Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Post-GONE: Day 7

    Posted on September 18th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Today I traveled to the Shenandoah National Park for a trip down Skyline Drive! The drive went by quite quickly… I don’t really know what it was, but it didn’t seem like I was on the road for 7 Hours.

    View Larger Map

    I’ve been trying for weeks to obtain an “America the Beautiful” Annual Pass, and I was finally able to get one! It really wasn’t as big of a deal as I was making it out to be… just paid the person at the gate on the way into the park, signed the card, and away I went. Now I’ll be prepared for then I get to my next park (there will be a couple around Las Vegas for sure).

    The weather this morning was very cloudy and grey, and that resulted in many of the scenic views from Skyline Drive being obstructed. However, I wasn’t disappointed, as the low clouds were lots of fun to drive through.

    As the day went on the sun started to break through the clouds, and the views from the outlooks became much more scenic. Fortunately I think the weather also kept the people away, as most areas within the park were empty… allowing for some great photo opportunities.

    The other great thing about having few people in the park was all the wildlife that I saw. Driving along the road, I rounded a corner to find two black bears standing in the middle of the road… a mother and her cub! Further down the road there was a SUV stopped watching a large buck eating breakfast. A little ways from there I spotted a smaller buck and jumped out of the car to get a photo (boy do I wish I had brought a longer lens with me).

    Cruising on Skyline Drive is not something you do to make good time, as there is a 35 mph speed limit. I was having some difficulties maintaining the speed, without going too fast, so decided to turn on the cruise control. It was definitely different driving along twisty roads with cruise control engaged… your car doesn’t slow down in the corners!

    The roads in Shenandoah National Park were pristine, and I noticed several signs talking about “your recovery money at work”. I guess I did get something for my tax dollars… a smooth ride! It would be great if California took the hint and repaved some of the back roads, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

    The best part of my day was the drive on US-33 through the George Washington National Forest.

    View Larger Map

    This wonderful stretch of road was full of twists and turns, as well as a very steep climb and decent. To make it even better, I had fun chasing down a “local” 4×4 had impatiently passed me before the climb. I was relaxing behind several slower vehicles when the 4×4 blew past me (and the others)… while still on the flat I passed the slow vehicles and charged up the mountain. Each time I caught the 4×4 I would slow down… then catch him again. Having a large piece of empty road to myself (between the 4×4 and the slower cars) made the drive very enjoyable.

    The past two days have been free from the P2135 DTC, but towards the end of today it popped back up again… and in the worst times. I think it happened 4 times in an hour, and twice I had to stop in the middle of the road, as there was no place to turn-off and “limp mode” made driving (at any pace) impossible. Fortunately I was able to get the codes cleared quickly, but I’m starting to get frustrated with it. I’m actually finding myself not wanting to pass people (especially on two lane roads), just in case I get the DTC a little while later (now with someone behind me). ‘Sigh, hopefully it decides to behave… I’m still a long ways from home, with a bunch of diving to do!

    Tomorrow I drive back over the Appalachian Mountains, and based on the drive from today I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully the forecaster rain holds-off for most of the day so I can enjoy the twisty roads a bit more.