Yesterday was a beautiful day for a fall foliage drive up on Skyline Drive. Skyline Drive runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and through the Shenandoah National Park.
My husband and I took off mid morning and decided to access the drive at Swift Run Gap and then we drove south. I was not familiar with this part of the drive because we usually explore the middle section. This southern portion of the drive ends at Rockfish Gap at I 64 where the Blue Ridge Parkway begins.
I really enjoyed the southern segment because it seemed to me that the surrounding mountains were much closer to the drive. When you look west, the first range of mountains that you see is the Massanutten. The Massanutten Mountains bisect the Shenandoah Valley. When the weather is clear, as it was yesterday, you can see all the way into West Virginia to the Allegheny Mountains.
I took a lot of pictures as I always do. I think that the foliage had passed its peak. It was colorful, but on a muted scale. According to the Shenandoah Park website, the color reached its peak a week ago. Of course, as you come down the mountain, the colors get brighter.
One thing that surprised me was the number of hawks that were riding the air currents. I wished I had a good pair of birding binoculars with me. I had a small binoculars but they didn’t give me as much magnification as I would have liked. I was hoping that one of them might have have been an American Bald Eagle, but I couldn’t see any white on them. If you would like to try a good birding binoculars, check out my product review of a Nikon 7294 Monarch ATB binoculars.
We went as far as the Loft Mountain Wayside where we had lunch. It was getting late, so we decided to return home. We’ll check out the second half of the southern portion another time.
I feel really blessed that this beautiful natural area is so close to my home. I’m looking forward to my next trip up there.