Between the flu and some bad weather it had been over a month since we’d made it back to Shenandoah, so we were keen for a hike on the first gorgeous Sunday in April. This time we picked a trail just down the road from Meneka Peak, hiking up Little Crease Mountain to the southeast, across Passage Creek from the Meneka trail.

Driving out from DC, the roadsides were blotched with purple-pink redbuds. Though temperatures ranged in the 60s-70s all day, the hike got hot fast, as the trees on the mountainside had yet to leaf out, exposing us to cloudless blue sky for nearly the entire nine-mile out-and-back.

With some encouragement, Sapphie, our sometimes hydrophobic hound dog, learned that a splash in a cool, gurgling mountain stream is a good antidote to hours of walking on glittering white rocks.