This morning we are on the road again. Today our destination is Washington DC, but first we will drive through Shenandoah National Park in the State of Virginia.
This park is long and narrow and the main road through the park is called Skyline Drive.
Skyline Drive is very similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We arrived at the park gate and showed our National Park Pass to the Ranger on duty. We will have to buy a new annual pass in a couple of days as this one will expire on July 31st. We sure did receive good value for our $80.00 investment in the park pass. I would have to sit down and add up all the National Parks and Monuments we have visited since purchasing the pass last summer, but it is somewhere around 30 or so.
Skyline Drive is 105 miles long with lots of pull offs to view the scenery.
We stopped at the Big Meadows Wayside Store for a bite to eat and then walked next door to the Harry F. Byrd Visitors Center to get our National Parks Passport Book stamped.
This year Shenandoah NP is celebrating its 75 year. I like the logo.
Back on Skyline Drive we drive over the highest point on the drive.. a whole 3680 ft of elevation. Compared to the highest points of drives we have done in the Rockies, this is more of a large hill. Again I will say that this would be a pretty drive in the fall.
There is one tunnel in Shenandoah National Park, the Marys Rock Tunnel. This is a 610 ft long tunnel.
We stopped to take a look at the Hogback Overlook at mile marker 21.
Another overlook we stopped at, the Range View Overlook.
We drove out of the park at the North end and headed along I-66 towards Washington DC.
I was expecting the traffic congestion to be probably the worst we have ever had to drive in on any of our vacations, after all this is the Nations Capital. Even on a Sunday afternoon, the traffic heavy, but it is moving.
We were supposed to follow the “Beltway” around the downtown core to our hotel, but with road construction comes ramp and lane changes and GPS confusion, and the GPS which I updated in June with the most current maps was not able to direct me in enough time to be in the correct lane and we missed our exit. Now we are heading downtown. Karen and I usually take a tour of the large cities and their downtowns with a tour company, but we are getting our own first peak at Washington with our own GPS guided tour through the downtown.
We are on the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, crossing the Potomac River and ahead of us is the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Beside us is the Arlington Memorial Bridge.
Here is another view of the Washington Monument. At one point we were driving on Pennsylvania Avenue and I was wondering if we were going to drive past The White House, but the GPS told me to turn left and then we were back on track to our hotel.
We arrived at our hotel and got checked in for the week. Tomorrow there won’t be any sightseeing, we need to sleep in, then get laundry done and get some groceries in for the week.
If you would like to see the photos we took today you can click on the link to our FLICKR site.