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Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive - South Entrance

July 11, 2007

 

Many times during the trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway, I was told to be sure not to miss Skyline Drive that starts close to where the parkway ends. I didn't realize how close it was, because we ended up on Skyline Drive before we realized we were really off the parkway. Mom and I were celebrating going the entire 469 miles of the parkway when we found ourselves at the gate entering Shenandoah. There was noplace to turn around in my 36' motorhome without unhooking the car right there, so the ranger told me there are several turnoffs that I could use to change direction. However, the first few we saw I didn't think were large enough, so we decided to just press on and spend the night at Loft Mountain, the first campground from this entrance about 25 miles up the road. I wasn't particularly happy about this turn of events at first because it's pretty slow going with a speed limit of 35 mph. Mom's plane home was leaving Richmond on the 14th and we had planned to head straight there.

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To further complicate matters, it was starting to rain and I knew that would slow us down even more.
Once we got to this pulloff, though, all complaints had ceased and we just stood there in awe expressing thanks for the clouds that were putting on this kind of show for us.
The clouds were so near the road we could practically touch them and we were thrilled to be able to just watch them drift by.
Even the ones that were farther away that touched the tops of the mountain and clung to the valley made this stop one of the most special we'd experienced so far.
Here's a panoramic shot that still doesn't do justice to the expansive beauty of this day.
When we finally took off down the road again we were laughing at the good luck of this "mistake" of a stop.
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