Day 229 : Skunks, Chipmunks and Road Kill

3 March 2011

Location : Boone Virginia to Luray Virginia

High Point: 3,650 feet on “Skyline Drive”, awesome, Martha loved it, what a drive!

Low Point: Being escorted to a motel located “right in town” by the owner when actually the motel was way out of town!  The conversation between him and Steve as he tried to justify his description of the location of the motel was priceless. Panic of the day: The boys nearly losing their ball while playing their favorite game of “screen ball”, bless.Quote of the day: Steve said that rather than get out into the freezing cold we could admire the view from our “theatre of the world”, aka Martha’s cab, very poetic Stevie 🙂

Today was a very early start as we were aiming to get to and drive along both a stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline drive and get safely off the mountainous roads before sunset.  So it was to be another long day on the road for the stage 8 crew, as we continued to eat up the miles from Phoenix to New York, via New Orleans, in only 2 weeks to meet our shipping schedule.  However after quite a few hours on the road there was some urgent shipping and other admin to be taken care of so before we headed up into the mountains and completely lost our rather sporadic internet and mobile phone connectivity, for only the 2nd time in my 2 weeks on the road with FTFE, we actually stopped for lunch!  McDonalds… hard to believe I know it but sadly it’s normally the best option we have 🙁

Admin and hasty lunch done we hit the road again.  As we came off the highways and approached the mountains we passed through what has be to my favorite of all the small towns we have seen so far, Steeles Tavern, like something out of a picture book.

The Blue Ridge Parkway traverses the Appalachians from the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for 469 miles and offers ruggedly beautiful Alpine like vistas.  Skyline drive is a 105 mile long road that redefines your idea of a scenic drive!  Set in the Shenandoah National Park, one of the most spectacular National Parks in the country, you are constantly treated to an impressive view.   I think we all agreed that the early start was well worth it,  as we were treated to hour after hour of fantastic driving and fabulous views.  One of the points on our map of skyline drive was “20 minute cliff” we wondered how this name came about…  might it be that it is because it takes 20 minutes to fall down the cliff we wondered.  Steve thought it might be interesting to test our theory and suggested we could use James…  they have been on the road together for a long time now.  Being deep in the countryside today was a big day for animals we saw skunk, chipmunk, deer, horses and lots of cows as we passed through the first farming communities we’ve seen on stage 8 on our way to the mountains.  There was also however rather a lot of road kill today…  a wolf, a skunk, a cat….

The people of the US are what has really made this trip for me, they are always so interested in what we are doing and very keen to help us on our way.   Today as we made our way along the stunning mountain road we were followed by a lady from one of the local volunteer fire and rescue teams.  When we stopped for a driver change she pulled over and gave us one of her fire departments tops.  We’ve formed quite a collection of tops, badges, mugs, caps, t-shirts and patches from the kind fire fighters of the US, unique mementoes of our trip, thank you.

Take care y’all


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