On a clear day, you can see forever. Well maybe not forever, but you can see a long way. That is why I love the mountains. “The view just takes your breath away.” That is what my blogger friend Robyn over at Robyn’s Patch said in a comment she left on my Day Tripping In The Mountains post the other day.
As we drove the 30 miles of the Northern segment of Sky Line Drive, we encountered 17 overlooks that gave us a chance to pull over and take in the scenery. Here are a few of my favorite views.
And as a special treat, I include these photos of the Meams Bottom Covered Bridge. Located on VA-720, a couple of miles West of US-11, near New Market, VA, this bridge is one of 8 covered bridges in Virginia and the only one on public land.
Constructed in 1894, it spans 204 feet as it crosses the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. It was damaged by vandals in 1976 and reopened in 1979 after it was strengthened by adding concrete pilings and steel beams so it could safely carry heavier vehicles.
The bridge was constructed using the Burr Truss design, which was patented by Theodore Burr, the brother of US Vice President Aaron Burr in 1817. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. This is the second historic covered bridge we’ve visited. The first was the Union Covered Bridge we visited in 2013 while we were in Paris, Missouri. It is so cool to see historic places like this.
Tomorrow I will tell you about some of the projects I’ve been working on here at Harrisonburg/Shenandoah KOA RV Park.
Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.
On Thursday (4/23), we decided to take a day trip up to the mountains. The campground where we are parked is located at the base of the western side of the Massanutten Mountain. (Bottom left of the following image). The light blue squiggly lines on the left and right sides of Massanutten is the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River which flows North into the Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia about 90 miles (145km) from our home base location. (That will be a day trip for another day.)
Day Trip Route
We had cool temperatures for the day so we packed up the fur babies and headed for the hills. First stop was breakfast at Southern Kitchen in New Market. According to Urban Spoon, TripAdvisor, and Roadfood this is a definite stop for foodies.
New Market, VA
Second generation family now operates the restaurant and has kept the nostalgic look and feel. Breakfast was tasty. Fried Chicken is to die for and Peanut Soup is their specialty. Cindy is our favorite waitress – yes, we’ve been here a few times already.
OK, back to the road trip. We stopped at the post office in New Market to drop off some snail mail then headed north for 48 miles (6.4 km) to Front Royal, the northern entrance to Sky Line Drive. Front Royal has 13 sites listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. This is another city we need to visit on a future trip; most likely on our way to Harper’s Ferry.
Sky Line Drive is designated a National Scenic Byway. The route runs 105-mile (169-km) through Shenandoah National Park (311.1 sq mi; 806 km2) along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains of in Virginia.
Our America The Beautiful Senior Pass (which cost us $10 three years ago and is good for life) gives us free access to this and any national park in the US. Four miles up into the park is the Dickey Ridge Visitor’s Center. We stopped here for a pit stop and to get some general information about the park and the drive. We learned the drive is broken into three segments. The Northern segment runs about 30 miles south to the Thornton Gap Entrance Station near Luray, VA on US 211. This is where we got off on this trip. Then the Central segment runs about 35 miles (56km) from Thornton Gap to Swift Run Gap near US-33 at Elkton, VA. This will be our next trek on Sky Line Drive. The Southern segments continues about 40 miles (64km) to Rockfish Gap which is near Waynesboro at I-64. Click here to see a detailed map of the entire 105 mile (169km) Sky Line Drive. The route continues under the name of Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway continues on for 469 miles (755 km) through Virginia and ends near Cherokee, North Carolina.
View looking west from Dickey Ridge Visitor’s Center
Elevation 1940 feet
There are over 75 overlooks along the route that provide a safe place for visitors to pull over to take in the beauty of the valley. You will have to come back tomorrow to see some of the photos I took along the route.
Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.