During our stay in Shenandoah we went hiking several times. I asked one of the rangers if she could recommend some trails near our campsite. On her endorsement we hiked the Jones Run Trail with the promise of 43' falls. As we entered the trial it was obvious to me it had been a while since rain had fallen. We descended fairly steeply the dry mountain until we came to Jones Run itself, which was a little better than a trickle. By the time we reached the site of the falls more water was flowing, but not enough to use the word spectacular. However, it was still lovely - the water, the stone and the forest.
The next day we hiked the Mill Prong Trail which seemed to have received more rain over the summer than Jones Run. The foliage looked less droughty and the stream was very lively. We ended up at Camp Rapidan, which was the presidential retreat of Herbert Hoover and his wife Lou Henry. I thought I knew my Virginia history, but I had never heard about this place until fellow blogger Art at Oh To Be Hiking wrote about it last July. The Hoovers built their Brown House (as opposed to the White House) along side the Rapidan River to take advantage of the trout fishing. We were able to take a tour of the Brown House led by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer, but it became quickly apparent that he was definitely old-school. He was explaining to the all-male tour group that the pots of forest clippings were in the cabin because Mrs. Hoover did not garden at Camp Rapidan and used what she found growing wild, "but of course none of you would be interested in that". I nearly lost it though, when he told us that Mrs. Hoover paid full asking price for the acreage and didn't try to "jew down" anybody. I can't believe people still use this offensive term. After that I was ready to leave before anything else fell out of his mouth. Back outside and with lunch at Big Rock Falls, I was quickly over our non-PC tour.