Day 54 – Skyline Drive through Shenandoah Valley Part 3

Can you find a snowflake?

I woke up to what I’d have to call Texas snow…oh, there’s a snowflake…5 seconds later, oh, there’s another one!  Lucky for me, it was light and nothing stuck.  I would have liked to take a few pictures of snow dusted mountains, but at the same time I wanted to be able to depart when planned.  The ranger told me, depending on how much it snows, they have all campers wait until the roads are plowed and then the campers are directed to the safest exit which might not be in the chosen direction.

Deer were out in mass this morning.  I saw at least twenty doe and three bucks on my way to our hike in the Skyland Area, the highest point of Shenandoah National Park.  We hiked the Millers

Appalachian Trail Marker on right

Head trails, a 1.6 mile out and back walk for a scenic view.  Today we enjoyed several scenic views as the overlooks were fog free today, though the clouds started rolling in, so I didn’t really make out the eye, nose, mustache, and beard of the Stony Man Mountain.

It’s hard to believe at one time this region was largely deforested by farmers, loggers, and hunters.  It was in 1926 when Congress authorized the area as a National Park and in 1931, to spur economic growth, President Herbert Hoover approved construction of the Skyline Drive along the crest of these Blue Ridge Mountains.  The only tunnel on the drive, known as Marys Rock Tunnel, is a 600-foot-long corridor carved through granite.


I kept trying to geocache while in the mountains, but none were located on the trails we took.  On our way to Berryville, where my cousin Katherine lives, I passed by a cemetery and old church which looked like a good place for a cache to be stashed.  According to the geocaching app on my phone, a cache called “Old Chapel” was nearby…yep, a bison tube was hanging in a bush across from the chapel.  The Old Chapel, dating back to 1790, turned out to be a historic site too.  Lord Fairfax worshipped here and Governor Edmund Randolph and Colonel Nathaniel Burwell are laid to rest in the surrounding cemetery.

I am currently at Katherine’s; a house home to eight dogs and a barn full of seven horses.  I get to ride in the morning!  Hopefully this time I won’t get bucked off. ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

9 thoughts on “Day 54 – Skyline Drive through Shenandoah Valley Part 3

  1. Hey couchsurfer- your pics are amazing! It looks/sounds like you are having a blast. So jealous. Be safe!

  2. Hi Beth!
    I love your pictures : ) You must be having a great time. Not much going on here…..the Cowboys aren’t doing so well. Good thing you are not here to see it!

  3. Hi Beth,
    I have missed you when you have called. Having a nice fall here despite the Cowboys… I love reading your blog and living vicariously! We went to the farm this weekend and it was fun. Miss you!

  4. Beth,
    Looks like you are having a terrific trip. Let us know if you would like a couch when you pass through NC.
    Walter Goldsmith

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