Home Away From Home, Virginia

Woodstock, Luray Caverns and More!

What a fun filled day and it lasted a lot longer than we anticipated. Our first adventure was to locate Woodstock Fire Tower. That proved to be a bit more difficult than we had thought. I downloaded the directions and it told us to turn east on a highway that only went north and south. After riding though the town of Woodstock a bit we finally stopped and asked and were told to turn by the old courthouse which we did. In reading the reviews on Trip Advisor I knew there were two entrances and the writer suggested taking the one with fewer curves and turns. Wouldn’t you know that we took the one going up that was winding, paved, graveled and hairpin curves? Jerry finally saw a sign denoting the tower so we parked and began a short walk towards the tower.

That's a high tower!
That’s a high tower!
When we arrived at the tower there were three people who had just come down and they encouraged us to go on up because the view was incredible. I looked at the metal tower, put my big girl panties on and up I went. In fact going up was easier than coming down! The climb was well worth it indeed though as we could see the seven bends of the Shenandoah Valley. As we were climbing down it began to sprinkle so we hastened on to the car.
This made the climb worth it!
This made the climb worth it!

Instead of going back the way we had come we ventured on only to discover that that was where we should have come in in the first place. It was just a regular road, no “oh my gosh I hope we don’t go over” road!

The Reflecting Pool
The Reflecting Pool

We decided to go on back to the RV for lunch and then go out for dinner as there was a restaurant in Edinburg that we wanted to try that evening. After lunch we headed to Luray to visit the Luray Caverns. Jerry and I have been to a number of caverns. In fact a few months ago Jerry said we had been to enough caves and caverns and to not plan anymore so I was hesitant to mention Luray Caverns but he had mentioned it so off we went. What a treat! The caverns are spectacular, by far the most impressive we have seen. In fact one lady on the tour said they were far better than Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico! I don’t know about that but they were pretty impressive. One of the most stunning things was a large pool of reflecting water. Though the water was only inches deep it appeared to be very deep. The magic of it was that it reflected all of the stalactites making it look like the ground was covered in stalagmites. It was incredibly beautiful and I could have stayed there for quite some time gazing at it.
Magnificent
Magnificent

Another interesting point was the sound of an organ being played. Strikers are attached at various points and then are gently tapped to make the different notes in the song. It took three years to build the organ and only a handful of people can play it. The song being played was “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. Not a sound could be heard as the music sounded through the cavern.

When we left the caverns we went into the historic car museum. It is full of very old beautifully restored cars some dating from the 1800’s. A real treat for car lovers.

Next on our agenda was a ride along the Skyline Parkway however we were running low on gas. Along the highway we were on you could buy fruits, quilts, apple cider and any number of things but alas, no gas. We ended up driving 20 miles to find gas, then 20 miles back to the parkway entrance.

As we arrived at the gate we realized that there was a $20 charge per car and since it was so late we elected not to go but the ranger asked if by any chance we had the America the Beautiful pass and indeed we do so there was no charge.

No caption necessary
No caption necessary
We decided to go on and she directed us to the southern route which had more lookouts. We saw some incredibly beautiful sites, things that no camera we own could do justice to. The sun streaming through the clouds was absolutely gorgeous. At that lookout we could see numerous photographers setting up equipment in order to catch that shot. Unfortunately it was very windy and pretty cold so we didn’t stay very long. We continued on the parkway occasionally stopping at some of the lookouts but finally gave up because it was so windy and cold. At one lookout I saw a couple sitting on the brick wall wrapped in a blanket. That’s dedication!

Can you see his small antlers?
Can you see his small antlers?
As we headed out we saw two deer standing on each side of the road. I was scrambling to get my phone to take the picture and the deer waited patiently but dang it, it too me too long. She finally scampered off. The untagged young buck on the other side of the road crossed in front of us and posed for his picture before following the tagged doe. We saw three more deer as we rode out.

We finally got to the end of the parkway and began the rather long journey back to Edinburg, 55 miles.. Pretty sure our restaurant preference would be closed so perhaps we should instead head to Swover Creek Farms, a brewery, tap room and restaurant – I hope!

Oh well, eating out was not to be. We went back by the campground and then decided to go Swover Creek. Although it was less than 10 miles it was going to take nearly 20 minutes to get there. Wonder where it was. After leaving the two lane road, going over a single lane bridge though the dark country and then down another dark lane we finally arrived and realized that it was mainly a tap room and the store and the restaurant did not appear to be opened. Since neither of us drink beer we turned around, went back to the RV and had somewhat of a meal there.

It was a long but good day and a good way to end our Virginia trip. There is just so much to see here and we know we have just tapped the very edge of all of the beauty. Maybe another trip!

We didn’t leave Friday until 10:30 but had a very uneventful easy trip to Raleigh stopping only once at a rest stop for lunch. We stayed at the NC State Fairgrounds but up on the hill this time. The horse section was very quiet and dark and generally most of the State fans stay up top. Wi-Fi was almost not operable, in fact I could never get enough signal to even get the booster up. Naturally they have no cable but the Dish worked fine and Jerry was able to watch football!

We went to the game on Saturday and watched State lose to Boston College. Afterward we came back to the coach and sat outside. While the guys watched football on the outside TV (the first time we’ve really used it) the girls chatted. We ate our leftovers from tailgating and called it a night.

Sunday morning we got up and began washing linens and I cleaned the inside while Jerry washed the outside. Boy, did it need it. Sadly I guess it’s going back to the warehouse until after Christmas since we have no more trips planned in the near future. 😦

We finally got a fall picture - kind of.
We finally got a fall picture – kind of.
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