountains and the Skyline Drive is up there. 
An old house/cabin from the days before this became a State Park. 
An Osprey overlooks the river.  
Birding was great along this trail and in the campground. Here are a few we saw. 
Three Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2 adults and a juvenile.
Fertile farmland across the river.
 Turning back toward the campground by way of the River Trail.
 The bridge is at the State Park boundary.
This tree was attracting a lot of birds. This is a Downy Woodpecker. 
Not sure what this is…a sparrow probably. 
A Carolina Wren 
Blurry picture of two Carolina Wrens and a Tufted Titmouse, I think. They were flitting around and hard to get a photo of. 
Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker 
 Red-bellied Woodpecker
 I don't know...
 Pretty sunlight through the clouds.
 Brown Thrasher
 Another Northern Flicker
Lots of Eastern Bluebirds
A Cedar Waxwing 
The Red Baron flew over. 
 An evening walk.


A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers 
Another Yellow-shafted Flicker 
Same one 
Another Downy Woodpecker 
Female Northern Cardinal 
"O' Shenandoah…"

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