The "Legendary Floatzilla" of 2007
The trip back wasn't nearly as lonely as it appears. Mommy JJFBaltzell, Shannondale and Beyond's very own Supermoderator, was behind the lens. The grass was high and in need of mowing. FOSS needs to find a way to increase DNR's interest in Shannondale Springs, particularly with regard to the trails. Only the MOST avid anglers wanting to wet a hook and determined nature enthusiasts are effectively banned from accessing the meadow areas by foot.
The flotilla arrived almost simultaneously with the vehicular and foot travelers. About a dozen kayakers enjoyed the trip. we'll leave it to those folks to recount their adventures. We're sure all survived!
The group settled in on the beach which FOSS believes was near the original one pictured HERE. Located on the inner side of the sweeping curve that forms the famed Horseshoe Bend(seen here in a photo by Chip Gallo), the water depth is remarkably shallow for some distance from the shore.
Also remarkable was the water and air temperature for a Memorial Day weekend. So many times we can recall dreary, rainy and downright cold weather deter all but the bravest from testing the waters. Looking across to the far shore one can barely discern the cliffs known as The Lover's Leap whose legend is recounted in Emma Southard's Novel subtitled "Shannondale".
Caution must be used, though, as the currents on the far side of the river have carved a channel with a precipitous change in depth about 2/3 of the way across.
FOSS' special guest conducts a lesson about our river in an apt location. Actually, FOSS had several "special" guests. Geez, I might get in trouble if I don't say EVERY guest is special. There, a demonstration of CYA.
A boudacious buffet replete with tasty comestibles graced the beach. There were no complaints voiced about quantity or quality.
While most dined standing, S&B's #1
Guru enjoyed his food in sedentary fashion.
One of our photographers under attack from a bubble machine. The familial battle was harmless though-No adult participants were harmed in the making of this image. Next time 'round, we need MORE kids!!
After the sumptuous repast, some in the group discussed important issues. The conversation flowed as freely as our beautiful Shenandoah River.
I challenge ANYONE to find a more peaceful, serene tableau for conviviality.
On weekends and particularly holidays, the river is alive with boaters in all manner of crafts. These passers by discovered that some of the shallows are a little too shallow for loaded canoes.
Jenniffer, our photographer labeled this frame "The Attentive Audience" with her tongue in her cheek. While Willis, the the dilettante with one eye for history addresses the teeming throng, one of the rapt attendees stares off into space, and another has nodded off on the bench. REALLY, the history isn't as dry and dust. Not with the Magic Waters of Shannondale Springs surrounded by the Shenandoah River on three sides!
I'll take a little more text space and introduce our Special, Special guest. It's the lovely lady from "The Shenandoah Sojourn" who's playing the harmonica as Willis is speaking! No, no, she's finishing off a bite of lunch and shame on Jenniffer for catching our guest off guard. The Shenandoah Sojourn is loosely affiliated with the Shenandoah Valley Pure Water Forum, a group about which FOSS and S&B will surely want to know more. Here Willis looks at the Shenandoah River Atlas which has been presented to FOSS. A publication any Shenandoah River lover should have in their cache of reference books.
And did we mention that people are not the only critters who enjoy the Springs. Here we see the two lone attendees from the younger set in the water with-well, it's big enough to be a horse-Nah, its a doggie.
To be perfectly honest, when Alex(the Horse/Dog)stepped into the water, I expected the level to rise.
And the "horse" meets a "sheep". What a great place to let the dogs run and swim is thy are partial to water. But, make sure they are well trained. There are over 600 acres to roam and most has been left in a natural state.
A pictorial presentation wouldn't be complete without a few photos of Shannondale Springs Bathhouse. KA is shown soaking up those May rays atop the venerable structure.
AND we couldn't close the show without our most important guests of all, our youngsters. I wish we had more along this trip. Well, maybe next time. I think you've seen from the few views here, that Shannondale springs isn't all about history.
We'll bid the Springs adieu till the next time while watching our precious future tiptoe out of the picture holding her bubble machine!!!
The Springs await and Shannondale and Beyond, as the stewards of the historic site in the guise of the Friends of Shannondale Springs (FOSS) would be delighted to host another Floatzilla. Are any readers up to a project like this? Comments are welcomed.