It all started with a birthday gift and a vacation pick. That's what put the wheels in motion for a mini adventure for me and my friend "G".
My wife likes to find things on Groupon to give as gifts and so far she has done a good job finding things that are cool to do. For my birthday she gave me two Groupons. One for me and one for a friend to take a zip-line and canopy tour from Virginia Canopy Tour.
My friend G wanted to take a weeks vacation and do some backpacking. So with that we figured we would take one of those days and do the zip-line and canopy tour. Since G is new to backpacking I was tasked to come-up with the plan for the backpacking trip.
The Virginia Canopy Tour is located in one of Virginia's newest parks. Shenandoah River State Park is located on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River just a few miles outside of Front Royal Va.
Front Royal Virginia is the starting point of the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.
Our plan developed into driving-up to Shenandoah River Sate park and do the zip-line and canopy tour with a night of camping in one of the primitive campsites. Then we would drive over to Shenandoah National Park and do a day of backpacking in each of the three districts.
But before all the adventure for the week starts we have to make a detour
If you are around the Staunton Virginia area, make your way over to 120 S Lewis Street in the Wharf District of Historic Staunton. There you will find Redbeard Brewing Company. This is my cousins place and he is the brewer of Small Batches of Big Beers!
We ended up with getting Deep Luscious Amber(A Belgian Quad), Irene (seasonal English Dark Mild) and Batch #42 (Experimental Strong Ale)- Taste test later in the post!
I had to stop on my way out of town to take a picture of this cool Land Rover
Now on to zip-lining fun
Sarah and Nicole were our guides on our tour. Very nice and they don't miss a step with hooking you up, they have this down pat. The first thing we do is "ground school" this is to show how things work and what you need to do on the zip-line. As you can see it's only a few feet off the ground.
Now off to the first zip-line
The big white thing on the cable is part of the braking system. It is just part of a big rope and the black ropes you see are also part of that system. But your brake is your gloved hand..
This is the highest zip-line at 90 feet over the forest floor! Yep, I was thinking "if the cable breaks it's going to hurt"..
They call this an "air bridge"
This is looking back at the longest zip-line at 1039 feet. You can reach speeds of 40 mph. On the day that we did this we had winds and could not get up to that speed.
We end the fun about 2 hours later with a 30ft rappel.
Back at camp we get to enjoy some of the Redbeard Brewing Company Deep Luscious and Irene. The Deep Luscious is about ~10.65% AVB, 25 IBU and the Irene is ~4.0% AVB, 20 IBU. I found that the Irene paired up nicely with our grilled buffalo steaks and corn on the cob and bake potato. Both poured with a thick rich head that laced very well in a plastic solo cup.
Sun setting on campsite #4 overlooking the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.
I could not tell you the last time that I camped in a State Park, but it was very nice and I would do it again. Just a tip..the best pick might be off cycle camping from the weekend because there will be fewer campers then.
I am going to cover this adventure in a couple of parts so stay tuned!