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October 4 – 6

The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River, the place of John Denver songs getting taken home on country roads. And it is almost heaven…

The whole area which extends beyond the BRP continues the glorious drive through fall coloured trees, small running streams and gentle waterfalls. Only 105 miles in length, the Skyline Drive meanders along the mountain top and offers stunning views east and west.

So compact is the National Park that there are only 2 side roads that take you into the valley to see life in the towns. There are 500 miles of hiking trails, of which we did our share and a wonderful old rustic lodge where we indulged in a fine and reasonably priced meal.

One of our town excursions took us to Luray, which boasted about having the best and grandest caverns in all Virginia. It seems that the area is flush with underground caverns all claiming to be the best of some sort.

Luray Caverns were wonderful and a truly magnificent experience. The feature was an area containing a pool of water that gave the most exquisite reflection. And a main chamber that contained an organ wired up to some stalactites to assist with the music played at weddings.

Back on the drive we had an amazing time watching a group of vultures flying overhead. As we were at the end of a good uphill hike I hope they weren’t waiting for us to keel over so they could pick our bones.

And what would a drive through Shenandoah National Park be without a sighting of the Shenandoah River. We spotted the river near the north end of the park and later drove across both the north and south forks while making our way to the highway. A brief stop to get a feel of the river was taken and had us both feeling all good inside.

Over 12 days we have driven 574 miles of glorious road through absolutely beautiful countryside. Coming out of the parks in northern Virginia sees our time in the country come to an end.

The next part of the journey takes us through the outskirts of Washington DC and then further north on main highways. Already signs of city life are around us with heavy traffic and aircraft noise taking the place of birds and trees rustling in the wind.

County roads take me home, to a place I belong…



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