At 10 the 4 of us were on our way in Gregory's CRV to the Blue Ridge Parkway. When you travel south from the northern end of the Parkway you experience a scenic drive through an Appalachian hardwood forest with ridge top views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west and Rockfish Valley to the east.
|Starting our drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway!|
Our 1st stop was the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center to get our Passport Books to the National Parks stamped.
|A very modern and informative Visitor Center!|
Then we drove about a 1/2 mile to the trailhead of the Humpback Rocks Trail and began the steep, upward hike to the top. It was only a 1 mile trail but had an elevation of 720 feet. Doesn't sound like a lot, but when you are climbing, it is rather steep.
|Up, Up, and Away!|
|There was some ice on the trail at a few places!|
|Lots of rocks to climb along the way!|
Near the summit, you have to go up over lots of rocks, but when you reach the overlook, it is so worth the climb. You see for miles and miles. It had gotten windy on the way up and chilly, but at the top the sun was shining brightly and it felt warmer.
|Some of the people didn't go to the very top!|
|Apparently a lot of people decided it was a good day|
to take a hike!!! Crowded at the top!
|I think I will sit down and enjoy the great view.|
|It was an amazing view of the valley......|
|and the leaves are changing colors!|
The hike back down was much easier than the uphill climb, but you had to be careful on some of the slippery rocks. It was an invigorating hike!
We stopped back at the Visitors Center to tour the relocated collection of 1890s farm buildings where settlers scratched out a living in the rocky soil. There was a log cabin, chicken coop, cold cellar, barn, pig pen, and spring house. Hard to imagine how tough life and survival would have been at that time!
|Walking down to the farming homestead!|
|Don't you just love the old cabin with the smoke coming|
out of the chimney and a banjo player and quilter on the
|It felt good inside the cabin by the warm fire!|
|Chuck did a little strummin" with the banjo lady!|
|From the homestead you could view Humpback|
Rock where we had climbed to the top. You
can see the hikers on the summit!
We had planned to eat our lunches at a picnic table, but it was just too cold and windy! So, we parked at a scenic overlook and ate in the car. The 4 of us started a game of trying to guess how the people who got out of their cars were related. It got so silly. We decided that a lot of people marry younger spouses - maybe we just imagined that! We weren't certain!
After eating our lunches, we entered the Shenandoah National Park, traveling along the Skyline Drive. What a beautiful drive and there are so many beautiful scenic overlooks. Of course the photographers, Ken and Melissa had Chuck stop at most of them. They would get out to take pictures, but Chuck and I decided we could see almost everything from the inside of the warm car!
|Just beginning our drive on the Skyline Drive!|
|A view from a scenic overlook......|
|.....then another ( I love this photo with the bright red|
leaves in the foreground)......
|....and yet a different one!|
We did stop at the Loft Mountain Visitor Center to get another stamp for our books and Ken and I were disappointed that they had sold out of the National Park pin. We had planned to do a 1 mile hike, but it had gotten cloudy, windy, and cooler, so we decided to just head back to the CG.
We only returned to the CG at 4:30 and it felt good to turn on the heat in Waldo and get warm! Ken went through the photos he had taken today and saved only the best ones. He made salads for tonight and tomorrow while I downloaded the photos and worked on the blog. I so appreciate his help in the kitchen so I can keep up with the blogging!
Chuck and Melissa were here from 7:30 to 10:30 and here are the game results - Pinochle and Skip-Bo (M), but Up the River (W). I think Up the River used more ability and less luck, but I am not sure about that!!!!!!
Tomorrow is a day of no scheduled activities. For the 4 of us, that is rather unusual. I am going to work on jewelry and Ken has a list of things to do he hopes to accomplish.