|This year our trip to Shenandoah National Park was only one
day long, though we did go the same weekend as last year, Columbus Day
The leaves hadn't changed color much, which is also the same as last year, so if we go again next year we'll probably wait until the end of October.
There were still beautiful views, and even more wildlife than last year to be seen, so all in all it was a good visit.
We got to the park shortly before noon, and skipped the Dicky Ridge Visitor's Center. We planned to picnic in the park and eat dinner at Big Meadows - so we had a bit of a trip ahead of us and none of us were hungry yet.
Although it was very cloudy when we left our house, and we even drove through some rain, while in the park we had fairly good conditions.
As you will see from some of the photos, we experienced a little fog, some clouds, some sun... it seemed to be more sunny on the western overlooks and foggy/cloudy on the eastern side.
As we neared Elk Wallow we seemed to meet up with the sky and drove through the clouds for a bit.
We wound up picnicing at Elk Wallow, and then continued to drive south.
We made it to Big Meadows by about 3:30, which was too early for dinner - the dining room opens at 5. They don't take reservations, and we almost decided to stick around and try for the first seating, but were interested in seeing a bit more. As we walked back to the car, we were treated with a visit from some natives.
Then we hopped back in the car and drove to about mile marker 67, Hightop Mountain Parking area, then turned around and headed back for Big Meadows. Along the way we saw this tree, so I'm so glad we drove the extra bit.
Once we got to the Lodge at Sky Meadows, we had to wait a bit for a table.
We sat down sometime after 6 o'clock.
Our waitress was very good and the food was worth the drive!
We cut out of the park about 20 miles north of Big Meadows and got home about 2 hours after leaving dinner.