02 May

Girl Camper: Episode #82 Rhonda Coleman Chasing Totality

I am happy to welcome my friend and colleague Rhonda Coleman to the show today. Rhonda is the editor of Outside Interests Magazine, a travel writer, an Airstream owner and unbeknownst to most people she is chronically “chasing totality”.  If you, like me, have never heard of “chasing totality”, it is the term used to describe those who travel to far ends of the earth to see total solar eclipses. Rhonda has witnessed  six total eclipses so far and is here today to tell us about this phenomenon and where the best path to view the August 21st total eclipse will be. You can read all about it at Rhonda’s blog http://www.chasingtotality.com

We had a great time in the Shenandoah Valley last weekend. We camped at the Luray KOA which is an immaculately maintained quiet adult campground situated on a very large lawn which gives such a feeling of openness. We splurged on the premium site which came with a heavy duty table set and two big red Adirondack chairs around the fire pit. The campground is only a few miles from the Thornton Gap entrance to Shenandoah National Park.

With the National Parks App I was able to choose the hike that I wanted. The app allows you to see all the hikes in the section of the park you are in and gives you details like the distance, elevation of the hike and difficulty level. I love this aspect of the app that allows you to decide how much effort you want to put into a hike. You can factor in the heat, time of day, level of energy you’re willing to expand and choose a hike that suits you that day. Our goal was to hike to Mary’s Rock but with all the information we had we knew we really didn’t allow enough time to do that. We ended up hiking one mile in and out of that trail and will have to save the summit of Mary’s Rock for another day.

We also were able to tour the Caverns of Luray and that was worth the time and money. I have been in a lot of caverns on my trips and this one was particularly beautiful. It was a one mile figure eight fairly easy walk through the cavern. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly and made the information interesting. I forgot to bring a jacket and was afraid that the 57 degree cave would be uncomfortably cold for the one hour tour but the 87% humidity of the cave makes it feel more like 68 degrees and the steep up and down ramps were enough to keep me pleasantly comfortable.

 

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