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10/13/2013: Day 11: Starting the Blue Ridge Parkway
Again I put it in the captions. In brief, National Parks closed, Blue Ridge Parkway somewhat open. We went as far as Lexington, VA, where Stonewall Jackson was buried and Sam Houston was born.
After leaving the Super 8 in Front Royal, VA, I felt like stopping in at the closed north end of Skyline Drive, as the Blue Ridge Parkway is called inside Shenandoah National Park. It was quite clearly closed on this rainy morning while Congress is keeping the government closed by holding the budget hostage.
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As we ride down US-340 we can see that the Blue Ridge is pretty well socked in to our left.
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As residents of Shenandoah Avenue, visiting the namesake town amuses us.
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Also amusing (or frustrating) is the quite clearly green canopy this late in the season of colorful foliage.
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We needed some fruit, so Karen wanted to stop in a local grocery chain, Food Lion.
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We stopped for Waynesboro for a non-squeaky wiper blade, and to find some decent coffee. The Coffee Shop Finder app was little help, listing only what turned out to be a closed parking lot kiosk and a more distant Starbucks. But the mountain-man auto shop checker knew of this place. Stone Soup Books (stonesoupbooks.net).
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At Stone Soup Books (stonesoupbooks.net) they have live dulcimer music (more about that in the next pic) and really good food. This is the Pumpkin Pie Bar that we had for dessert, and the extra whipped cream that Karen asked for.
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Keeping with her penchant for posing with the talent, here Karen is with the Stone Soup dulcimerian, Dinah Ansley. (Dinah Ansley's Page (http://mountaindulcimer.ning.com/profile/DinahAnsley)).
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From Waynesboro we headed up the ridge and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. The road is open, but the views are not.One thing I noticed as I posted this: The filename is the date and time in descending order (in CDT because I find a single time zone per trip less confusing for sorting)2013 10/13 13:13
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Also, all the Federally provided rest areas and interpretive centers are closed. It makes for um, interesting reading.
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As we weave the winding roads we hope turns will disclose before we veer awry
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And there are plenty of death defying mountain bicyclists out on this rainy Sunday.
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We found a scenic pullout with more than single digit yards of visibility, at 20 minute cliff.
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But even at 20 Minute Cliff, the fog is present. I thought that the foreground dripping pine gives it a bit more interest as the valley recedes to oblivion.
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One thing that I haven't yet mentioned is the ubiquitous stink bugs in Virginia. They are everywhere.
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As we pass another scenic overlook, I note others taking pictures of the nothingness to be seen up here.
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My father was a big fan of railroads. A spark of this spirit lives on in me.
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By 4:00 pm the fog is somewhat abated, as we stop at more overlooks in hopes of seeing something. This was a good one, as you shall see.
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I turned around from that last picture of Karen, and snapped this shot of the rock behind me just as enough sun appeared to cast a shadow. There is some color, after all!
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And a man walking his dog down the highway casts a long shadow.
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Just before the sun vanishes for the last time, I take a long lens picture of the valley before us.
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So we leave the Blue Ridge Expressway at US-60, checked the Buena Vista visitor's center, checked and rejected on local motel, and drove up I-81 and checked into the Howard Johnson just north of Lexington near I-64.This shot is off of our balcony.Here is the video (http://youtu.be/EyK2qiTL5F8) from that camera.
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As I unloaded the car this evening, I found that I had a blow-out in my suitcase. The rubber tire of one of the wheels decomposed. I'll make do with the hard plastic wheel for the rest of this trip.Lower wheel stripped, upper wheel shod, most of the fragments of the tire in between.
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Next: Day 12: More on the Blue Ridge

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