Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Sunday Drive up to the Shenandoah's.


One of our favorite things to do is go for a ride along Skyline Drive.  It is about an hour away from home, not long really to be in such beautiful surroundings, and we also pass through small towns and pretty countryside to get there.  We took a simple picnic which you can see Gregg is enjoying.  What a view!  


We had originally looked at a picnic area with tables and barbecue's but it was such a lovely day and very crowded, with lots of noise.  We were glad to see so many people having fun but we didn't feel like sharing our space with about 30 plus people or so, and there were plenty of small children running around, whooping and hollering and and having a great old time.  Yes we love kids but we opted for one of the quieter overlooks instead.  There were no other people there, and we enjoyed our picnic with just the view for company.  It was one of the most pleasantest picnics we had ever had.


This time we did not hike across Big Meadows but went up to the Lodge to see what was going on there.  I always enjoy looking in the gift shop for a few minutes while Gregg checks out the main room at the Lodge.  When I joined him we went out back and walked along the veranda.  It has another gorgeous view.


There have been several bear sightings according to the book on the table.  In fact on our way back, before we had exited the park, we had to suddenly brake behind three other cars.  Fortunately none of us were driving very fast.  It is a very curvy road.  Soon after we stopped we saw a pretty good sized bear ambling across the road.  At first I thought it was a huge dog but only seconds later I realized we were looking at a bear.  He disappeared into the underbrush before we could get our camera.  The mere sight of him was enough for today.  What a beauty!  We realized that we weren't too far from the area where we spotted a bear up in a tree a couple of years back.  You can see him on my side-bar pictures.




This is the only bear we got a photograph of that day.  He was begging for me to take him home with me, but the lady behind the desk said no way.  



One man joked that he had never seen anyone have a photo taken with him like I had.  Apparently even in the short time he had been looking around the lodge, he had seen several photo ops taking place.  That comes as no surprise.


The Owl was sitting on top of a glass case, one of the many gifts you could buy in their shop.


I liked the dried flowers sitting in a large glass bottle on one of the windowsills.  


We did spot deer on the way down.  If you look in the undergrowth you can just make him out.



Closer and he becomes a bit clearer.  I have more photos that I will share on Saturday.


The weather couldn't have been more perfect and we noticed some coolness in the air, with absolutely no humidity.  It was lovely.....


and there were signs that Autumn wasn't too far away.  The leaves are already beginning to turn.



35 comments:

Marie said...

I think sumac is one of the first plants to start to show red in the early fall. I love it! What a wonderful drive! I sure miss those Va. mtns, as exciting as the Rockies are--those mtns are "home." Wonderful wildlife sightings too!

Beatrice Euphemie said...

What gorgeous views! I like your idea of finding the quiet overlook for your picnic. How thrilling to see the bear cross the road! I haven't seen any bear this year around here - might be because of my dogs....they don't even like the smell of bear! Lol! I love the photos - the deer in the woods, the pretty white berries growing, the bottle in the window and sweet photo of you with the stuffed bear. Looks like you had a wonderful day! xo Karen

SeagullSuzie said...

What a beautiful spot for a picnic, fantastic views and great to see a bear, although thankfully not whilst you were picknicking or you may have had to share your food!

Valerie said...

A lesson learned, Denise; never have your camera out of range. It sounds like a perfect day for a picnic ... I liked the 'table' Greg was sitting at/on.

diane b said...

That is where I would have opted for a picnic too not with the crowds. The views are lovely and you and the bear are cute.

Jane and Chris said...

Happy that the bear didn't decide to join you on your picnic!
Jane x

KaHolly said...

One of my favorite spots when I travel by car, along the Skyline Drive. It's been years, though, having long ago traded cross-country driving with flying!

Sandra said...

i am trying not to be to envious.. what a wonderful gorgeous view and tell him to get off that wall. yikes... but the perfect place to eat and enjoy that view... love the glass bottle in the window shot... and the bear is so cute, like that selfie of you and the bear... so much beauty...

TexWisGirl said...

such a pretty area! my kinda stuffed bear. :)

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

Stunning scenery - your trip sounds exciting. It would be thrilling to see a bear in the wild - but preferably behind glass or something. I'm sure Bill Bryson wrote that they like Snickers bars?

Linda Kay said...

Thanks for taking us on a lovely drive. You probably should be glad that the bear in the shop was the only one you encountered. The picnic lunch looks like fun.

gigihawaii said...

Such lovely views of the valley. I would have opted for the quiet picnic, also. The only bears I have ever seen are the polar bears at the Ueno Zoo in Japan.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Denise, the choice of picnic area would have been ours as well - away from the crowds and noise. And, you had a lovely backdrop. Glad you didn't have to share with any bears, including the one at the lodge!

Stephanie said...

Pretty views! Like that stuffed bear.

ellen b said...

Looks like you found the perfect spot for your picnic. What beautiful scenery. I see why you enjoy the drive to see these views.

Janey and Co. said...

I have done that drive a couple of times...but it has been years ago. I can understand you wanting a quieter place for your lunch.....and I would pose with the near too.

Tanya Breese said...

one of my most favorite things to do is pack a picnic and jump on the parkway...we haven't done skyline yet...maybe one day this fall! beautiful photos and i love the bear siting book, and the pic of you with your bear!

Betsy Adams said...

Oh how we love Skyline Drive. You are so lucky to get to live so close... We'd be up there every week I'm sure if we were that close...

We have never been to the Big Meadows lodge --but have stayed at Skyland several times... Love that place.

Perfect place for a picnic. We also do NOT like crowds.

Hugs,
Betsy

Elephant's Child said...

What a glorious place. I would have taken the quiet picnic option as well. Every time.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

David and I drove up to Big Meadows for our weekend honeymoon. We hiked to the bottom of a hill where I got stuck (shortness of breath). He said he thought he would have to get a helicopter to get me out...but after I caught my breath, I made it back up the hill. We don't do mountain hikes anymore.

Gail Dixon said...

The views to enjoy your picnic are so beautiful. I don't care for crowds, so I'd have done the same thing. Glad you didn't have to sign the bear book. If I had seen the real thing, I hope I'd have brought a change of clothes! :)

EG CameraGirl said...

You chose a lovely spot to eat lunch.

There seem to be a lot of bears this year. I have seen two this year, both crossing busy roads.

Brian King said...

Gorgeous views! Such beautiful country!

Adam said...

I remember a similar bear statue on the pawn store show on History channel. Wonder if the same company made that one

William Kendall said...

Magnificent views!

I've always felt privileged to see bears out in the wild. Generally it's the hind side of them as they scamper off.

Debbie said...

oh Denise, you selected the perfect spot for your picnic, what an awesome view!! I love the bear sighting book, that's a wonderful idea!!

Andrew Fulton said...

A wonderful post... many thanks for sharing.

Pauline Woodcock said...

Just the drive and those mountains would have been such a treat for me. The rest just rounds off the day to perfection. Love the picnic shot. I, too, prefer to enjoy such splendour without crowds.

Carol Ann Henstra said...

Oh loved your pictures and your humor. Made me chuckle.

Oh that bear looks pretty big even though it is tame.

And oh that looks good in that picnic cooler.

Bet you had some good sweet treats in there.

Felicia said...

beautiful country. how nice you live so close by.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We took that beautiful drive ... a once in a lifetime event for us ... how fortunate you are to live where it can be a day-trip! We'll never forget that trip (and we didn't even see the bear!). I am trying to remember for sure what time of year it was and will have to look at my travel notes -- but I am pretty sure it was a Fall trip!

ladyfi said...

What fun - and lovely shots too.

pattisjarrett said...

What a view! Perfect place for a quiet picnic. Glad you found one.

Linda Gross said...

I know if we lived within an hour's drive of Skyline Drive, it would be one of my favorite destinations. Great pics as always.

Kay said...

It sounds so wonderful to have a quiet picnic with such spectacular scenery all around you. What a wonderful day!