Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Between parks

We are at the Wal-Mart (do you detect a pattern here?) in Waynesboro, Virginia (map).

After leaving the Wal-Mart in Salem yesterday, we proceeded across town and got on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We spent the rest of the day yesterday doing the last 120 miles of this beautiful parkway. We have done the entirety of the Blue Ridge once before, on a motorcycle trip in the spring of 2000 -- it's quite a different place in the late fall.

For one thing, there was almost no traffic, and we had the road mostly to ourselves the entire distance. All the visitor centers and campgrounds, unfortunately, are closed. We did find the concessionaire-run lodge at Peaks of Otter open, and stopped in for a nice lunch overlooking the lake.

We stopped at a handful of overlooks and points of interest, but mostly we just enjoyed the natural beauty of the parkway, the evergreens standing out among the stark and mostly naked deciduous trees, and the ground carpeted in brown leaves. We did the last ten miles or so in the dark, as sunset found us still around milepost 30; I-64 crosses the parkway at mile 0, and so it was a short coast down the hill to this Wal-Mart.

Today we will head right back there, and continue north on Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park.

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