Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Road Trip Days 2-3: Appalachians

with 4 comments

The transition from DC to the first significant leg of our journey, the Appalachians, was about as smooth as magnificent mohawk. To elaborate:

As the day wound to an end, we needed naturally needed a place to sleep. No problem, the road atlas shows several campground along Skyline Drive, we’ll just set up camp (again, literally) at the first one and then start cruising down one of America’s most scenic byways at the break of dawn. Well, we get to Skyline and find the welcoming committee absent, replaced by a deserted Ranger’s hut illuminating the otherwise complete darkness. By the dim light we discern that all the campgrounds along the Drive are full, and that there are bears in the woods. Now what? Well, it’s not a big deal really, my pre-trip research showed that sleeping in the car wasn’t too bad, so we’ll just park at the side of the road and nap it out. As written, so it was to be…

…for about an hour, at which point I was awoken by an aggressive knocking on the window. “Get that guy up!” the cop was saying, while hammering away at the window. I scrambled for my glasses and provided ID, which calmed him down some. But the essence of the interaction was unchanged: car-sleeping in the park wasn’t allowed, so we’d have to bugger off. On went our clothes, and off we went to the parking lot of Walmart; devoid of angry guards, that place would be the site of several dormancies along the way.

257 words were enough to recount that little occurrence, but a thousand wouldn’t begin to describe the views on Skyline Drive. Instead, I’ll resort to the time-honored tradition of letting my pictures speak, well, thousands of words.

Skyline Drive...

...in the Appalachians...

...offers great views.

Gorgeous. And at 35 mph, a bona fide easy ride. Banjos in the speakers, sun in the sky; exactly what I’d envisioned for the road trip, or at least the beginnings of it.

Somewhere towards the end of the day we transitioned from Skyline Drive to Blue Ridge Parkway, an equally celebrated byway. Flatter, but still a scenic drive through multitudinous trees sporting every color from bright green to glowing red; even though I liked Skyline better, Blue Ridge still took my photo count above a hundred. And while it wasn’t quite as pretty, there were more interesting sites along the way, such as this old farm turned snapshot of history.

Pumpkins, scarecrows, dungarees, it was swell (if you’ll excuse the counter-thematic code-mixing). I even got my first shoe-signature there (from Joe Morse, the resident guide) but you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out that that’s all about.


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Written by Martin

2010/11/18 at 22:42

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. OMG you really did see America at it’s best from a Walmart parking lot-but the photos are fantastic!

    dada

    2010/11/19 at 00:32

  2. So sleeping in a tent is okay, but not in your car? Go figure.

    ché Gobhar

    2010/11/19 at 16:01

    • Nah, not in a tent either, outside of designated campgrounds. Unless you get a backcountry permit, which we obviously hadn’t.

      solarhaphaeriom

      2010/11/19 at 16:39

  3. It’s a swell thing thing that one of us bothers to take time to put it all down in writing before we both start to forget the details. Good, good.

    The people at those outdoor museums are lovely. They have stories to tell, and it’s always interesting. Joe Morse is a real good man.

    Johan

    2010/11/21 at 10:02


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