Our planned activity for this stop was a visit to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. The rain finally stopped on Saturday, but it was still foggy in the mountains. We headed out in late morning, hoping it would lift soon.
We stopped at the Farmers Market in Luray, Virginia on our way to the park.
It wasn’t a very big market (3 booths), but we did pick up some nice tomatoes and a loaf of fresh sourdough bread. Somehow Tom managed to get into a political “discussion” with the guy selling tomatoes . . . and Tom didn’t even start it!! I had to just walk away . . .
We arrived at the entrance to the Shenandoah National Park.
Skyline Drive has 4 access points, and Thornton Gap is the 2nd from the north end of the park, at approximately mile marker 30. This was also the first park we visited on this journey that charged an entrance fee, so Dad got to purchase his Lifetime Senior Pass for $10. Not a bad deal at all, considering the normal entrance fee to Skyline Drive is $20!
As we entered Skyline Drive, we passed through a tunnel. The fog was so thick, it was almost raining!
We stopped at a few overlooks, but there wasn’t much that you could see.
We continued on, climbing higher in the mountains, but not stopping at many overlooks because there just wasn’t much to see.
There were still plenty of people out on the drive, and the parking lots at the trailheads were full, so there were people out hiking despite the fog. This was just a driving day for us, so we continued on.
It must be foggy and wet up here most of the time – all of the tree trunks were completely covered in moss.
We reached the Skyland Lodge, the highest point on Skyline Drive, and decided to stop and eat our lunch, hoping that the fog might clear a little by the time we were done. It was too wet to eat outside, but the Lodge had tables and a sitting area by the fireplace that made for a nice picnic spot!
There’s a full service dining room, and a small cafe with coffee and sandwiches, but we had packed our own lunch.
After relaxing for a bit and visiting with some other travelers,
we continued on. As we reached the Big Meadow (halfway point of the drive), the fog cleared somewhat,
and we could catch a glimpse of the mountains.
That wasn’t the end of it, though, and as we continued on, the fog started drifting back in . . . and our passenger started drifting off the sleep!
It was too bad it was so foggy; I think he would have really enjoyed the scenery if we could have seen any of it!
I think the visibility actually got a little worse as we descended down toward the next access point to the park,
although we could see little glimpses of the sun!
We exited the park at Swift Run Gap (approximate mile marker 65), which would take us into Harrisonburg . . . and the sun finally came out!
In Harrisonburg, we did a little shopping and then got an early dinner at a little burger place in historic downtown. Harrisonburg is home to James Madison University, and it was Parents Weekend, so it was pretty busy . . . luckily, we got our dinner just before the football game ended, so we beat the rush!
They made deep fried Oreos for dessert, so Tom just had to try one . . . I had a bite . . . it was pretty good!
We went to church after dinner, and then, since the ice cream shop was right across the street . . . we had dessert!
Not the greatest day for a sight-seeing drive, but we still enjoyed ourselves!