Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Sky Line Drive

Since leaving Memphis, our focus has been to get home and leave the sightseeing in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania for future trips.  I would have loved to stop in Nashville for 2-3 days and see the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Theater, and the Grand Ole Opry.  Seeing a NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway is on the bucket list.  The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is another place I want to see.  And I want to take the tour of the Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, PA.  But they’ll all still be there for a future trips. 

The one exception for a visit was Shenandoah National Park and the Sky Line Drive.  It wasn’t really a stop over but rather another road less traveled on the way home.

After a couple more days of boon docking along I-40 and I-81, we made it to Lexington, VA in the Shenandoah Valley.  From there we drove up to the southern terminus of the Sky Line Drive and did all 105 miles north to Front Royal.  It was April 11th and most of the facilities had yet to open.  We only saw a half dozen other cars along the whole route.  For much of the drive, we had the road to ourselves.  

Spring was well underway in the Valley with trees flowering and grass turning green.  Up in the Blue Ridge, it was just about to get started.  The trees had yet to bud and we saw a few patches of dirty snow on the side of the road.  We also saw three black bears and several deer along the road.

It’s a slow drive along the Sky Line Drive with all the twists and turns and ups and downs.  The speed limit is 35 mph and lower in many places.  It’s a road that is to be savored, not hurried.  There are many turnouts to see and enjoy the vistas from the mountains.  Here are a few pictures.

It took us about 3 ½ hours to do the drive.  A much more scenic road that I-81.  We spent our last night at a truck stop in Carlisle, PA.  One more day on the road.  Can’t wait to see my family, sleep in a regular bed, and take a leisurely shower.

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