Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My World Tuesday = October Country Drive

My World Tuesday = October Country Drive
To Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive

Every October Jack and I head to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. We leave in the early morning and take Interstate 66 to a road that leads to the park entrance. We then wind our way along the top of the mountain road to Skylands Lodge and Restaurant where we treat ourselves to a big country breakfast.

Now look at the photo above. Here is a couple who have come to the park from somewhere to stay for several days to go hiking. Now look at their clothes. They are wearing their pajamas into the restaurant lobby to get coffee and doughnuts to take back to their lodge room. I didn't know until today that you were allowed to come into the restaurant in your jammies. I think the last time I did that was back in the '60s in the dining hall inside my college dorm! And to think years ago we used to have our two daughters sleep in their jeans and sweatshirts the night before we went to the park so that in the morning we could get a very early start on the road with the girls asleep in the back seat. Gee, we could have kept them in their jammies to head to breakfast at Skylands Lodge.

Now look again at that photo. The husband informed us that they were really ready for coffee since they had taken a tiring hike on Sunday. But then he exclaimed that at least we walked back to the lodge on Sunday; Saturday we came back on a stretcher when my wife broke her ankle. Jack and I couldn't believe that they had gone hiking with the wife sporting a cast on her ankle.

Now look at this. This is the real reason for the October country drive: buttermilk pancakes and apple smoked bacon. Hmmmmmmm was that ever tasty Monday morning!

Oh, here's something else I learned on this visit to the park. Apparently Shenandoah National Park now resorts to using an employment agency to hire people from all over the world to work as maids, bus boys, waiters and kitchen help. I guess this employment arrangement is somewhat similar to all the Asians you see working on the large cruise ships like Holland American, Norwegian and Princess. The park provides dorms for these workers, gives them culinary and hotel training as well as a salary. I wonder if all the U.S. national parks now do this? Seems strange that the U.S. government is now doing this when our own unemployment rate is around 10% and we have many homeless people living in tents or on the street since their homes have been foreclosed. I wonder if that new Ken Burns documentary on the national parks will touch on this recent employment development?

This is one of the many scenic straw and pumpkin displays we saw along the roads leading to and from Shenandoah National Park.

The leaves are just beginning to turn on the trees. In the foreground you can see a stone wall erected along the edge of the road. There are lots of these stone walls in the park. They all look very old but most were not erected in the park until the 1980's.

At Skylands Lodge the view in the distance is of Luray,VA and at Big Meadows the view in the distance is of Stanley, VA.
To and from the park it is easy to incorporate a stop at a local Virginia winery. The grapes in this photo are at Barborsville Vineyards near Charlottesville, VA. This is probably the highest rated winery in the state of Virginia. Quite frequently the wines from here are served at White House State dinners. I think those white wind turbines in the distance are used to keep the grapes from freezing if there is an out of season cold spell.

These cute fall table displays were at the deli in Gordonsville, VA. Yes, yes, Jack and I had to stop and eat again after that big country breakfast. How come pancakes don't fill you up for very long?

I like the arrangement of the pumpkin with the green magnolia tree leaves and red seed pods.
Well,that's My World for this week. Please go visit other My World Tuesday memes by clicking here:


Luiz Ramos said...

Great report. Beautiful shots.
Retired day off!!
I know that...!!!
Thanks for share.
Luiz Ramos
PS. I hope a great 2016 Games in Rio. You are welcome.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joann: What a wonderful place to share from your world. I haven't been there for a long time, I should get back. That was a neat pictorial of your trip.

Sylvia K said...

What a delightful trip, Joann! Your photos are terrific and what beautiful colors! Your breakfast has my stomach growling!

Thanks for sharing the trip!


Patty said...

Looks like you had a very enjoyable mini trip.

Barb said...

The park is wonderful in Oct - the breakfast looked pretty good, too. I really liked the picture of the straw and pumpkins beside the wagon.

Erin said...

Hey there JoAnn
We've not been on that end of the parkway...but, it is something we definitely will do in the future. Promising we won't wear our jammies...lol.
Those pancakes look might good. One of my favorite breakfasts!
Lovely post.

Gaelyn said...

I haven't been to Shenandoah park, looks beautiful.

Usually food and accomodations in national parks are contracted by the Park Service to private concessionaires. Who frequently hire from overseas. They can pay minimum wage and still charge rent. Many employees don't even speak English.

Martha Z said...

A great place for an autumn drive. We were there once in spring and fog obscured the views.

Lew said...

Your world is a beautiful part of the USA! On our trips to SC we usually go I-81/I-77 mainly because the scenery is magnificent. There are quite a few Octoberfests around. The one in Frederick is both Sat and Sun so you have 2 chances to get here next year.

eileeninmd said...

Great post and I loved the photos. The pancakes look delicious.
I love Shenandoah and I am hoping to go their this weekend. I am not sure if the timing is right for the fall foilage though. The last time we were there we saw a mother black bear with two cubs. They were so cute.

Kcalpesh said...

The view is stunning and the pictures look absolutely beautiful! Great shots!

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