Shenandoah National Park & Afton, VA – May 9 – 11, 2022

Stopping in Virginia, near Shenandoah National Park, was a perfect way to check out a beautiful area, while also avoiding a route through Washington DC.  We drove through there once before, on our way to the Outer Banks and have avoided it ever since.

We found Misty Mountain Camp resort online and had no problem getting a reservation midweek before the summer camping season. We had a nice creekside site with water and electricity. It was about a 10-minute drive to the park entrance, to several breweries and wineries, and to a very nice Harris Teeter grocery store.

Dave realized that he had passed through the area, during his cross-country bike tour on the Transamerica Trail, back in 1986. Read his journal here: http://tuz.net

We were able to find the location of the house where he stayed. It wasn’t difficult to find because “The Cookie Lady” was well-known by cyclists around the world and there are many articles about her in newspapers, magazines and on the internet. The exterior of the house looks mostly the same, but the area has changed significantly. What Dave describes was poor, rural Appalachia, is now mix of old rural houses¬† and wineries, vinyards, and microbrewries. There is also a mix of vehicles on the roads older vehicles and jacked-up trucks with over-sized wheels and tires and Toyota Prius’ (Prii..??) everywhere.

It was still spring in the park. Many trees still had new, young leaves and there were flowers everywhere. It mad me realize that I had not experienced spring in a couple of years. Last year we were in the southern states until Memorial Day and spring in Michigan had passed by then.

We did some beautiful hikes and went to a local microbrewery and winery, both with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a perfect finale to our winter tour. Over three days, we only saw a small fraction of the park, so we plan to return sometime soon.

Only two more quick stops before arriving at home.

Our creekside campsite at Misty Mountains Camp Resort, Greenwood, VA

Slushie made friends with some ducks at Misty Mountains Camp Resort, Greenwood, VA
Our favorite brewery in the area is Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton, VA
View from the patio at Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton, VA
Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton, VA
Humpback Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park. This trail is part of the Appalachian Trail.
Humpback Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Farm Museum near the trailhead for Humpback Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Humpback Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Spring flowers on the Humpback Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Transamerica Bicycle trail sign in Afton, VA. It was established in 1976, for the Bikecentennial ’76 bicycle tour. Dave rode that route from Virginia to Oregon in 1986.
My first time on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park
Dave, riding the TransAmerica Trail in 1986. On the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park
At “The Cookie Lady’s house”, Afton, VA
At “The Cookie Lady’s house” in 1986
At “The Cookie Lady’s house”, a plaque memorializing June Curry, aka “The Cookie Lady”.
June Curry, aka “The Cookie Lady”, who hosted countless bicycle tourers and fed them cookies for many years. Photo taken by Dave in 1986
View from the Blue ridge Parkway, Virginia
View from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Dave’s bike. 1986. Today, he still rides the same bike with the same perfectly broken-in Brooks leather saddle.
View of the vinyards and mountains from the patio at Hazy Mountain Vineyards & Brewery, Afton, VA
Hazy Mountain Vineyards & Brewery, Afton, VA
Hazy Mountain Vineyards & Brewery, Afton, VA
One of the patios at Hazy Mountain Vineyards & Brewery, Afton, VA
We hiked a small stretch of the Appalachian Trail again on Calvary and Chimney Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Calvary and Chimney Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Calvary and Chimney Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Spring flowers on Calvary and Chimney Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
Calvary and Chimney Rocks Trail, Shenandoah National Park
View from Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park