The Skyline Drive & Washington, DC Fall, 2010
All photographs Copyright © 2010 Jon R. Vermilye

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This will be my second trip to shoot waterfalls in the South (well, at least south of New York!) , and my 3rd trip to Ricketts Glen State Park. If you have been a viewer of my other pages, you will quickly discover that I enjoy photographing moving water, waterfalls in particular. Ricketts Glen is a wonderful place to photograph both. There are 22 named waterfalls in the park as well as two streams filled with cascades. I visited the park on a RV trip to Pennsylvania in 2001, and again last spring. In both cases, I felt the images would be better with the fall colors as a background. So, I planned a fall trip.

As long as I was heading south, I also decided to try to hit Babcock State Park in West Virginia for a fall visit (Spring 2010 trip to Babcock State Park) which contains one of the most photographed grist mills in the country. On the way I made a short stop at the bridge on US 19 crossing the New River Gorge, missing "Bridge Day" by a week. On "Bridge Day" they close the bridge, set up food & craft booths and allow base jumping from the bridge into the gorge below.

I also took a side trip to the Mabry Grist Mill along the Blueridge Parkway. The next part of the trip was driving the lower section of Skyline Drive. I met my daughter, her husband & granddaughter in Front Royal and followed them back to their home in Washington, DC.

That was the basic itinerary of the trip - I've divided it into sections so the same first section will appear in all of them.

Here is an index of the trip:

Day 1 Ricketts Glen
Page 2 of Ricketts Glen
Page 1 of New River Gorge & Babcock State Park
Mabry Grist Mill & More of Babcock State Park
Skyline Drive & Washington, DC- You don't need it - you are here!
Washington DC, Day 2


Skyline Drive Sunday, October 24

After leaving Babcock State Park I headed east on I 64 to Waynesboro, VA. The original plan was to meet Karin, her family & friends at the Loft Mountain Campground at mile 80 on the Skyline Drive. Because I kept waiting for the sunlight to warm the trees behind the Grist Mill at Babcock State Park, by the time I gave up I was pretty sure they would be gone before I got there. I did call when I hit the Virginia state line & while we were in & out of cell phone reception areas leaving voice mail for each other, they had to check out well before I hit Waynesboro

Since it has been many years since driving the lower section of Skyline Drive, and never in the fall, I decided to take it for at least part of the trip & meet Karin in DC. Here is a panorama from what I believe is the McCormick Gap Overlook:

Skyline Drive

Here are a couple of smaller images:

Skyline Drive
Skyline Drive


Since it was a beautiful fall Sunday afternoon, the traffic on the Skyway was heavy. I tried to stop for a bathroom break at the Loft Mountain Information Center & there were no parking spaces. I gave up & continued up the drive until the exit at Swift Run Gap on US 33. Although I missed seeing the upper section of the drive, I thought that I might catch Karin at Front Royal since they were still on the drive. I took US 340 into Front Royal. Although the traffic was also slow on US 340, it was faster than the Skyline Drive, and the trees were in color. When I reached Front Royal I called & Karin gave me directions to the Jalisco Authentic Mexican Restaurant where they were eating an early dinner.

After dinner I followed Brian into DC. Although the traffic wasn't "too bad", I still can't get used to 5-6 lanes of crazy drivers! Anyhow, we made it to DC.

After a good night's sleep, it was off to the park with Valerie while Brian had to go to work.

Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD
Woodside Park, MD

After the park it was off in search of a Radio Shack. I forgot my camera battery charger & both my batteries were getting low so I started looking for one. Radio Shack had a universal charger that covered my battery so I picked one up. The big advantage - it comes with a 12v connection so I can charge from my car. The disadvantage? Well, after charging one battery it died. The good thing about Radio Shack is even thought I bought it in West Virginia, I could exchange it for a new one in Maryland. The new one works at least as well as the old one - so far it has charged one battery. I'll have to shoot some more images before I can try for two!

That is about it for the day. The rest of the trip will be family photos, mostly of Valerie!

Washington, DC Tuesday, October 26

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Last Update: September 21, 2013