When we got there Saturday afternoon, the camp site we'd had in mind was unoccupied so we set up the tent right away.
Then I took the dogs down to the water to cool off.
This is our favorite place to go on a hot, humid day.
Somehow nature has conspired to create an absolutely blissful spa-like environment nestled in a fragrant forest, where every feature seems designed to relax and generate fulfillment.
We were not surprised that there were a number of people already enjoying the swimming holes ,
but the great thing about this place is that there are a series of depressions carved out over a long stretch of cascading rock.
you can just descend further to one of the other perfectly carved swimming holes to meditate and relax.
Everyone we've ever met there has been mellow and nice, so once we ascertained that the natives were friendly we let the pups off the leash so they could explore.
So we explored down the trail in the other direction, and turned around when that trail started to go uphill.
Great time for a dinner break at the tent, then some after- dinner relaxation and reading on the flat rocks by the water.
The dogs were completely exhausted by this point.
But some fellow campers out on the rocks let us know they'd heard about a sighting of some bears just down the trail, so time to leash up.
Pretty soon, it was time to hunker down for the night.
As you know, I am not the greatest sleeper and it was a bit of a crapshoot whether I'd sleep away from my beloved latex mattress.
But I was still looking forward to spending the night with my yawning, snoring beasts
right by my side and unable to escape to their own personal space.
So relaxing and refreshing.
Exciting too, once the crayfish started crawling out of their rocky hiding places and waving their claws around. We saw about four of them, and I was only mildly terrified and certainly less so than was Florian at the news of a gray water snake slithering about.
And so much adventure and restoration. Hard to believe we were just a few hours from DC!
The short hike to the car was enough to thoroughly exhaust those dogs, and Dahlia snored in my lap the whole drive back home.
Next time, with a cushy inflatable mattress pad for those of us who lack Dahlia's ability to be at home wherever she finds herself in the world...as long as she's with her people.