I have always wanted to capture the colors of autumn. I am fascinated by pictures of beautiful trees with combination of green, yellow and red leaves. Every fall is different for me and each new display of colors gives me energy to get out of my comfort zone and capture those natural moments. My schedule was too full, so a fall trip was put on hold for long time. Finally, I couldn’t wait any longer and decided to set out to find and capture the beauty of the season.
On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, I took leave from work and headed to Skyline Drive in Virginia. The Drive is a 105-mile road that runs the entire length of the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, generally along the ridges of the mountains. The scenic drive is particularly popular in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. According to Wikipedia, each year, over two million people visit the Skyline Drive, which has been designated a National Scenic Byway.
The weather was so perfect that I didn’t notice almost 90 miles of driving from my home. As soon as I reached the park, I saw an amazingly harmonious blend of nature and human development. You can’t drive faster than 35 miles per hour due to curves on the road, wildlife crossings, and walking or cycling tourists. While driving, you can see stopped vehicles whose occupants are either enjoying the wildlife or viewing the valley from overlooks. As a driving precaution, you have to be extra careful about roads which take winding paths along the mountaintops where deer, bear and other wildlife crossing the road may appear without warning.
When you get the $15 dollar visitor ticket at the entrance, (it can be used an unlimited number of times throughout one week) you will also get maps and information about the National Park. There are nearly seventy-five overlooks throughout the drive, which offers some of the most spectacular views of the surrounding valleys. I didn’t have time to drive through all the overlooks but each one I visited was fantastic. The park is also famous for hiking and camping on its many trails and biking and horseback riding, on the roads.
Please feel free to share your moments if you have been there and tell us how you felt about the park.