return to Skyline Dr

Today I rode 32 miles of Skyline Dr. I rode from our Louray, VA campground and started the Skyline at the 211 intersection, then rode to the northern end at Front Royal and met dad and Diane just as they were checking into our second Virginia campground here.

I’d done a section of the Skyline south of this on my trip over to Washington DC (see the very, very, very…. big… day and this side if the mountains), but I went into it already exhausted and had a hard time appreciating it then. It’s a fantastic road to ride. There’s no commercial traffic. The speed limit is 35 mph. The surface is very well maintained. The views are astounding.

But there’s a lot of climbing involved, so being fit and well-rested should be a prerequisite. That said, I found myself easing off and trying to slow down to better appreciate my surroundings. It can be a bit surreal, so quickly covering that much ground in the clouds. It got to feeling like an amusement park ride, which was reminiscent of my experience of Acadia’s loop road a well. This feeling, coupled with my recent hiking excursions, is a large part of what’s got me thinking about the Appalachian Trail lately. I can’t imagine riding the Skyline in a car, though that’s what it was built for and is still by far the most common means. What can I say? I dig going slow.

But I will admit: I woohooed and hooted heartily as I sped and glided along those last five miles of descent off of the mountain range and into Front Royal.

*

No wifi at this campground and my signal’s not very strong, so only two pictures tonight. Two views from the Jeremy’s Run Overlook on Skyline. First is the mountain I climbed yesterday; second is the valley I hiked along the stream and out of the park in.

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