Moody Winter Skies

The weather in the eastern half of the US has been a bit nuts this year. Granted, since I live in the Mid-Atlantic region, I don’t have nearly as much to gripe about as you folks in New England. You all have been absolutely hammered by snow.

Here’s it’s only been cold. But it’s been REALLY cold.

Anyhoo… in my last post, I mentioned the moody skies I’d seen on my Saturday drive. I saw some other cool stuff, too, that I thought I’d share here.

Remember the song, “I’m a Girl Watcher“?

Well, I’m a sky watcher. I’m a sky watcher. Watching clouds go by. My, my, my.

Sorry, not sorry for that little earworm. LOL.

Here are some of the interesting sky pics I captured on Saturday.

On US 29, headed southeast towards Charlottesville.


On US-64, headed west towards Waynesboro, near Afton, Virginia.


See those mountains ahead and to the right? Skyline Drive is up there.

Looking south over Rockfish Valley.


Back in October, I did a post about my visit — on two wheels — to the Bold Rock Cidery, which just happens to be in the Rockfish Valley. If you missed it, check it out. I’ll be re-visiting some of those roads this year FOR SURE.

Alien Spaceship Cloud


I should add that it was pretty gray when I left my house that morning. The further south and west I went, the bluer the skies. But it was still cloudy. And cold.

I tooled around a bit in Staunton (pronounced like STAN-ton) before picking up my transports and heading north to Strasburg. As you can see, the skies got gray again.

Newly decorated water tower along I-81 near Mount Jackson, VA.


When I drove past that spot in January, the tower was being painted.

I HATE I-81. Actually, I hate all two-lane highways.


Being trapped behind these big-ass trucks who pass really, REALLY slowly, and cars with ignoramus drivers who drive along in the left lane really irritate me.

Looking east from the western outskirts of Front Royal, the sky was quite blue.


Since it felt so good to be out of the house for a change, I decided to take a more-scenic route home, so I got on Skyline Drive in Front Royal.

Entering Skyline Drive.


The Drive runs mostly along the ridge of the mountains, so it’s typically at least 10 degrees colder on the Drive than at lower elevations. So I got to see lots of cool ice, too.

Is it just me, or do you see a face, too?


Note the slight hint of glacial blue coloring in that ice?


Pretty View


Ice, ice, baby.

I think temps were in the low 30s (F), but it was windy, so it felt much colder.

The next two pictures are for you folks not from around here who wonder why we don’t ride our bikes more during the winter.

Cold isn’t the only reason. The roads are particularly hazardous this time of year. There’s a wide variety of stuff used to treat roads to prevent icing. Like rock salt, cinders, sand, salt brine, and even mixes of some of the above.

That stuff might make the ice go away, but it doesn’t go away. So we see lots of this…

Cindery, gravely, road surface.


In the next shot, you can see the build-up of the salt/sand mixture on the shoulder and in-between the lanes. It’s often scattered across the lanes in spots, too. Sometimes even in big piles if one of the big trucks has a hiccup while slinging the materials around.

Headed east on US-211 at Thornton Gap.


So even if it warms up, if there’s been recent bouts of freezing temps, one has to be extra careful. That stuff will send you sliding off the blacktop in a heartbeat.

Spring will be here soon.

6 Replies to “Moody Winter Skies”

  1. In the winter, I tend to look for and ride on the gravel/cinders/sand sections of the road, especially in turns. Keeps things from sliding on the ice and snow. There is usually some in the center of the lane when approaching intersections. It really helps when slowing down or accelerating. Really nice photos. My wife was saying that it had better hurry up and warm up before we head to PA next month…

  2. Nice pics, and great to get out and enjoy the blue sky while you can! And, yes, I saw the face too!

    I couldn’t put a comment on the LOVE post, but since we found the one in Abingdon last October, we will definitely be on the lookout! We were in Front Royal and Luray last July, but somehow missed the one in Luray. Will have to return soon! 🙂 Cheers, Lynne

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