August 4, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Visit to Sky Meadows Park

On our way back home on Sunday, Jacqueline and I stopped at Sky Meadows State Park, located on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge between Front Royal and the "horse country" of Middleburg. We have passed by dozens of times along I-66 but never seemed to have enough time to take a look. Since the weather was so beautiful, however, we decided to finally pay a visit, albeit a rather brief, impromptu one. It was more delightful than I could have imagined, with gorgeous scenery, history, and wildlife. As the photo shows, "Sky Meadows" is aptly named. I hiked to this spectacular vantage point, climbing several hundred feet, while Jacqueline stayed behind, lacking proper footwear. (!) At least I got some spiritual refreshment (in lieu of church) and some much-needed exercise! (A report on birds will be posted separately.) Nearby is the quaint, upscale village of Paris, home of the Ashby Inn. One negative factor: a natural gas pipeline is being built right along the park boundary, creating an ugly scar that may take years to "heal." (It's just off the left side of the view below.) For more information, see the Virginia State Parks Web site or the Sky Meadows page. I highly recommend it.

Sky Meadows Park view