Shenandoah at Sunrise – Skyline Drive

I never knew why people say, “Virginia is for Lovers.” That was until we drove down Skyline Drive and saw the beauty of Shenandoah National Park. My favorite experience from our recent trip to Virginia was waking up before dawn, packing up after staying in a tiny motel outside of Elkton, and driving to the 2nd from the South entrance of Skyline Drive. We were traveling North and wanted to experience the scenic byway we’ve heard so much about. We made it to the first lookout just in time as the sun was trying to peak up from behind the Blue Ridge Mountains. As we stood next to a tree admiring the sunrise, deer grazed just a few feet away from us. We breathed in the crisp, cool air and watched our breathe disapear. It was so peaceful and quiet – all we heared were some leaves and twigs crunching from the deer in front of us. This was something we had never done before, watch the sunrise together, which came as a surprise to me. I guess there is a first time for everything.

My Mustang made it!

Skyline Drive is a beautiful scenic road that runs 105 miles along the Blue Ridge Mountains. It runs linear through Virginia, North in Front Royal to South in Waynesboro. There are multiple entrances along the way. For example, we entered the park at their Elkton entrance. The park has about 75 overlooks (I think we tried doing almost every one of them) – each with their own unique view of the beautiful Blue Ridge landscape.

We took this drive the first week of December, so obviously we missed all the fall colors. Even though the trees were bare and the grass was dead, the views were far from disapointing. Due to it being the “off-season”, we only passed a few cars and saw a couple people pulled over to take hikes. Also, since we arrived in the park before dawn we didn’t have to pay the entrance fee of $20. So, I suppose going during this time of year wasn’t so bad after all.

“The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it.” – Gene Amole

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Blink & You’ll Miss It – King Kong, Natural Bridge, VA

Photo credit: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/0e/49/f3/0e49f3347e25b802cdc90863df95c990–natural-bridge-king-kong.jpg

King Kong Statue in Natural Bridge, VA

Have you ever been so bored driving down an interstate that you randomly want to drive onto a back road and explore? Maybe you know what you are looking for and maybe you are just wanting to take a scenic detour. Well, on this one, 10 hour drive to Knoxville – sitting in the car that long felt like torture and we decided it’d be a good idea to stop and stretch our legs for a minute. For some reason, we decided to try and find King Kong. No, not the real thing – his statue that I had seen on RoadTrippers.com. If you haven’t downloaded the RoadTrippers.com app, you must! It’s perfect for long road trips so you can see what is around your area (no matter where you are in the US) and find something worth seeing. They even have restaurant and hotel suggestions all at a touch of a button. Type in your destination, turn on your location, and the app will generate a tons of attractions along your route so you don’t have to venture far.

We were approaching Natural Bridge, VA on I-80 and decided to veer off onto exit 180. The statue was supposed to be at the Pink Cadillac diner, but some odd years ago ( in 2012) it was moved and is now residing behind a fence at Enchanted Studios with the man who created it. The purpose of this statue wasn’t for tourists, but as an act of protest. The statue was to promote the local zoning protest that was going on at the time.

Humpty Dumpty used to apparently stand with King Kong at the diner. They were removed at the same time, but Humpty Dumpty is no longer able to be found. It’s a sad story, really. King Kong towered over buildings to protect his town and now is hidden behind a fence crumbling away.

Have fun on your scavenger hunt date!

xoxo Crystal & Shane

 

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