You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
A Springtime Interlude: Some Supplemental Views
But first, our newest neighbor, a tattoo parlor in our carpark. With a permanent 'We're Open' sign out front and variable 'Open' and 'Closed' signs on the door.
Staunton's Frontier Culture Museum
It's 5 March 2021 (we're now completely virus-vaxxed!), and we've often been here to the open-air museum before. This time we supply just some pretty views of the establishment -- for some informative captions of background and opinion, as well as some more (very similar) photographs, please visit the pages for our visits of 3 May 2019, 14 October 2019, 29 October 2019, and 29 December 2019 (and for a few more poignant views, sans parole, 12 December 2020 as well). But it goes without saying that there is no substitute for a personal visit to the venue.
A fanciful view of our itinerary (today, to be honest, we're only looking for a nice bench to sit on and read our books for a while)
The West African village
The 17th century farm from the English West Midlands
A pond with the Irish Forge at the far end
The 18th century farm from the Protestant Province of Ulster in Ireland (now in Northern Ireland)
The Irish forge
The Irish farm
And the same
The docents who inhabit these farms during opening hours, instructing us in the background and demonstrating the crafts etc., are seasonal -- due back in late May, we've just heard.
The 18th century German farm from the Protestant Palatinate of the Rhine
And the same
Another colorful map of the itinerary
The reconstruction of a local cabin from the first European settlers in the Shenandoah, 1740s
Very rudimentary. We've skipped the 1820s and 1850s American farmhouses today, and we're going home now.
The Sherando Lake lake trail
We've got past the unmanned fees booth but hit a barrier farther up the access road, 8 March 2021. Luckily, like these other fans of Sherando (fishermen, mostly), we've been able sneak up the back road by the dam at the northern end of the lake.
So today we'll be going down the east side first, and then back up the other side, hoping that the change of orientation will not make us become anxious or befuddled.
This seems quite okay so far. Wisely, though we're attempting the trails today in the opposite order, we're not risking trying them in the opposite direction. We'll have to work up to that, someday.
Even if we weren't able to sneak into the normal carpark, it still feels like old times.
The fine little island near the southern end of the lake
The small public beach, profoundly unpopulated in early March
The visitor's centre
For some further information about this small facility run by the US Forest Service, one can consult captions for our visits of 2 June 2019, 14 October 2019, 28 November 2019 and 1 January 2020, and of course the official website here and the Alltrails description of the path.
That's the Williams Branch of . . .
. . . the North Fork Back Creek!
A well-deserved memorial (it's a good thing that nowadays the taxpayers provide Food Stamps to at least some of the deserving poor, but in Pres. Roosevelt's day, we supplied jobs. What a guy!)
The parking lot is empty -- no surprises, they've got the barriers down. But why? (Somebody's going to steal their lake?)
Through the picnic area, entirely deserted
The island from the western side of the lake
The dam below us -- now just to get down to it.
The spillway round the dam of the Williams Branch of the North Fork Back Creek. Just for information, after passing along the 600m length of the lake, the North Fork Back Creek meanders through the forest for a few miles and merges into the Back Creek, which just south of Waynesboro merges into the South River, which, having got past the Dollar General in Grottoes, VA, is joined 18 miles farther north by the North River to become the South Fork Shenandoah River, which a very meandery 60 miles farther north will be joined by the North Fork Shenandoah River near Front Royal to become, at last, the Shenandoah River. Which, ultimately, joins the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, and the rest is history.
Gentlemen, start your engines.
Passing back through thriving downtown Sherando village on our way to the Interstate
Next up: A couple of local 'uplands' trail walks