Day 21: Virginia

Tuesday,  September 24, 2013

Our friend, the walking encyclopedia, gives us a history lesson on the way through Shenandoah National Park.  We will be missing all the apple festivals in Virginia.  The area’s festival promotes vintage apples, like the species that Thomas Jefferson developed.  The October festival sells varieties of heirloom apples to encourage local growers to preserve them by continuing to grow them.  The first apple originated in what is now Afghanistan.  If I remember correctly, it was later noted that one, the Golden Pippin, was the only apple the French Emperor would eat. A light comes on and our friend pulls out the owner’s manual, tells us we have low tire pressure.  The young woman at Boyce Service Center checks the tires and says they’re fine – it’s possible the spare is getting low.  Tires these days have wireless pressure sensors built into the tire that can send out a signal to the car’s system if there’s a problem.  I will say, if you are ever going through Boyce, Viriginia and need a pit stop, Boyce Service Center has a clean restroom.  As the only female there, the young woman says she cleans it every day! Here are some sights as we drive through the park.  The perfect opportunity to see  Two friendsteeming wildlife on a glorious SeptemIMG_9232ber day. Gimlet Ridge Overlook Pass Mountain OverlookHogback OverlookThen, we have lunch in Luray before touring the caverns.  Uncle Buck’s restaurant had decent food, but we had to wait quite a while before it came out.  Found out that the owner came in and wanted lunch, first.  Hmm.. Luray watersWe tour the caverns and hear the usual story of discovery.  The guide then reveals the mystery of finding bones of a young girl, fossilized into the stone.  How could anyone have entered the cavern?  The opening was too small.  And there were only a few bones.  Where are the rest of them?  You’ll have to take the tour to get our guide’s take on what might have happened. Luray caverns vet memorialWe’ve been to Natural Bridge Caverns in Texas, but there is no fallen stalagtite as huge as the one here!  During the tour, we come upon a tribute to locals who went off to war and perished.  I also found it interesting that there is an organ on the cavern floor.  How enterprising.  They book parties down here.  Luray 3-wheeler

Our tickets also get us into the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum next door.  There are some good displays of Rolls Royces, milk trucks, etc.Luray speedster

Owning one of the few automobiles of the time, feeling the open air whizzing by as one tooled down the open road must have been exhilarating!

We start for home.  Pit stop when we fill up at the Mobil station at 63 West 14th St. in Front Royal.  Horror of horrors!!!  There’s no inside restroom, just a port-a-can on the side of the building. Yuck!!! Yuck!!! Yuck!!! Well, that aside, it’s been a long but enjoyable day.

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