At Wildway, we believe that work should be fun, so every "work trip" we take, we always try to find somewhere nearby to have a wild adventure. This year for Expo East (held in Baltimore) we decided to rent a car and drive 2 hours Southwest to explore the Shenandoah Valley area.
While we weren't totally prepared for the weather (thank you, Hurricane Florence), we tried to make the best of it and hiked along a few of the trails in Shenandoah National Park.
There are over 500 trails in the park - the most popular (and dangerous) trail is Old Rag, but with zero visibility and the fact that it had been raining for a week straight, we decided not to slip off the mountain and opted to hike Matthew's Hand instead. (We'll be back for you, Old Rag!)
Look at all those trails!! It seemed like we drove forever to get to the trailhead, yet we barely scratched the surface. You could come back here 100 times and still not even cover the half of it.
Kyle studying the map before we head off because lord knows where we would end up with me navigating...
We actually lucked out on the hike because it never fully rained on us, just misted.
There's a cliff drop-off behind us along with a waterfall and sweeping view of the park....You just have to close your eyes and imagine it.
Although fog at a vista point is never ideal, it did bring in a sort of mystical feeling to the hike that was fun to experience. All in all, it just made us want to come back when the weather is nicer and the leaves are changing.
We also had big plans to kayak the Shenandoah River, but unfortunately it was flooded and closed. So we decided to go underground instead and visited the Luray Caverns, the largest caverns in the eastern United States.
They were first discovered in the 1800's by carving out a hole and sending one (very brave) man down with a candle. Raise your hand if you'd volunteer to be *that* guy!
The other thing Shenandoah Valley is known for (and we took full advantage of) is their wineries. We visited several in the area and were impressed by how many were estate wineries meaning all of the wine is grown on their property.
We got to try some varietals that were new to us Texans (like Norton) as well as the official grape of Virginia, Viognier.
Most tastings were around $7. We'd recommend Bull Run Winery for the ambiance and Wisteria Winery for the wine.
We stayed in Luray, a very small town in Virginia, along the Shenandoah River. We got to relax in our cabin that backed up to the woods and had a hot tub on the porch, so we didn't really mind the rain!
After we were fully relaxed and recharged, we headed back to Baltimore for the Natural Products Expo East trade show where we sampled our hearts out and got to meet so many new Wildway fans.