Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Skyline Drive in Autumn

My friend's mother, Joyce, has been coming to America for years but had never seen the fall colors on the Skyline Drive, so undaunted by threatening weather, we headed down on Saturday morning. Showers fell on us as we drove, but we remained optimistic as we speculated that there would be less cars due to the poor weather but also, the colors of the leaves would be more vibrant. There were no queues as we entered the park and we were in wonder as we realized that we seemed to have our own crazy weather system up here.

As we entered we drove into what we thought was fog, until a little logic taught us that we were in clouds. It was a strange experience but beautiful. We slowly moved forward until we burst out into bright sunshine and azure skies with the clouds tumbling past us in the breeze.

The Blue Ridge Mountains never looked so wonderful and we were both in awe that we were fortunate to witness this. One minute, we had bright sunshine, another, it was raining, and at other times, we were blanketed by clouds. As we drove down the road stopping at every vista, we were never sure what weather would greet us around the next corner.

I took this photo of an Amish family visiting and hoped they wouldn't be too mad at me as I know they are reluctant photo subjects.
We stopped for lunch at Skyland and ran to the restaurant to escape the rain and the now strong winds, but strangely enough, it wasn't cold. I was actually too warm in my long sleeved hoodie.

We ordered lunch with a hot ginger brandy cider each which was delicious. Joyce afterwards grabbed some souveniers from the shop and then we headed back to the car.

We turned around about 4pm and travelled back the way we came marveling how different the scenery was from a different perspective. We saw deer as we approached the park exit as it was now approaching dusk and the wildlife were starting to venture out for food.

We had been very lucky with the weather all afternoon but now the skies were starting to darken and look stormy so after a brief gas stop in Sperryville, we headed for home.

We made one stop in Warrenton as I'd spotted this cool retro ice cream bar and wanted some photos. Again luck was on our side as it had a sign up declaring '2 days left', meaning that Sunday would be its last open day until next summer.
We had hardly any traffic on the way home, and by 8:30pm, I was snuggled up at home with the Kota Kat and a glass of red, for precisely half an hour as I had to edit these photos!

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