May 16, 2008 – Great Ranger Programs

The day began rainy and very foggy. Since we are on the top of the mountain, the clouds just seem to settle. At one point, it was so foggy, we could not see the campers near us.

So this morning, we put shelves in one of our closets – the small one that cannot fit any more than 5 hangers. Having the shelves gives me more storage space for folded clothes.

This afternoon, we went to the Byrd Visitor Center for the Ranger’s choice talk. Today was Ranger Bob’s turn and his talk was “Photography in the Park”. He had some great pictures and some really great suggestions for pictures. What a wonderful program.

From there, we headed to Skyland Conference Center for another ranger program – A Tour of Massanutten Lodge.

We stopped at one of the overlooks for some incredible pictures of the fog and the valley below:

The land around Skyland was originally owned by a group of investors in the 1800’s. It was started as a summer place - for those who could afford land parcels and summer cottages. At one point, one of the investor’s sons, George Pollack got involved and managed the resort.

Addie Hunter was purchased a parcel and spared no expense on the cottage – Massanutten Lodge – so named because of the view of the Massanutten Mountains and the valley below. What was different about her is that she was a very wealthy divorced woman in a time when divorced women did not fare well.

Within a year after the cabin was completed, she married George Pollack and became very active in the running of the resort. She was the first one to have a radio and a car here. She was also the only female member of the committee that lobbied the White House in 1925 for authorization of Shenandoah National Park.

The lodge itself is beautiful:

There is an area of the house that is dedicated to the woman of Skyland – a very impressive group.

Another one of the original cabins:

(I just love these ranger programs!)

On our way home, we saw a black bear and two cubs in the woods – sorry no pictures – they were on the move.

This evening the fog finally cleared but it is cold. Tomorrow promises to be sunny and we are so looking forward to doing some hiking. Hopefully we will have a lot more sunny days to come.

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