Sunday, May 27, 2007

Shenandoah Valley Trip Day 4

For the 4th day [May 22], we headed up to Skyline Drive from Luray, destination Big Meadows. We have wanted to camp there for a few years, but our timing was poor. This time, mid-week prior to the Memorial Day Holiday, all campgrounds had spaces except Mathews Arm, which did not open until Friday the 25.

Deer seen from Skyline Drive:
At one of our favorite overlooks just south of Thornton Gap [Rt 211 crossing], we encountered some stark trees:
We settled in at a campsite just 5 steps from the Appalachian Trail, with this view:
As I walked a nearby section of the A-Trail going south, I observed a number of blooming rhodendron, ferns, and other wildflowers. This time was just a week and a half after the Wildflower Festival on Skyline Drive:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shenandoah Valley Trip Day 2

Driving from Woodstock

Sunday, May 20th. After leaving Creekside Campground in Edinburg, we headed up Rt #11 to Woodstock to pick up Rt #42. Rt#42 begins in Woodstock and continues in a westerly then southerly direction. This highway is a "Virginia Byway" that we had discovered about a year and a half ago--as a great roadway for viewing barns and churches.

We drove Rt #42 until we came to the crossroads for Rt #263 west to Orkney Springs, a location cited by Virginia Wind as a great motorcycle ride. At the end of Rt #263 in Orkney Springs is a grand house, with three levels and porches on the front.

There is an RV/tent campground in Orkney Springs [home of the Shenandoah Music Festival]--it is very primitive, built on a terrace, with little level space--but less than a quarter mile from Orkney Springs proper. Thus, it is an inexpensive place to stay--otherwise, the ski resort at Basye is the nearest place to stay outside of Orkney Springs.

After visiting Orkney Springs, we returned down Rt. #263 back to Rt. #42, and continued towards Timberville.

When we reached Timberville, we turned onto Rt #211, destination New Market. New Market is the home of the Southern Kitchen, a restaurant operating for over 50 years--it is well worth the stop! We paused here for some peanut soup and blackberry pie! There are many specials and just good country cooking here--we recommend it highly!

After a nice visit here, we headed down Rt#11, planning to visit the Endless Caverns and RV Resort. This will be the topic of the next posting.

New Market Gap (R)

Church on Rt #42

On Orkney Grade Road

Garden center

Rt. 263 Diner, Pub, & Tanning Salon

Town of New Market

Note: Pictures in this session were taken on the fly--my wife was driving the RV [no places to pull over and stop to take pictures], and I was using my Canon Rebel XTi, with shutter priority ranging from 1/640 to 1/1000 sec at ISO 400--and an image stabilized 17 - 85mm lens.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Shenandoah Valley Trip

Saturday, May 19: Start vacation and drive out to the Shenandoah Valley south of Strasburg, Va. After driving through the town of Woodstock [Rt #11 parallels the North Fork of the Shenandoah], choose to spend the night in Edinburg.

The Creekside Campground is a smaller [under 40] campground with electricity and water at all sites, and sewer and cable TV at others. The owners are very friendly and conscientious in their efforts--wonderful landscaping and impeccably clean bathrooms and showers. Pets on leash are welcome.
Our campsite was less than 12 feet from Stoney Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. We could see the creek and hear the sound from the riffles nearby--very tranquil.

As a bonus, we were able to see a setting moon with Venus immediately adjacent to it--quite a sight! From the campground you can walk across a one-lane bridge [Stoney Creek] and into the historic district on Edinburg!