Shenandoah D.C.

It’s going to be a short family vacation, but thankfully we were all able to free-up our schedules (after planning months in advance) to take a trip to Shenandoah National Park. We also had plans to hit Washington DC on the return trip to NJ.

Shenandoah National Park is located in Virginia on the top of the Appalachian Mountains. Once we ascended the mountain range, a long drive through the park (Skyline Drive) took us to our campground (Big Meadows). The three pictures below were taken on this road. Notice how the fog increased as a significant storm was rolling in.

A little fun in the tent before the rain started.


Yes, we got soaked!

Thankfully there were dryers located at the campground.

We’ve been in this situation before!


At the visitor’s center – weird daughters!


Here’s a map showing the two trails we hiked.


This was the first of the two trails we hiked starting at “Fisher’s Gap Overlook.”.


Back at the campground they had a nice store that sold gifts, camping supplies, food and our favorite…blackberry ice cream. Here you can see us enjoying a bucket of chicken and some blackberry milkshakes.


Ready if more rain arrives!


These to pictures were taken as the sun was setting on our first night.

The big highlight of the trip was the four girls having the opportunity to go horseback riding. No doubt they would all agree that this was their favorite hour-and-a-half while at Shenandoah,

While the girls were on the horses, Shane and I borrowed some poles and went finishing. After navigating past a big black snake on the trail and finding some worms, we happened to catch one fish. Shane refused to touch it. Thankfully we were able to get the fish back in the water.

Lunch from Walmart enjoyed in car.


Beautiful Shenandoah!

The picture on the left was taken back in 2005 – our first (and only) visit to the park. The three girls are posing at the same sign almost exactly ten years later.

This was the second trail we explored. It worked it way deep into the valley and ended at a beautiful waterfall. One the return voyage we connected with the famous Appalachian Trail for the return trip to the car.

Some exhausted hikers!


Celebrating with some blackberry ice cream back at the campground store!

After feeling sorry for me, a neighboring camper came over with his wife to help me start this fire. We talked with them for quite some time (ironically, we met them on the trail) and were able to share Jesus with them.


A final picture as we exited the park.


Here’s a little video recap of our time in Shenandoah.

Off to Washington D.C.

Our first stop was Ford’s Theater. This is where President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, on April 14, 1865. After being shot, the fatally wounded president was carried across the street to the Petersen House, where he died the next morning.

In the pictures below you can see the outside of the theater, the box where the President and his wife were seated and a picture of me in the museum standing next to a life size monument of Lincoln. Remove the platform from below the state and we both stand at 6’4″.

Next we toured the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. The Memorial encompassed a large enclosed space and contained several monuments – two of which are shown below.

From the Roosevelt Memorial we walked along the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial. Construction on the Memorial began in 1939 and was completed in 1943. The bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947

Jefferson who lived from 1743–1826 had an impressive resume. He was one of the most important of the American Founding Fathers as the main drafter and writer of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Continental Congress, Governor of the newly independent Commonwealth of Virginia, an American minister to King Louis XVI and the Kingdom of France, the first U.S. Secretary of State under the first President George Washington, the second Vice President of the United States under second President John Adams, and also the third President of the United States, (1801–1809), as well as being the founder of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Virginia.

Also impressive were the quotes from Jefferson engraved on the monument. Nearly all of them mentioned God and the need for our new country to depend on Him.

Here is a portion of a quote from panel three: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

Finally, just before we departed for NJ, we paid a visit to 88-acre Theodore Roosevelt Island located in the Potomac River.


The island was given to the American people by the Theodore Roosevelt Association in memory of the 26th U.S. president; before that, the island had been known as My Lord’s Island, Barbadoes Island, Mason’s Island, Analostan Island, and Anacostine Island. No cars or bicycles are permitted on the island, which is reached by a footbridge from Arlington, Virginia, on the western bank of the Potomac.