This weekend was just a continuous torrent of rain. It pummeled the roof and windows through the day and night, unrelenting, and while it was a novelty to sit at home all day long watching movies or Alaska, The Final Frontier, by the time Sunday arrived with its grey sodden dawn I wanted out of the house. So the Shenandoah Caverns seemed the ideal destination. Being underground trudging through caves or walking amongst their exhibitions under warm roofs appealed to me and I jumped into Stuart without further ado, armed with my camera and quickly forgetting my nice cozy bed.
Unfortunately I realized after a few miles that I'd left my camera battery still charging on the kitchen wall. Haven't done that for a while but I wasn't daunted, the iPhone would suffice.
I passed through some very pretty towns on the way down, which I would like to explore another time on a less damp day.
I was glad to get back upstairs again. The lobby had a retro feel to it, very old fashioned in a very charming way, with lots of wood and old signs. And here was the entrance to another of their attractions, Main Street of Yesteryear.This was a collection of windows showing antique animated Christmas window displays from famous stores.
The next exhibition to see was American Celebration and this was a short walk down the road.
A great news article on it is here.
I really enjoyed the exhibition and was in awe of the stature of these creations. My neck was constantly craning to see the tops of them yet I couldn't stop looking. I've never seen anything like this before, I'm sure there aren't too many exhibits like this in America and I felt very fortunate to have this so close to home. Even though it was impossible to capture many of the floats in my camera frame because everything was so close together, I wasn't concerned at my lack of photos. Whether packing so much in like this was a clever ploy to overload the senses of visitors or whether it was simply due to a lack of space, I couldn't tell and I didn't care. It had been a unique hour spent wandering around feeling like I was on a set from Land of the Giants. I have never been to a parade, I would change the channel if a parade was on TV, and had never wanted to go downtown to D.C. to see one first hand, but now my perspective and interest has changed.
The last attraction at Shenandoah Caverns was the Yellow Barn. This was a little disappointing as it was simply a gift shop selling nothing that I hadn't seen before. But they did have a bee hive built into a wall fronted with glass so that held my attention for a few minutes.
Shenandoah Caverns is definitely worth a visit, I'd seen a number of things that I hadn't set eyes on before, and I love vintage Americana. For their website click here. Maybe a return trip with a wide angle lens might be a good idea to try and photograph some of those humungous parade props. I left to drive home, not really surprised that it was still raining and not really surprised that it rained nearly all the way home either. But the grey damp aura everywhere did enhance the Halloween decorations that I saw along the route, and I was grateful to be able to quickly grab a shot from my phone rather than having to fiddle with settings on my camera in the rain. Sometimes things work out for the best and you just never realize until the last minute!