When we made it to the caves and lowered down into the caverns, the temperature immediately dropped 20 degrees. It was draped with stalagmites and stalactites with lights shining on the waves of carved rock. There was even a time capsule, which would be an exciting event to experience once opened. My personal favorite was the mirror pool shown below. (The rocks and colorful lights reflected in the pool) Fun fact: the cave was discovered by young kids who climbed down, but thought it was too dark and climbed back up. (did they ever miss a life time opportunity)
After exploring the caves, we headed to the mountains and hiked up to the White Oak Canyon Waterfall in the Shenandoah National Park. The awesome part about this specific location is the natural slide on the little waterfall! The water is cold, but very refreshing. We passed the time by making a rock statue. After everyone left, we decided to put up our tent and camp on the rocks that make up the waterfall. Was it comfortable? Not exactly, but with a little more preparation, it could have been! How was the view? Amazing, and nothing is better than sleeping with the sound of running water right outside your tent.
Waking up at 6 am, we headed out to the next hike and took our tent down. Keep in mind we lived off of pop tarts and beef jerky, so the energy level was lowwwww. After miles of hiking, we made it to the top of Old Rag Mountain. The first part of the hike was a typical path, but the second part was a fun boulder climb. Hopping from rock to rock was a great feeling, especially with the wind blowing! After eating the last of our pop tarts, we headed back down. It felt accomplishing finishing all of it (caves, camping and hiking) in 24 hours. But what felt even better was scoffing down two breakfast sandwiches and a whole lot of coffee after!
Erica Amatori | Twitter, Insta & Snapchat: @ericaamatori