Lovingston Virginia and bears close up and sunsets
Lots of driving today. We set out early to travel down some of the Blue Ridge Parkway which basically starts where the Skyline Drive stops at it southern point at Waynesboro.
Although this is still a pretty road that has great views, we found it to be not as good as the Skyline. There are lots of lookouts along the route, but many turned out not to have any views which was odd, they were really just pull ins. At least on the Skyline when it says its an overlook, it really is. We did get a few photos including this one of Ravens Roost Overlook.
We drove about 70 miles down the Blue Ridge then turned off and headed towards Lynchburg thinking we might have lunch there. However, we found the city to be very hard to navigate and we got a bit lost, even with the help of the car's navigation. When we saw a sign for parking we drove into a multi-storey parking area but found you had to have a permit to park. I stopped to ask a woman if there was anywhere to park and she told us to go to the top level where it was public parking. well, we went up and up and the angles of the turns were incredibly tight. Finally we got to the top level only to find it was actually ground level at another entrance! The signs said to park, note your space number and pay at the kiosk. Sounds easy - no it wasn't. First the kiosk only took credit cards and quarters. I used my credit card but it kept rejecting it. Tried loads of times but it obviously did not like non-US cards. We did not have enough quarters to pay in cash so by that time we were so frustrated we left Lynchburg, never to return.
Frustrated, we then took the road north and were getting hungry so stopped off at a place called Lovingston, the first place we came across. We found the Lovingston Cafe and weren’t sure what to expect, but it was the only restaurant for miles, so we took the gamble, and it paid off.
We both ordered sandwiches which ended up coming with a side order of fries and we really enjoyed them. The food was cooked to perfection and the staff were really friendly. I even got milk for my hot tea which Americans don't usually offer. They think creamer suites all drinks - it does not!
Once our hunger was satisfied we continued the journey north and decided to get back on the Skyline at Waynesboro. We then travelled the entire 105 miles to the very north of the Skyline at Front Royal which we reached about 6pm. Then we travelled back down the Skyline to the Harrisonburg exit (about 65 miles), stopping off for a snack at the visitors centre near the meadows.
During the trip we saw lots of wildlife including deer, groundhogs etc. But most importantly we saw more bears. One was a mother bear with two cubs, unfortunately the cubs jumped a wall and hid from us so no photos of them, but we did get a video mum eating whilst standing on the wall.
Because it was getting late we managed to see the sunset over the valley which was beautiful.