Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh Shenandoah ... History Rich with Folklure

Shenandoah, a wilderness oasis in the busy east .

Gazing across the horizon from the peaks of Shenandoah
National Park it’s hard to believe you are just 75 miles
from the bustle of our nation’s capital. Take Skyline Drive
along the crest of the mountains through the woods
and past spectacular vistas. Hike in the shade of oak trees
along the Appalachian Trail, discover the stories from
Shenandoah’s past, or just relax in the wonder of wilderness.

Skyland Resort
Originally named Stony Man Camp, is located at the
highest point of elevation along Skyline Drive (3,680)
in Page Co, VA in the Blue Ridge Mountains providing
179 units.

ranging from the cutest little cabins

to more traditional rooms

George Freeman Pollock was the first private owner of
Skyland Resort from 1888- 1924. A young Washington DC
man whose father owned the land surrounding the resort.
George's father was a principal stockholder in the Miners
Lode Copper Co... but when the mine was not commercially
successful, George convinced his father that the land had
value for resort development.

Massanutten Lodge

To his guests at Skyland—‘Polly,’ they called him—
George Freeman Pollock was the eternal party boy,
blowing his bugle at sunrise while dressed in a ten-gallon hat
hunting trousers, boots and decorated fringed vest.

They have restored Massanutten Lodge and it is
well worth the tour if you find yourself in Shenandoah

He enjoyed breath taking views of the valley and cool mountain
breezes from his mountain cabin

He may not have been a businessman but he was a promoter...
He sold lots and developed cabins, established dining and
recreation halls. Most of all he planned and engineered
elaborate balls, costume parties, teas, pageants and bonfires.
The Skyland Resort became the core
of the new Shenandoah National Park after the
National Park Service awarded the new concession
contract to VA Sky-Line Co. Inc. in 1937

The Big Meadows Lodge is listed on the National Register
of Historic Places featuring 25 rooms and 72 additional
cabins suites.

The main lodge was built from stones cut from the
Massanutten Mtns. and the interior structure of the lodge
is made from native chestnut trees which are
now virtually extinct.

In the past a few activities included Tea with the First Ladies:
Lou Hoover and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Me? Not so grand....I just had my picture taken with
the bear who greets each person coming through the door

Each lodge has nightly entertainment..
keeping with George's tradition.....
Local talent ranging from solo singers
with acoustic guitars to blue grass bands and
Shenandoah cloggers

If that doesn't appeal....get out and hike. We went
to the Limberlost trail and found many surprises along
the way.

In June the trail is lined with pink and white mountain

Benches are provided for a rest along the way

A scenic bridge spans the trail way

If you can't find a bench... find, as I did, an old hollowed
out stump and have a seat and gaze with the binoculars
for wildlife and birds..

You won't be disappointed!
I think they should make
the Indigo Bunting their official Park Bird because
we heard them everywhere and photographed them
in every setting..

Of course we saw Bear!! Beware though they
aren't as friendly as they appear.

Driving slowly would be the safe way to view the deer
as they walk along the sides of the road....
this one appears to be reading the sign, maybe she's
checking in.

At the end of your day as the temps drop and the cooler
air comes across the mountains... relax in front of
the stone fireplace at one of the Lodges.

Visit Shenandoah... It is a great place to be.

Next post we will explore the wildlife of Skyline Drive.

To God be The Glory ~~ Great Things He Hath Done

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oh Shenandoah..Blue Ridge Mountain Home

Presenting another
jane & barbie

We traveled from PA to Front Royal Va
driving in and out of rain the whole trip

Arriving and paying our $15 for the privilege
of driving on Skyline Drive for 5-7 days

The lady Ranger was smiling as she extended
her welcome to Virginia's Skyline Drive..

Entering Shenandoah National Park...
and keeping our speed at 35 mph

As we begin the climb we see large rocks along
the road

If you look closely you will see tiny purple wildflowers
among the lush green foliage

Look even closer and you will notice the ferns growing
right out of the cracks in the rocks

Further along the stone wall lines the edge of the road

and the sky just opens up and the blue streams through
the white fluffy clouds

Like gravity pulling on us we must stop and
capture the breath taking views of the valley below

Be prepared to shift into low gear and
if you are driving an RV make sure you will clear
Mary's Rock Tunnel just south of Thornton Gap

As we travel up and down Skyline Drive overlook signs will
beckon you to stop and look and enjoy

None of them will leave you disappointed...

Each view as beautiful as the last


Along the road you will see the white ox eye daisy

In the wooded areas a plant I believe is named
'fly poison' or 'stagger grass'. It is toxic to animals if ingested

Lance leaf Coreoposis

A fuzzy Bumble bee enjoying a pink clover

Wild strawberry with it's delicate white flower

Early morning is a good time to see the mist rising
from the valley up the mountain

A change in weather gives way to more mist
and beautiful photo shoot

yellow Sulphur on a pink Mountain Laurel

Swallowtail butterfly tasting a purple thistle

We finally arrive at our destination....
Skyland Lodge

Room with a view..
Just in time to see the sun go down

It was a beautiful day... from morning until night.

To God be The Glory ~~ Great Things He Hath Done

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