Day 54 – Skyline Drive through Shenandoah Valley Part 3

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Day 54 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

Shenandoah National Park

I woke up to what I’d 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 later in the day, but at the same time I wanted to depart when planned.  The ranger at Shenandoah National Park 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.

buck in Shenandoah National Park
Can you find a snowflake?

With no time to waste, I drove VANilla to our hike in the Skyland Area, the highest point of Shenandoah National Park.  The deer were out in mass this morning.  I saw at least twenty doe and three bucks on the way to the trailhead.

The dogs and I hiked the Millers Head Trail, a 1.6 mile out and back walk for a scenic view.  Today we enjoyed several scenic views of the tree covered hills as the overlooks were fog free unlike the last few days. It’s hard to believe at one time this region was largely deforested by farmers, loggers, and hunters. When the clouds rolled in, however, I didn’t really make out the eye, nose, mustache, and beard of the Stony Man Mountain.

Mary’s Rock Tunnel

As we continued through the park along Skyline Drive, approved for construction by President Herbert Hoover to spur growth, we passed through Mary’s Rock Tunnel. Mary’s Rock Tunnel, a 600-foot-long corridor carved through granite is the only tunnel on the drive through Shenandoah National Park along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Mary's Rock Tunnel on Skyline Drive

The Old Chapel

From Shenandoah National Park, we made our way to Berryville, Virginia, where my cousin Katherine lives. I passed by a cemetery and old church which looked like a good place for a geocache to be stashed.  Since I still hadn’t recorded one in Virginia, I checked the geocaching app. A cache called “Old Chapel” was nearby. Yep, it was a bison tube was hanging in a bush across from the chapel. 

geochache at the Old Chapel in Virginia
cache

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.

cemetery at the Old Chapel in Virginia

Berryville, Virginia

After a visit to the chapel, I arrived at Katherine’s house, home to eight dogs and a barn full of seven horses.  I’m looking forward to riding in the morning!  Hopefully this time I won’t get bucked off. ETB

Katherine's house in Berryville, Virginia

Map of My Road Trip Across the USA

For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.

Other Articles About Virginia You May Like

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Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.

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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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