'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Camping, finding my way, memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset, travel

Skyline Drive…

Yes, I had decided that I wanted to visit Skyline Drive again.  It had been a day trip from my home in Maryland, and we did enjoy driving portions of it and taking pictures, but that was a very long time ago.  And we didn’t do the entire drive.  I had forgotten the details, except that we once got a short glimpse of a bear while we drove through.  And, it occurred to me as I drove it on Friday, that I wasn’t the driver on those trips long ago.  No, Charley was my chauffeur, so the day wasn’t as exhausting back then.  Or it was my age.

I started the day in Coventry, RI, and stopped for pictures at The Community Bridge in Frederick MD, which had me approaching Front Royal, VA, the northern access point, about 2 PM.  And that was before I bounced the car and trailer over some RR tracks and caused the camper to become unhitched.  The trailer jack was now embedded in the road, and before I could even get out of the car to see what the heck had happened two very nice drivers were already on the case.  They got the trailer jacked up, they got me hitched up, and I was on my way in no time.  Physically anyhow.  Mentally I was listening to every squeak and groan of the camper and expecting disaster any second.  I started the 100 mile, 30 MPH drive, at 3 PM.  The light was harsh, there was a lot of haze, and the views from the overlooks were repetitious.  My chat with Bob set me back further, and once I left him I mostly glanced at the overlooks and skipped getting out of the car.  But as I drove further I realized that the overlooks on my right, in the west, were becoming interesting.  The sun was getting lower and the clouds looked promising, so I quickly hopped out of the car, took a couple of HDR images, and moved on.  Eventually the sun was low enough that I worried that it would slip out of view before I got to another overlook.  But I was relieved that I did see the sun actually set, and was able to leave the southern point of the park while it was still light.  I found a gas station where I burst through the door and asked the gentleman.”Where am I”?  He replied, loudly, and in his best Southern drawl, “Ma’am, you are in GOD’s country,  Waynesboro, VA.”  For a tiny little town it had the essentials, a Panera where I could plug in the computer and have a bite to eat, and a Walmart where I could join the other campers overnight.  My issue with the trailer hitch had me heading for home after that.  I had hoped to camp and spend several days exploring, but since I couldn’t unhitch the camper there wasn’t a point.  Maybe next time…9-27FrontRoyal19-27skylinedrive19-27skylineview29-27FrontRoyalbluemountains9-27skylinesunsetting9-27skylinesun9-27skylinesunsettingHDRfeatureThe southern end of the drive is where the deer crossing signs are, and the deer were there, just not crossing.  And a sign that said “high collision area”.  Not a thrill to see when you are tired and hurrying so as not to be in the park on those roads in the dark.  And the last thing I saw was a bear, just off the side of the road, and he scrambled away.  He was a cub, quite small.  I wonder where Mom was???

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Photo ops…

The stop wasn’t supposed to be scenic.  The reason for the stop was to attend a memorial Mass for my cousin.  He died five years ago, as did my husband and my mother, within three weeks of each other.  So not a happy occasion.  But the church sat on a spit of land between two lakes, and seeing that on the map made me happy that I was planning to get there early to assure that I could get the car plus the trailer onto the parking lot.  That it would allow me to walk to the lakes and get pictures was an added bonus.

But there was a small problem in the form of little cottages packed closely together, so walking down to the water for pictures would have me trespassing.  But that’s when the nice zoom lens comes in handy.

And the journey continues…9-22angel9-22arch9-22bee9-22butterfly9-22churchfeature9-22dock9-22fishing9-22hydrangea9-22rafting

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Winding down…

Summer is officially over.  Forgotten toys in the sand on the shore.  Birds in the air, flying south?  My photographer friends in Florida are celebrating the return of the migratory birds who will spend their winter in the sun.  I suppose snowbirds are migratory also.  I will be flying the coop this weekend, leaving NH behind, for now.  But not forever since I’ll leave a little piece of my heart behind with my oldest, dearest, friend.  Next stop is PA, and family…headingsouthfeatureheadingsouth9-16fallscene9-16fallscene2

'scene' along the way, Camping, finding my way, friends, fun, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, unintended images

Hanging around in New Hampshire…

It was fall scenery that I was looking for, not pirates.  Or butterflies.  I said I needed to see fall and/or a moose before I go, so when I saw a large animal off in the distance I got excited.  But my friend said no, not a moose, darn it. 13thfoliagenotamoosetwomonarchs2twomonarchs

I also didn’t expect to see a neighbor walking his oxen down the road.  I hope I get a little more warning if I see him again. oxenwalk

And we were so sure that the hummingbirds were gone already that we nearly took the hummingbird feeder down.  I’m glad we didn’t.

lasthummersmilinghillfarm

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Carter Hill Orchard…

Apples and fall, they go hand in hand don’t they?  So it seemed that a trip to the apple orchard was in order.  We found them ready for Halloween already, but that’s okay.  It added a photo op or two.  We also found folks with binoculars who’s mission was to count the raptors they could see.  We watched them looking to the sky with their binoculars, and we joined them on their raised platform.  It was a little disappointing not to see any birds, but the views were spectacular, a little more ‘fall’ out there.

Oh, did I mention the apple cider donuts?  Spotted those right away…

9-16carterhill9-16carterhilltrctor9-16bubblebubble9-16carterhill29-16carterhill3

'scene' along the way, birds, Camping, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, simple things, travel

Condo living…

What'sbelowI lived in a condo for 25 years.  Granted it was a townhouse condominium and not a high rise, so no upstairs/downstairs neighbors, but it was close quarters.  I lived in that one house longer than I lived in my hometown in Massachusetts, but if you ask me I’ll tell you that ‘home’ is Brockton, MA.  Even if being from Brockton conjures up a different image these days than it did when I left, ahem, 50 years ago.  This condo could use a facelift I think, but the neighbors seem friendly enough…condolifecondolife2

While I was paying attention to the ducks and egrets at Wild Duck Campground these little birdies were right there, but I never noticed them until I was driving out of the campground for the very  last time and had to jump out of the car for a few photos.  Just another example of photo ops all around you every day, no matter where you are…