We started the day early and were in the Lodge for breakfast by 8:15. We both slept better at Shenandoah than at the KOA, likely due to better mattresses.
The Big Meadow Lodge breakfast food was unremarkable. I got an omelet and dad got some pancakes. The coffee and service were good.
Next up, we stopped at the Harry R Byrd Visitor Center and Wayside market to get various sundries and ask about the best hike. I got Nick a pressed penny, Sarah some socks and postcards, a keychain and National Park stamps for me. I also grabbed a book on the best short hikes in Shenandoah. We also filled up on gas at $3.55/gallon. This is only about $0.25 higher per gallon than outside the park. I thought this was a deal compared to the Grand Tetons expectations of a $1.00+/gallon.
After discussions with the Ranger and referring to the book, we settled on a level 1.3-mile hike called Limberlost.
The trail had many benches for sitting. It was an easy walk and with the use of hiking boots and sticks, we made it through without an issue.
After our hike, we stopped for lunch at Skyland.
As the name would suggest it had a great view of the valley and sky. It overlooked Luray which was where our server was from. Along with taking care of our dining needs, she filled us in on Luray and her 40-minute commute. We got salads and pan-fried Brussels sprouts.
Next, we headed out of the National Park to the small town Luray. The best thing I can say about Luray is their cell signal is stronger than the NP. I used this to text Sarah some pictures and provide proof of life. After visiting the Luray visitor center for bathroom and “museum” fun, we stopped at a local grocery store and grabbed some snacks on our way out of town.
During the drive to and from Luray, we stopped several times for views off Skyline Drive. It was pretty.
We got back to the hotel around 3:30 PM. We sat on our patio and chatted the afternoon away.
Around 6 PM we went to the lodge to grab dinner and watch the sunset. We decided to watch the sunset first and we claimed our spot on the balcony chairs and used the intermittent internet while we waited for the changing colors of the sky.
It got kind of cold, but we lucked out and sat near the just-lit fire inside the lodge after the sun went down. It was a cozy spot to sit and relax.
It was so nice by the fire that I was glad that we ended up having to wait for a table in the dining room. It was slow moving and the wait to longer than expected. The menu wasn’t wowing us, so we decided to go to the tavern instead and grab a pizza.
Dad got carded at the Tavern by D’An!
We came back to the room and sat outside watching the stars and talking. It was very close to Yellowstone’s level of stars and was a great end to the trip.