Camping at Iron Gate, Virginia, July 2016

So the Mary Washington College alums finally shanghaied me into the annual campout at Iron Gate, Virginia (population 388).  It was amazing.

I saw a bear (on the ride home); a bald eagle; cows and horses; huge snorting hogs and friendly little piglets (hoglets?); a bat; a glittering blue-tailed skink; a wrinkly, red-faced turkey buzzard (up close); finger-length iridescent blue dragonflies; and innumerable wildflowers.

We smelled skunks too — several times along the way and once downtown in neighboring Clifton Forge.

This was all in the company of some amazing friends, schoolmates and their families — a couple of whom I haven’t seen in nearly a quarter century.


Approaching Iron Gate via Clifton Forge and the Allegheny Mountains in southwest Virginia.  What you see is not fog — these mountains are high enough so that the road runs parallel with the clouds.


The Cowpasture River and its vicinity.




Camp Nolan.  The bat is for bobcats or The Blair Witch.


The magic bacon-creating creatures of legend!!!


I made friends with these adorable bacon beans!  After I called them, they decided they liked me and tried to follow me out! I wanted to adopt one and name him “Delicious.”


Accidental overhead abstract mountain shot is creepy as f#%k.  I’m pretty sure this is the last thing a murder victim sees …


The first fireworks photos I’ve ever taken that have actually turned out.  I am 43 years old.







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