Thursday, May 10, 2007

From the Mountains to the Valley - and Below

Our last day at the Big Meadow Lodge. We climbed a short trail behind the lodge to a summit overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, about 3700 feet below, and then started our drive toward the Valley. We stopped to hike down to Dark Hollow Falls, about a mile and a quarter round trip - the return trip being uphill all the way. Sufficiently exercised, we bought a few souveniers at the Skyland Lodge and went on our way. We were soon stopped, however, because a motorcyclist has crashed into the stone retaining wall a little further down the road. First we had to wait for the wreck to be cleared off the road and then waited again near the park exit below for the Life Flight helicopter to take the victim away. We hope he makes a speedy recovery from what must have been a very frightening experience.

Once in the valley town of Luray , we took a tour of the Luray Caverns, "the largest caverns in the eastern United States". Our trek below ground was fascinating.

Our objective today was the Harvest Moon B&B in New Holland, PA. We figured it would be a 4 to 5 hour drive - and it would have been if we hadn't encountered torrential rains that forced us to stop twice - once in Carlisle, PA where it rained so long and hard that the road flooded, and again shortly after that on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was pouring so hard that you simply couldn't see well enough to drive. We had to wait about a half an hour both times before the rain slowed down enough to allow us to continue. We finally made it here to our B&B around 9:30 pm, 6 hours after leaving Luray Caverns. We are in a lovely Victorian home and we are the only guests. The owner is originally from Gloucester. We plan to tour the back roads of Lancaster County before heading for home tomorrow.

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