Thursday, June 30, 2022

SKYLINE DRIVE 5-17-22 and 9-9-21

We can reach Skyline Drive under an hour and have often taken a picnic with us.  We don't use any of the designated picnic areas (which are further inland with no view and can be quite busy). Instead, we find a wall to sit on at one of the overlooks, where we have these magnificent views.  The times we go we have, more often than not, had these places to ourselves, avoiding weekends and busy holiday times.  
We didn't take many photos on this trip.
This is one of the parking areas (overlooks). 
We are approaching Mary's Tunnel.  You can read about it here.  This website gives information on all the overlooks found on Skyline Drive.
The tunnel was constructed in 1932, is 610 feet long and 12 feet 8 inches high.  
The mountain that the tunnel goes through is actually called Mary's Rock.  It is 3514 feet high.  It is the 8th highest peak in Shenandoah National Park.
You can read a few stories of how Mary's Rock was named here.  Scroll down a little until you come to Legends of Mary's Rock.

I found the rest of the photos a few days ago. They were in draft folder from September 2021.  I couldn't see them from any other posts when I checked, so I don’t think I published them before.  The Queen Anne's Lace were seen on a walk at Big Meadows   

I won't go into detail about them today.

The bug below is a Goldenrod Soldier Beetle.  Though they feed on nectar and pollen, the goldenrod soldier beetles do not chew the flower petals or damage them. These harmless beetles neither sting nor bite.

On the other hand, the bug below is a Japanese Beetle and is a species of scarab beetle.  It is not a gardener's friend as they are very destructive and can completely defoliate plants.
This is the Oxe Eye Daisy.  I actually like this plant very much and was thinking of putting it in the garden.
The Soapwort was growing wild.  I have been leaving links in all my posts, usually on the name.  If you click on these links, they will take you to more information.  
A misty view on one of the overlooks we stopped at (this being in September of 2021 as mentioned above).
Next is a marker pointing to the Appalachian Trail.  The trail is approximately 2,178 miles long and is the longest 'marked footpath' in the United States.  If you are an adventurous hiker, this trail stretches from the summit of Springer Mountain in Georgia, all the way to the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine.  
If you hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, you would pass through 14 states and take around 5 million steps.  About 500 people hike the whole trail each year.  
Virginia is home to 544 miles of the Appalachian Trail, which is more miles than any other state. 
We found part of the trail at the back of Big Meadow's Lodge and walked a couple of miles, which was great.  I remember the beautiful wildflowers in bloom, but the most memorable happening was when I saw this beautiful deer standing on the incline above us.  She was quite close, not more than 15 feet away.  I took this photo with my cell phone.  She didn't move and we slowly walked on as she continued to munch on the grasses.
Skyline Drive is 105 miles long and takes about three hours to drive along its entire length.  The speed is 35 miles per hour in most places.  It is a very winding road and there are often steep drops.   (You also have to pay attention to any wild animals, as in our time there we have seen deer and bear.  They appear as if suddenly out of nowhere crossing the road in front of us.)  The map shows you its route.
Cell coverage is not reliable throughout most areas of Shenandoah National Park. However, I read that it is generally available at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center and at some west-facing overlooks. Free, public WiFi is available at Byrd Visitor Center, Big Meadows Lodge, and Skyland Resort.
We didn't get to Big Meadows Lodge on this trip.  Above is a postcard I bought, a reproduction of one of the earlier ones.  There are rustic rooms and cabins you can rent here, and we stayed two nights in the main lodge.  It was a very nice experience, and there is a gift shop where I have treated myself to souvenirs every now and again, local honey or jam, a bear ornament, greeting cards or postcards.  We were able to get down to Big Meadows to see the sun rise on that stay, and it was wonderful.  Hopefully we will be able to do this again one day.

That's all of Skyline Drive for now.  





30 comments:

  1. You got wonderful photos, and really captured the feel of it. I have not been through this tunnel.

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    1. Thank you Ginny :) The tunnel is on our route from the entrance at Thornton Gap to Big Meadows, which is a favorite place of ours.

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  2. I am always grateful that you take us on your outings. Thank you - this was beautiful and just what I needed at the end of a busy day.

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    1. That's sweet of you to say Sue, thank you :) So glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. Replies
    1. Muito obrigado :) Um abraço e continuação de uma boa semana para você também.

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  4. What an amazing view you had there. That would be my choice rather than the parks where it's crowded.
    Another blogger I follow recently hiked a portion of the Appalachian trail.

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    1. Hi Ann, we certainly did :) I would enjoy seeing the other's blogger's post. Thank you!

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  5. Hello,
    Beautiful photos from Skyline Drive and Shenandoah. It is one of my favorite parks to visit. Take care, have a happy day!

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    1. Thank you Eileen, and I wish you the same. It's one of my favorite's also :)

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  6. spectacular views! and I like that you can drive this, I can walk for about an hour and that is it. we have those japanese beetles and boy can they chomp a bush in record breaking speed. I am happy for you that you can get out more and enjoy the beauty you live close to.

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    1. Thank you Sandra, it is good to get out :) I am the same way with walking and am grateful for the park benches provided.

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  7. I love this post! The AP goes through Georgia too, as you mentioned. It either begins or ends there depending on your direction! LOL!
    Now, oxeye daisies....they have been here for so long (they are brought to these shores by the British, I think) folks think they are native. And I LOVE them! They started coming up in our yard and my flower loving husband let them grow so they have now settled into certain areas of our lawn. They bloom in May and are usually just right for Mother's Day! Happy Trails!

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    1. So glad Kay, thank you very much :) Yes, all depends in what direction, LOL! I didn't know that about the Oxeye daisies. How interesting! I think I would be like your husband, just let them grow. Happy trails to you also :)

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  8. Replies
    1. Happy you think so Christine, it really was. Thank you :)

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  9. Oh my those views are amazing.

    Enjoy this last day of June and have a happy month of July.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan, and now we are in July already, oh my! :) All the best to you too and Happy July!

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  10. Such beautiful views on this drive, Denise! We crossed the Appalachian Trail on our road trip to North Carolina last September. Can you believe this is the last day of June!! See you in July...

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    1. How interesting Ellen and no, I can't believe it's already July. See you soon :)

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  11. Skyline Drive is one of my favorite places. I recognize the overlook at Stony Man. Sometimes I meet through-hikers in Front Royal. I was in a shoe store and a couple came in to get new shoes. They had hiked up from Georgia. The man has started out in size 12 shoes and now he needed a size 13!

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    1. Mine too Linda, and thank you for ID's the overlook. I am forgetting to make note of them. Interesting about those through-hikers you met. Not surprising I suppose. I wonder how loudly his feet talked to him on that trip :)

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  12. Splendid views from the high ground.

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    1. Thank you William, they really were stunning views :)

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