Skyline Drive, Round 2

As I mentioned in my August 19 post entitled “Skyline Drive, Round 1,” I had the opportunity to drive Skyline Drive in May, but the weather did not afford many views. Ever since, I’ve been trying to plan another traverse of Skyline Drive. Just before Labor Day, the weather finally cooperated.

I left for Virignia on Wednesday (9/2) afternoon with the intent of arriving near Front Royal, VA (Skyline’s northern terminus) some time Wednesday night. That way, I could start my traverse of Skyline Drive early Thursday morning and avoid the Labor Day congestion. All worked according to plan, and at about 5:15 on Thursday morning (9/3), I passed through the gates at the northern end of Skyline Drive. I paused at the first scenic overlook in the predawn darkness and waited about 20 minutes for the sun to begin to rise. After capturing a few partial shots in the dark, I continued my drive south, next stopping at the Visitors Center found at mile 5. Here, I again waited, hoping that a bit more light would improve my views and the quality of my pictures. Once I was satisfied that the sun had risen enough and I had enough light to make the drive and views worthwhile, I was off. I stopped at nearly every overlook on Skyline Drive, covering a total of 52 out of the 75 overlooks the drive includes in just over seven hours.

I couldn’t be happier that I finally was able to drive Skyline Drive in good weather, but I was quite surprised at how significantly pollution limited my visibility. Nonetheless, the views are beautiful, no matter where on Skyline one stops.

As you might imagine, 52 overlooks makes for a lot of pictures. 626 in fact. As a result, it took me a bit to organize the pictures and weed out some of the really bad ones. In the end, I posted 596 of the shots across six posts, which chronicle my seven hour excursion.