Monday, September 23, 2013

Blue Ridge Parkway - Day Five

BRRRR!! Except for the last hour of our ride the temperature didn't get above 55 all day! Richard might have had his cold weather gear but I didn't and I was a block of ice all day. (I'm still thawing out!)

Our first and only stop (besides Visitor Centers and any place we could get in out of the cold for awhile) was at a farm exhibit. It had the same buildings as the Beringer Cabin (main cabin, spring house and root cellar) plus a small barn, chicken coop and a peg pig pen (so constructed to keep the bears out). There were furnishings in the cabin and a docent to describe things in it as well as what life was like in the late 19th century. It was very interesting to see how my ancestors and others lived. The people were poor Appalachian mountain folk and they had to provide everything for themselves.

Mountain land was far less expensive than valley land and (mostly) poor Presbyterian Scots-Irish settled the area. My Knox ancestors were of that descent and they settled in VA and then NC before moving west.

We ate lunch in Waynesboro at the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We then continued our ride, entering the 105 mile long Skyline Drive which goes through Shenandoah National Park. The biggest differences between Skyline Drive and the BR Pkwy are there are no farms, churches or cemeteries to dot the landscape and the speed limit is only 35 instead of 45. We had many wonderful views at "lookouts" of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley during the afternoon.

One stop we made was at a camp store which is at the 900 mile mark of the north-bound Appalachian Trail. (Dale hiked through there on June 17 of last year.) We visited with the proprietor who regaled us with stories. He was a marathon runner and one of his stories was that he and other marathon runner friends completed the AT in just 72 days in 1968! He said, had they known there's a race to see how quickly one can finish the trail, they would have done it in far less time.

We finally completed our journey along the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drive and dropped into Front Royal, VA around 5pm. We drove 45 miles east toward Washington, DC and are spending the night in Manassas.

1 comment:

  1. I remember it well! It is beautiful scenery but you have to get up into WV around Harpers Ferry to be inundated with history.