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Shenandoah National Park

The Hubster has been wanting to ride his bike on Skyline Drive for months.  It is a great idea especially  since one of his upcoming triathlons will be in a mountainous area so some mountain training would have been in order.  Our summer has flown by though, so the fabled trip never materialized until last Sunday when we finally made the trek out to Shenandoah National Park.
Coincidentally, this is the 75th anniversary of the park and there are lots of activities to commemorate this special landmark event.  I love the old signs at the national parks and I was glad to see that the anniversary didn't prompt them to install some horrible modern monstrosity.

It was great to once more be in possession of an annual pass that gives access to all of the national parks in the country.  I have to admit that I liked it better when it was called the "Eagle Pass"--it was much simpler than saying the "America the Beautiful-National Park and Federal Recreational Lands Pass".  At $80, it is a bargain considering that you can use it as many times and in as many places as you are able to visit.  There are other entrance fee options as well.  You can bike in and pay the $8 individual rate or $15 for a carload.
(There is one secret if you are strapped for cash, all parks have fee free days and most have them listed on their sites. Since today (9/24/2011) is Public Lands Day, there is no entrance fee at many national parks. Also, in honor of Veteran's Day, no fees November 11-13 at any national parks.)
Now, I don't have a death wish, so I wasn't eager to strap on a helmet and take on some major climbs on a bike (on foot either for that matter).  Also, it was foggy which made it even more stupid daring to take on roads that bear the warning "Bicyclers be cautious--shoulders can be narrow, and vehicle drivers may be distracted."  I'll take on the distracted driver role in that equation, thank you very much. Fortunately, the fall leaf viewing has not begun or the ride might have been suicidal.  The drizzle also kept traffic to a minimum.

Fortunately, the fog did dissipate so that visibility improved on the roads.  While the Hubster pedaled furiously, I listened to a ranger talk on black bears, bought the obligatory postcards and wrote on them, and had a leisurely drive to the meeting point.
A E Ferret didn't go with us, but I wonder what he would have thought about meeting a bear? I think he would have liked roaming around in the park though.

All in all, a good time was had by all.  On the way home, we stopped at a Kettle Korn stand near the Apple House in Linden, VA.  

Here is the actual intersection if you are interested:
I even remembered to take pictures before the bag was half empty.  (You wouldn't believe how many potential blog posts are eliminated because I am a bad blogger who gets half way through before I realize I should take pictures...)

 It was a good day!


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