Day 2: October 31, 2016
Start: Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah
via Skyline Drive, Shenandoah
Destination: Fancy Gap, Blue Ridge Mountains (Virginia)
Total miles for the day: 261 miles
Total miles from day 1 start: 623 miles
Cheapest gas per gallon: $1.94
We started the day at 6am to catch the sunrise. I never seem to learn that if the sunrises at 7:40, you have to start probably at least 40 min before. I’m always rushing to sunsets or sunrises. It all started in Waikiki when we had to run up that volcano. The views were spectacular. So much better in the fall! It doesn’t even look like I took this. Sunrise is always worth it. We drove all the way through to the southern end of Shenandoah which turned into the Blue Ridge Parkway. Saw some turkeys and a lot of deer along the road. People were seeing bears but we didn’t!
I wasn’t too impressed with Shenandoah in the summer. It was beautiful but it didn’t compare to Acadia or any national park in California. Shenandoah is really known for its fall foliage though, so I gave it a second chance. It didn’t disappoint! We got to stay in the park this time at the Big Meadow Lodge. Sunrise was at 8am instead of 5am. And fall foliage is just spedtacular. It was perfect.
Shenandoah ends and turns into the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s more or less the same in terms of the view. We checked out the Natural Bridge of Virginia too. This creek (Cedar Creek) bacially carved this natural arch out of the limestone terrain. It is 215 ft (65.532 m) high and 90 ft (27.432 m) wide. It’s huge! Thomas Jefferson bought the land, survey it, and made it famous. During the Revolutionary War, they used to make the musket bullets here by pouring molten lead through a sieve, dropping it from the top of the arch, and the water would make it a perfect sphere.