Friday, November 4: We’re on our way this morning to Fayetteville, West Virginia to get away for a three-day weekend before the U.S. election on Tuesday. It’s a trip to celebrate my birthday (Oct. 25), belatedly, and our 28th anniversary (Nov. 13), early. We decide on our way down south, we’ll drive a portion of Skyline Drive from Front Royal to Thornton Gap.
Skyline Drive is the scenic roadway that winds 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia just west of Washington, D.C. There are only four entrances to the park; we take the northernmost one, getting off at the next one south. We have a long way to go to get to our destination in West Virginia, but we want to see some of the fall colors. Thus we take the slower route for about 28 miles.
We’re so glad we do because it’s a gorgeous day and we’re rewarded with some marvelous vistas.
Forty percent of the park (almost 80,000 acres) is designated as a wilderness area; it represents one of the largest wilderness areas in the eastern United States and has about 500 miles of hiking trails, according to Shenandoah National Park – Skyline Drive: What to See.
It’s surprising to see so much color on the trees in early November; usually the trees are further past their prime at this time of year.
We enjoy our drive immensely, stopping at the numerous pull-outs for sweeping views.
Finally, we exit the beautiful park and head south on Interstate 81, in route to cross the state line into West Virginia.