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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Another Day Along Skyline Drive

With another beautiful day on tap, we took the opportunity to drive along the next 35 miles of Skyline Drive that runs parallel to the area where we are camping. More gorgeous views and some interesting history was just waiting for us to find it.

Shenandoah National Park grew out of six Civilian Conservation Corps camps that were in use from 1933 to 1942. This group built many rustic-style facilities throughout the park, some of which are still in use today. At the Byrd Visitors Center, we found a doe feeding along the roadside quite near the center.

President Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou, built a retreat in the park, Rapidan Camp. It's found between mile markers 50 & 55 along Skyline Drive.

Also along this stretch of the drive is the last mountain crossing of Stonewall Jackson in November, 1862 as he moved 25,000 troops from Antietam, MD to
Fredericksburg, VA. He crossed over the Blue Ridge Mountains through Fishers Gap just before mile marker 50. A few months later, in the spring of 1863, Jackson was mortally wounded in Fredericksburg.

As we drove along, it was easy to become "used to" the amazing views seen from the road and the various overlooks. Mountains, sky, valleys can begin to look the same if you just glance over them. And I found myself doing just that and that saddened me. I didn't want to become numb to the beauty that was before me, so I made a point of really looking at what God had created. Truly seeing the clouds, the foliage, the blue sky, and the towns below with the people int hem going about their lives. And in the pictures I took, though many of them look the same, they aren't. The cloud formations are different, the tree lines vary and the towns below have different families living different lives in them. And all of this has been given to us by a God who loves us and wants to share His creation with us. No, I don't ever want to "get used to" seeing all of this. I hope you won't either.

Tomorrow we'll be visiting Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Ash Lawn-Highland, the home of James Monroe. Really looking forward to learning more about these two presidents.

Until the next time . . .

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