Monday, October 08, 2007
Further South on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Are we SURE it's the second week of October??? As we broke camp this morning, it was forecast to be 90 degrees today! I was grateful we'd be driving in the mountains along the parkway so at least it would be cooler there. But, I really shouldn't complain, this weather meant that we would have beautiful skies to view.
We got back on Skyline Drive near the 65 mile marker. We had just 40 miles left to travel of the drive, then we'd hit the Blue Ridge Parkway. (Although Skyline Drive is part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, they are separately named. Skyline Drive runs through the Shenandoah National Park and has an entry fee, while the Blue Ridge Parkway has no fee.)
One of the first stops we made was at Swift Run Overlook. This particular area was first traversed by the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition in 1716 and was led by Royal Governor Alexander Spotswood. This expedition consisted of 62 men and was made as a real estate speculation. The name "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe" came from the gift of a golden stick pin in the shape of a horseshoe that Spotswood gave each man on the expedition.
We were very happy to see what a difference a week has made in the colors along the drive! Beautiful golds, oranges, and reds. I love the reds!! Of course, every time I saw a really vibrant tree of red, I couldn't get the picture. Doesn't it figure? Anyway, it was much more colorful drive than we had last week.
Have you ever noticed those rocky, bare spots on some of the mountains? We learned they are called "talus slopes." They are the remains of rock masses that froze, cracked, and shattered.
As we came to end of Skyline Drive, we saw more gorgeous views and among all the green on one mountain, one lone red tree. Of course, I took a picture of that tree. It doesn't show up as well in the picture, but it will be a great memory for me.
We drove 45 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway today. Again, we found some neat history along the parkway. At one stop, there was two bits of history. It's called Yankee Horse Ridge because, as the story goes, a Union soldier's horse went down there and had to be shot. Can you imagine naming a place because of such a seemingly innocuous incident? At this same site is a reconstructed portion of an old logging railroad. The original railroad here was 50 miles long and was constructed in 1919-20. Logging and fire destroyed much of the forest of the Blue Ridge and what we see now is second growth.
Another great day of travel. It was a mellow drive today, very little traffic along the way - just as Randy likes it. We got to our campground in Natural Bridge, VA around 3pm. It's a very nice park and we are looking forward to exploring the area, much of which is steeped in history.
Lots of pictures on the website: http://community.webshots.com/user/guiler85/0 so be sure to take a look.
Take care. Keep in touch. Until the next time . . .