No trip would be complete in this part of Virginia without a drive to the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. The Skyline Drive runs its length of 105 miles along the Blue Ridge Mountains and criss-crosses parts of the Appalachian Trail. Mostly forested, the park features wetlands, waterfalls and rocky peaks. Shenandoah is home to various species of birds and mammals including the black bear.
While we didn't see any black bear on our several trips up into the National Park we did see a mama bear and her cub on our very first visit to this park several years ago. We did see lots of different birds and deer were plentiful. But the big draw is the panoramic vistas which greet visitors at each turn off of the Skyline Drive.
I have blogged about this park several times before so I won’t elaborate. However, I have to say this is a great place to pull over and don the hiking shoes to explore the many trails. Most exciting for me is the opportunity to hike on bits and pieces of the Appalachian Trail. I was once an avid backpacker and often pondered doing this entire trail. Because our former home was closer to the Rocky Mountains, they always were the strongest lure to this backpacker.
As I mentioned in our footnote of our last blog we have extended our stay here in Tom's Brook. We always find it hard to leave this area and since we needed to order some parts to service our Onan 6000 generator, it made it an easy decision to stay. A part I bought while we were in Red Bay Alabama was the wrong part so I also needed to return it and order the correct part.
Our generator will be getting a new fuel filter, air filter, oil filter and an oil change. If I have time I will also perform a coolant flush and put in new anti freeze. As many RV’ers know doing your own service can save lots of money but finding places on the road which allow you to service your RV are few and far between. So extending our stay here will allow me to perform some needed tasks.
Sharon and I are also enjoying the large gourmet kitchen at the farm. There has been a lot of baking and cooking of all our favorite foods. It has been a wonderful, productive time nesting here for awhile. Even though the owners want us to stay until Labor Day, we are feeling the pull of the open road.
I also need to buckle down and plan a summer route. Part of the route will undoubtedly be another quick trip to North Carolina as there is the need for celebration! This past weekend our daughter became engaged! I know her mother wants to give them both a big hug and hear all about it in person. This will rule out much of the Northern route I originally planned but I trust I'll find a loop that will be enjoyable to close out our summer.
In the meantime there is much to enjoy here and so we will. Who knows when we will leave here and where we will go, but it really doesn’t matter as we are still having fun on The Road of Retirement…
NOTE: We have extended our stay here in the Shenandoah Valley soon we will make our way north from here.