Late Summer Journey, Day 2, August 31st

This morning it was a cool 56 degrees and a low cloud hung over the valley.

We wanted to get an early start, so instead of eating breakfast at the Skyland lodge, we continued down to Big Meadow lodge. On the way there is “Sows’ rock where native americans chased wild hogs over a cliff to kill them so they could be butchered for meat. When we were younger, a group of us used to get “a little happy” and go to “Sows” rock (we called it pig rock), around midnight and in pitch black yell “WEE PIG SOOIE”. Here are some photos we took in daylight. It’s a miracle that we weren’t killed by falling off the rocks!

Leaving Sow’s rock, we drove over the the Big Meadows lodge for breakfast.

where I had buckwheat pancakes, eggs, & sausage and Babs had a big omelet. In front of the lodge was this strangely shaped tree.

Big Meadows is just that, a big meadow.

We continued south on Skyline Drive pulling off at every overlook where Babs wanted to take a picture. It really has turned out to be a clear, sunny day.

After 35 or so miles, we left Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Parkway and entered the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is the first overlook of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The next stop on Babs list was the Humpback Visitors Center where the buildings representing the William J. Carter farm were relocated. Nine people lived in this two room house. It was here Babs saw her 2 foot long “racer” snake. Can you tell what all of the buildings are?

Next stop was an old logging train railroad track and wooden trestle bridge. The short trip up to the tracks was a challenge for my poor balance!

Our fast pace and good luck ran out courtesy of the park service road crew contractor. We sat for around 20 minutes waiting for a pilot truck to lead us along a three and a half mile stretch of one lane gravel road. Unfortunately it would happen just about when we were looking for an overlook with a picnic table. A mile after the pilot truck let us past, we found this picnic table. It’s now 1:45pm.

After a sandwich each and a lot of bugs we were back on our way to Roanoke, VA where we are spending the night at the Hotel Roanoke. The last point of interest on the route is the “Peaks of Otter” lake and the mountains named the Peaks of Otter.

On the way to Roanoke we crossed the Appalachian Trail.

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At the last overlook that we stopped at was this plack about hawks, the birds that we most frequently saw while driving the parkway.

As I previously said, we are at the Hotel Roanoke tonight. It was once owned by the Norfolk Western Railroad and was one of the “grand”hotels. Today it is run by Hilton. Still a nice hotel but does not have the same feel, but does have a 55 inch TV!

We had dinner in their Regency Room restaurant. The ambiance nice, the food was “so-so”,  and the server was friendly but not overly attentive.

Tomorrow we will continue down the Blue ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

Babs Says: Road trips have taught me to take advantage of rest rooms, whether needed or not, as it will probably be a long way to the next one. I learned today to take advantage of picnic tables – hungry or not. It was a long way to wait for lunch. Also – Beware of snakes signs should be posted.

 

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