The weather forecast for today was very hot and humid so we decided to go to the Edith J Carrier Arboretum first thing in the morning then decide what to do for the rest of the day. The Arboretum is located in the grounds of James Madison University and is a pretty area with pond, trails and woodland. It is quite small but a lovely natural location in the middle of the city.

The pond area has lots of ducks and the pond is teeming with koi. There is a larger wooded area which has several trails running through. When we went through we saw a red-tailed hawk which can be seen in the photos.

A very nice start to the day.

After this, we went back to the hotel to decide where to go next. As we did a lot of driving yesterday we didn’t want to do too much today. So, first, we went to the mall and had coffee/hot chocolate and a very nice slice of red velvet cheesecake at the local book store.

When we left the mall we realized how incredibly hot it had become 34C, so we just drove around the local area and ended up chasing a huge storm. We could see it in the mountains and you could even see where it was raining. Large black clouds lined the sky and eventually, the storm caught up with us. At the time we were driving down the I81 and the visibility was so poor with the dark skies and rain that we had to pull off the highway for about 20 minutes for it to pass.

When we set out earlier in the day we hadn’t expected to “storm-chase” but as you can see it produced some spectacular cloud formations.

Finally returning to Harrisonburg at about 5pm, we decided to have dinner at the buffet and stay in the hotel for a quiet night.