Apr 20, 2012
Sep 01, 2012
After we left the park we decided to follow the blue ridge parkway south until later in the day when we were intending to drop down towards I-95 and the North and South Carolina borders. All was going swimmingly until we noticed that fuel consumption was quite high due to the hilly nature of the drive. When we consulted "Bob" for directions to the nearest gas station, he told us about a station that was only 5 miles away. However, what he neglected to tell us was that the 5 miles appeared to be as the crow flies, and there were no roads to get us to where he thought we should go
. What followed was a lot of utilising neutral to coast downhills and slowly putter uphill until we were able to cross a road which looked like it might lead off the mountains. Tim spent a lot of time moving quickly around curves in order to maintain momentum and a steady use of the brakes to keep us under control. There was an awkward 10 minutes when the brakes started to smell from their constant application and the engine had to be used to use compression to slow us down. There was the whole debate of: "do we use petrol to slow ourselves down and save the brakes? or burn the brakes in order to save petrol?" Luckily we stumbled across a little gas station that Bob knew nothing about and we filled up with (ironically) the cheapest gas we had yet come across.
Then it was a steady cruise, punctuated by a stop at Walmart where the kids found $16 razor scooters, until we made it to Morrow Mountain State Park. We pitched the tent, the kids scootered to their hearts' content and we had dinner of spaghetti and dessert of twizzlers. Off to bed and heading to South Carolina the next day.
We woke up after a lovely night's sleep around 6:30 am and had a quick breakfast of cheerios and museli and were packed and on the road by 8am. We had a slow drive out of the southern end of Shenandoah National Park and along the way we had a stunning highlight of a pileated woodpecker hammering away on the side of the road. We could hear his head banging away as large chunks of bark went flying. Jess commented "ooh, that must hurt his head!!!" We watched for 5 minutes and then he flew away and we continued our leisurely drive through the park.