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Virginia Road Trip August 8-15, 2022

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Take VA 5 between Richmond and Williamsburg at least one way. It is by far the most scenic route between the two cities.

So we left Massachusetts today and made our way to Jim Thorpe, PA for night 1. Some notes for the first day.

We took I-90 down to I-84 and crossed Connecticut and New York. (Lots of police on the New York leg. Almost got pulled over twice). We then made our way down US 209 through the Delaware Water Gap. Itís a very scenic drive down through that way and a nice change from being on an Interstate highway. We didnít stop to hike or anything, but we were able to appreciate the nice scenery. We entered Stroudsburg and followed I-80 down to PA 115 to PA 903 in Jim Thorpe.
There was some traffic on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge due to construction being done, but other than that, traffic was very easy. I have to say that the Pocono Mountains are a very underrated area for tourists as far as Iím aware. It kind of reminded me of New Hampshire or Maine.

With Day 2 done, we have made it to Virginia. Here are some notes for today's journey.

We left Jim Thorpe around 10AM and we took PA 248, PA 873, and PA 309 to shunpike the Turnpike and I have to say, it was a worthy detour. The route was very scenic and had amazing views of the Pocono Mountains. Anyways, we then took I-78 and I-81 down towards Harrisburg. There was some major construction happening on I-78 west of Allentown and probably more trucks than Iíve ever seen. It was kind of a stressful drive. We then took a detour off I-81 to visit Harrisburg and tour the state capitol building, which is one of the nicest in the country. Hereís a photo of it.

Overall thoughts of the city, the downtown was better than I thought it would be, but it is overall a rough city.

Leaving Harrisburg, we followed I-81 down through Maryland and pulled off in West Virginia in the city of Martinsburg. The downtown is kind of charming, but thereís not really much going on. It was overall okay. When we got to Virginia, we took I-66 and US 340 down to Luray, where we visited Luray Caverns. It was a very unique place to check out and I would definitely go back. There is a pipe organ inside the caverns that uses the stalactites as the pipes, which was very cool. I had no idea that was possible.

Anyways, we are now at the campsite and ready for the next day.

Days 3 and 4 are complete, so hereís the latest.

Yesterday, we packed up and went into Luray for supplies and to get breakfast. After that, we made our way to the Thorntonís Gap entrance (US 211) onto Skyline Drive. We made sure to stop at every scenic overlook on the way. The first hike we took was up to the highest point of the park at Hawksbill Mountain. We hiked on part of the Appalachian Trail to get there. The view from the top was very breathtaking. We then hiked along the Dark Hollow Falls Trail. It was hot and humid that day, so the hike back to the parking lot took a lot of energy. We wouldíve done more hiking, but we got rained out later. We ended up staying at the Big Meadow Lodge that night.

Today, we left the park due to threats of thunderstorms and made our way south along Skyline Drive down to Swift Run Gap (US 33). We took that into Harrisonburg and checked out the campus of James Madison University. I overall liked the city and thought it was in a beautiful setting. We then went south on I-81 to Lexington and got lunch and walked around the city. I thought it was one of the nicest small cities Iíve been to and there are a lot of historic homes there. We walked through the campus of Washington and Lee University. We left and took US 11 down to Natural Bridge. It was a very beautiful place and you shouldnít pass it by. George Washington carved his initials somewhere in the rock. After that, we made our way east along I-64 through Charlottesville and Richmond and arrived at Williamsburg, where we will tour the museum tomorrow. Pictures can be found on my Flickr page.


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