Now that I’ve told you all about and shared pics from my recent road trip to the Shenandoah Caverns complex in Quicksburg, Virginia, I figure it’s about time that I tell you about the ride.
After all, destinations aren’t usually the reason we go for rides. The ride itself is usually the motivation. Fun destinations/stops are icing on the proverbial cake.
My recent trip was no exception. I kid you not, it started out with my wanting to get some breakfast. Soon enough it morphed into a 144-mile loop ride through some downright pretty country. (Wanna see the Google map?)
I’ll never forget seeing this sign for the first time. It was actually near the highest point of the road through the gap. It unnerved me a bit, but we didn’t have any trouble.
US-211 is an old road. It wasn’t built for speed. The curves can be a bit challenging, especially if you aren’t anticipating the radius to change mid-curve like it does on several of the turns.
It still tickles me to know we’re so close to SNP, home of Skyline Drive. Among other things. Skyline Drive is a pretty road, but it has a 35 m.p.h. speed limit, which is hard to maintain. It can sometimes be crowded, too, so I don’t use the drive often. There are plenty of other great roads in the vicinity, though.
I took a sorta direct route from Luray, where I ate breakfast, to Quicksburg, which is where the Shenandoah Caverns complex is located.
Since I had actually remembered to charge the GoPro, I wore it. I used some of the pics captured along the way to create a slideshow, shared later in this post. I didn’t include the piece of US-211 that crosses Thornton Gap and Skyline Drive since I’ve shared that road several times previously. (If you REALLY want to see that road, click on this video link and jump to the 2:00 mark.)
But first… here are a few other pics I wanted to share.
It was starting to sprinkle a bit as I got close to Edinburg, VA on US-11. And the sky to the east, which of course is where I was headed, looked quite ominous.
When I saw this fishing shop, which is owned in part by a guy who fostered our first dog, I decided to stop and pay him a visit.
I JUST missed seeing the guy, of course. But, by the time I got back outside, it had stopped raining. A quick check of the radar (what did we EVER do before mobile phone weather apps?) led me to believe I’d be following the storm. And since it was quite warm and humid, I opted not to don the rain gear.
Sounds like a sure way to get wet, right? I actually got very lucky and, quite literally, followed the storm most of the way home. The 10-degree temperature change in the wake of the storm felt delightful.
Fort Valley is a geographically interesting place. As the terrain map shared below shows, it is a valley within a valley. The wider Shenandoah Valley includes the Massanutten Mountain range (between the north and south forks of the Shenandoah River). Fort Valley is a valley within the Massanutten Mountain range.
I think it looks cool on the terrain map. We actually considered living there at one point. It’s really very picturesque. But there’s no wired Internet access, which we need, and we didn’t like the fact that there are only two ways to get into or out of the valley by road, either at Edinburg Gap on the southwestern side or at the northeast head of the valley.
After exiting at the valley’s north end, I headed east toward US-340. I did not expect to see this as I traversed the mountain…
Slave quarters, circa mid-1800s, at Ben Venue, Virginia. If you would like to read more about the property, click here.
And, finally, that slideshow I promised you. There’s music, and it isn’t great, so you may want to hit that ole mute button before you watch.
The first nine slides are on US-211 heading west from Warrenton, VA. The rest of the slides are between Quicksburg (Shenandoah Caverns) and the Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area on Fort Valley Road (678).
Weather-permitting, we’ll probably do some two-wheeled exploring this weekend. Exploring which is LONG overdue.