Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park

Thursday August 13, 2020

Thunderstorms had been a common occurrence recently with more on the way, so we decided to drive north to Big Meadows for an easy walk around before going home. The fog (clouds) were so thick in places, we couldn’t see 20 feet in front of us. However, when there was a break in. the clouds, it was pretty cool-looking at the overlooks.

I love Big Meadows. It is a huge meadow on top of the mountain, where wildlife often roam. The meadow is filled with flowers, grasses, butterflies, dragonflies and bees. It may not look like much from a distance, but it’s the kind of place you can carry a chair and sit for a while. Then you will notice all. kinds of things going on around you. Last. time I was here, I followed a herd of 25 deer across the meadow, taking pictures. They were rather unconcerned. Then another photographer pointed out a bear. I had to look hard to see it, at last spotting ears moving. Then he stood up a bit to check out the surroundings. I followed him for an hour.

There were no animals this morning, but we were a bit late. We decided to walk up the Rapidan Fire Road, which looks like a highway. I don’t know what else is on this road, but they are putting in an underground fiberoptic cable. It’s a big, well-maintained road. There are beautiful. trees, flowers and lots of birds. There was also a hatch of some kind of teeny bugs. They were so thick, they would get in your mouth, ears and nose. We finally put on masks.This is a popular road to walk, probably because it’s easy, but also pretty.

In the middle of the meadow is the source of the Rose River and Dark Hollow Falls, a popular hike. I have seen bears right across from the parking lot. Hawksbill Creek goes off the west side, Little Hawksbill goes off the north side of the mountain, and the source of the Rapidan River is just south of the meadow. This is a place I will come back to many times.

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