Shenandoah National Park


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Published: November 16th 2008
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A day of disappointment. Rich went to town to a truck repair shop that had been recommended by the RV Park owner. The diesel mechanic was out hunting and will be back tomorrow. In the meantime, the mechanics who were there and the owner (who RACES diesel pickups!) said that it was probably the fuel filter. So he got that changed. When he got back to the camper, the truck sounded so much better! Jodie called to tell Rich she was proud that he was a Veteran, as she does every year, the sweetie. Rich was still unsure that the problem was solved with the truck, so he suggested that we hook up the trailer and give the truck a try on the mountain road again. A man in the campground, a "snowbird", who was on his way to Florida, said that he didn't think there were as many RVs on the road this year as there had been in the past. So,out on the highway, we started looking. We probably saw a camper every ten minutes. We saw LOTS of semis, though. Oh sadness! We didn't make it ten miles, let alone to the mountain road, before the truck started acting up again. So, back we go, unhook, and go up the mountain to see Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. The truck works fine without the trailer. Shenandoah National Park and Great Smokies National Park are different from the National Parks in the West. Out West, the land belonged to the government already. Here, they had to buy out or force out the residents in order to own all the land within the park boundaries. It was established in 1935 to give the Easterners a place "where they could experience the awe and inspiration of magnificent views" (without having to travel all the way out West). All kinds of political maneuvers, intrigue, newspaper coverage, and protests marked the development of the park. It reminded us of when the TVA had to buy out the people who lived in the river valleys that were going to be flooded by the dams. We bought a book that tells about the lives of the people who were displaced here and where you can still find their apple orchards, their chimneys, and their fields. Interesting. Well, the views were definitely wonderful. The trees at the top had lost most of their leaves, but the vistas and the forests were still beautiful. This mountain drive must be lovely in any season. We stopped at the Visitor's Center and heard that people had observed some black bears up the road recently. We drove along, and in just a few minutes, Rich stopped and said, "There they are!", pointing into the woods. A mama bear and two cubs looked like very dark black fuzzy balls out in the woods. The mama was scraping in the leaves and eating acorns. The cubs weren't paying attention, but were playing around. When other cars stopped and the people were talking up on the road, the mama led her cubs away, deeper into the woods. It was fun to watch them! We also saw lots of white-tailed deer, but only does and fawns. It's hunting season, so the bucks are hiding away from the roads. On our way back to town, we stopped at a GMC dealership and looked at trucks. They were having a big sale, so we got excited about the possibilities. It was late and cold, so we decided to look some more tomorrow if the diesel mechanic says the truck is hopeless. Glumly, we went to Applebee's for dinner. Neither of us was hungry, so the food didn't even taste good. We boxed it up. We saw an Army veteran in uniform and his wife and baby having dinner, so we went over to shake his hand and thank him for his service. He seemed glad to be noticed and said that Applebee's was giving tonight's meal free to Veterans. Isn' that a nice idea!
We went to sleep dreaming of trucks that run smoothly every day.

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19th November 2008

Skyline
Oh, good. When I heard you were in the area, I had hoped you'd see the Shenendoah Valley in VA and go on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC. The Skyline in VA is the same idea. Coolness. Are you going to go through Lee Co. in VA by any chance (the southwest corner where KYTNVA meet)?

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