July – September, 2007 – Shenandoah National Park was the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway for me, but the beginning of a couple of glorious months to give me time to drive Skyline Drive again and again.
Here are some of my favorite scenes to convey the many twists and turns and viewpoints offered from this road.
No matter which direction the turn took, the views were incomparable.
Sometimes you were climbing, sometimes descending – either way, you were surrounded by gorgeousness.
I made sure I pulled off at every viewpoint. I never regretted one of them.
Some days the skies weren’t as clear as others and you couldn’t see as far in the distance, but this was a stellar one.
Marys Rock Tunnel – It’s the only tunnel on Skyline Drive and I saw a sign that said it was its greatest construction challenge.
“Was Marys Rock Tunnel really needed or was it built just for show? The tunnel may have been designed into Skyline Drive partly for show, but it seemed justified to eliminate extensive scars and expensive rock retaining walls.”
Another sign explained that it was always a trouble spot in winter because ice would remain there long after it melted from the rest of the Drive. So, in order to try to keep it open year round, they installed a temperature sensor that automatically directs a hose to spray de-icing chemicals.
From NPS FAQ: Tunnel clearance is 12’8″. It’s located just south of Thornton Gap entrance from Route 211. You can visit the park without traveling through the tunnel by visiting the northern or southern sections of the park.
Shenandoah Sunsets – I was blessed to see two of them during my stay.
This was my favorite – at the end of an amazing day to see the sun set and be reflected in the lake below was a special blessing.
Hiking is one of my favorite things about RVing and one of the main reasons I wanted to start this adventure before I got too old to be able to make them. Shenandoah certainly offers a lot of cool hikes. This is me at vista of Black Rock.
As I was updating these pages in 2018, I decided I’d really like to return here and make more memories – and take better pictures since digital camera technology and my skills have improved somewhat. 🙂
Misc. Info about Skyline Drive:
I never managed to get a decent picture of one, but bear are not unusual to see along the drive. Whenever traffic would slow or stop, you’d know there’s probably an interesting animal around – either a bear or big buck that people want to see and to hell with the traffic.
One day a bear was in the woods right off the road and traffic just halted and people got out of their cars to take pictures. Pretty soon a ranger came by with a slingshot – to provide some “negative stimulus” in an effort to get the bear not to get too comfortable with humans. In this case, that bear was tagged as a prior offender. It was sad to hear that he’d probably have to be put down because they just can’t risk it.
Park’s recorded information line: 540-999-3500, 1, 1. Bad weather may mean closure of Skyline Drive at any time, so call for the most current status.
Skyline Drive Overlooks.com – Showcases the Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. Info on visitor centers, lodging, campgrounds, restrooms, trails, restaurants and more.