Friday, October 13, 2017

Skyline Drive

The weather yesterday was terrible, with blowing rain that we figured would make the Skyline Drive a miserable experience. Happy and I drove to the visitor's station just inside the north entrance to confirm our conclusion, then spent the day in Front Royal. I did some trip planning/sorting and she got a wet romp in a local dog park, but mostly we just hung out.

The weather was better this morning, but still not great. No rain, but heavily overcast. We thought about waiting another day for better weather, but that would put us into a Saturday which I know from my previous partial drive on the Skyline can be a traffic jam. Sometimes you just need to keep moving, so we loaded up and hit the road.

Climbing up from the north entrance we pretty quickly got into the clouds. It was obvious our scenic views would be few if any, but years of living in the Pacific Northwest have taught me the beauty of a pretty drive on a misty road.

As expected, there were very few other cars on the road. With the mist, it often felt like we had the road to ourselves. I set the speed control at 30mph — 5mph below the park limit — which is a sweet spot for my truck's transmission to cruise in 3rd and comfortably downshift to 2nd when it needs to. (Have I ever mentioned how impressed I am with the drivetrain technology on my 2012 F150?) It's also a more comfortable speed for driving the twisty course and reducing the puke factor.

Throughout the 105 mile route, there are some 75 turnouts, overlooks, waysides, etc. So, there are plenty of opportunities to stop, stretch and enjoy the foliage. We took advantage of several, making our longest stop at Big Meadows, about the halfway point. Happy stuck her nose into everything and made a couple of new doggie friends. I had a so-so bowl of soup and didn't talk to anyone. Go figure.

The sky lightened a bit as the afternoon progressed, giving us at least glimpses of the famous views that were lovely, if not spectacular. Overall, it was a pretty, relaxing and enjoyable ride. I'm glad to have finally driven the whole road.

The Skyline Drive ends where it meets I-64 in Waynesboro, VA. Right across the highway, the road continues as the Blue Ridge Parkway. Happy and I plan to do some camping along its 400+ mile route, so we're going to stay here tomorrow to get supplies and make ready for action... Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Susan said...

I am glad you enjoyed the Skyline Drive last fall Happy. The Waynesboro, Virginia is my favorite because I am from there.

Sure have missed recent posts from you Happy.