7/10/96 - T+9 - Down Under
The day begin bright and early here in
the Shenandoah Valley. If you've never been here before, it is incredible. Nested in the
Blue Ridge Mountains, this valley is surrounded by hills about 2,500 feet tall. Because of
their lower altitude, the are fully covered with trees. The background view that you see
in this picture can be seen by looking in any direction. They are all around you.
The first stop of the day is the Caverns at Luray. These underground caverns were
created thousands of years ago by the erosion of the limestone deposits. Years and years
of weathering have created an impressive display of stalactites, stalagmites, columns,
curtains, and the like. The views are truly awesome. The photo here probably does not do
the site justice.
One of the oddities contained here is a
'pipe" organ. I use the term pipe very loosely because the pipes are actually
stalactites that have been specially chosen for the musical note that they product when
struck by a hammer. They say that this is the worlds largest all natural organ.
From Luray, it was a scenic trip down they valley to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson
is remembered for not only writing our Declaration of Independence and being a President,
but also for being a man of science. Monticello is a living reminder of all that Jefferson
stood for and loved. If you are ever in this area, you must see it.
From Monticello it was back on the road.
I have started watching what I'm calling the Bail Out Factor. This is the drop dead date
on which I must stop all playing around and drive straight to California in order to
report back to work on August 1. Having been on the road for 10 days, I was still holding
a BOF of 6 days. The analytical side of me wasn't liking this, so I decided to put some
miles behind me. I was planning on spending some time in West Virginia and Western
Pennsylvania, but I decided to blow right on by these two. So 400 miles later, I'm holed
up in Grayson Kentucky for the night. Well for what's left of the night. It's 4:00 right
now and I need to get some sleep. I stopped driving because night blindness was setting
in. A sure sign that I need some rest.
Have a great day and I'll be back tomorrow night.