Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Shenandoah Valley



April 2-4, 2021


A few weeks ago, I booked a solo trip to the Shenandoah Valley. Using Staunton as a base, I spread out to explore Harrisonburg, Crozet, Waynesboro, and Lexington over the long weekend. Spring had just arrived in the mountains, and the weather was perfect for hiking and eating outdoors - a welcome break from the cold DC just emerged from. 


I spent the days doing what I love most: hiking, reading, drinking coffee, wandering around town. I hiked through Natural Bridge and Humpback Rocks, tackling part of the AT on the way. My Kindle was my constant companion and I worked through a collection of Wendell Berry's essays and re-read A Wrinkle in Time. I tried a few coffee shops: Crucible and Reunion in Staunton, Farmhaus in Waynesboro, Grit and Mudhouse in Crozet. I re-visited an antique mall my family frequented when we used to vacation in the Shenandoah Valley and bought a full bag of snacks from one of the vendors. In the evenings I caught a Harry Potter marathon on TV and watched bits of Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban.

As often happens when I leave DC, I was struck by how young everyone is. In the DC area, baristas, waiters, retail workers, etc are all adults. But the Virginia mountains are home to numerous colleges, and nearly everyone in the service industry is a student in their late teens/early twenties. It's a strange feeling at 26 being treated like a true older adult by everyone you interact with. 

I've said it before and it rings even more true now that I work from home - as much as I love DC, I also love to leave. A weekend away to a different part of the state is always a welcome break from my daily routine. And now that I'm vaccinated (woo!) I hope to let the travel bug loose more.

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