Thursday, June 14, 2012

things I did in the middle of Virginia

The last week was concentrated around back to back trips deep into the Commonwealth of Virginia, first with friends and second with my classmates. I actually travel every weekday to Virginia for training/work, but heading south of the beltway is a rare occasion.

First was a camping excursion with a group of my closest friends from college and Americorps. We've been planning this adventure for months now, as is required to properly coordinate the schedules of 8 busy professionals, but we pulled it off! Two nights at Sherando Lake in the valley below the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was one of the nicest campgrounds I've ever stayed at, with level, nicely graveled sites, huge tables, fire pits, and a hook for your lantern. It definitely wasn't the pull off the Forest Service road in the middle of nowhere camping that I was raised on, but still amazingly serene and fun. The lake itself was tiny, again, very different from the huge glacial lakes of Northern Idaho, but still lovely.  We roasted marshmallows and sausages (including of the tofu variety), did some hiking, and then took a break from camping to visit a local brewery. I know, roughing it. Despite sleeping on the ground in a tiny tent with a friend and her dog, I slept more soundly that I had in months, and returned to DC feeling refreshed and grateful for my vacation from A-100.

Once back in DC, I had a quick turnaround before heading back down into Virginia for an overnight retreat somewhere near Richmond. Our class participated in every kind of group bonding and team building activity you can imagine, and I think gained quite a bit from the experience. With such a huge class, it's been hard to get to know people individually, so I personally appreciated the chance to get to some people a lot better. No pictures to share from that event, but if you can picture the inside of a hotel/conference center, then you get it.

Now I have just 1 week until Flag Day! Trying not to obsess too much, but it's hard knowing that my country is floating out there somewhere and I have no idea where it is. I'm also excited to be able to plan my life past June 29th.


Sherando Lake from Above

Sherando Lake from the Shore

View from the Blue Ridge Parkway



Sampling Beer


2 comments:

  1. Hi S, what campground did you stay at? I am thinking about heading for the mountains in August and this lake looks serene. -N

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think that I found it and the location is great. Nice find!
    www.gonecamping.net/reviews/va/sherandolake.html

    ReplyDelete