This morning we drove back to New Market arriving just in time for Trick or Treating in the campground and a costume contest. Hunter won third place in the contest and both boys got way too much junk! Jedi was a big help, passing out the candy.
This morning we got going as early as possible, dropped Jedi at a kennel, and headed to Washington DC. We drove on the northern one third of the Skyline Drive, which is a road through the Shenandoah National Park. It follows the crests of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 105 miles. Unfortunately today it was very foggy and so the visibility from the mountain tops was not good. Very pretty fall colors though. When we got to the Washington area, we started off at Arlington Cemetery where we walked for awhile just to get an idea of the scope of the place. It's huge! The white tombstones go on for what seems like forever. We saw the Kennedy grave site among others. We traveled over the Memorial bridge to the Lincoln Memorial, there is a really good view down the Mall to Capitol Hill from the front steps. We went to the White House, the Washington Monument and the Capitol building. We drove around the Capitol City and saw the Smithsonian Museums and monuments, but we just didn't plan well enough time-wise and we will have to come back to visit these in more detail later. We stayed in Arlington for the night and had some Greek food! YUM!
Our drive to the Luray Caverns was the most picturesque by far. I now understand why people drive from all over just to tour this countryside. The winding road up the mountains full of beautiful fall colors is well worth the trip. We spent 90 minutes in the caverns during a self guided audio tour with rangers around to help answer any questions. They were discovered over 100 years ago and are the largest in the Eastern United States. There was also an auto museum where the boys enjoyed seeing cars, bikes and carriages built in the 1800 and 1900's. The highlight of this field trip though was a scavenger hunt that they did in a real maze of trees 7 feet high! Go figure :-\
Suzanne and the boys went on a walking tour of New Market, VA today. The tour is led by an educator who is very well versed on the history of the local area and points out the historic homes and famous sites in the town. She wears period clothing as she walks you around town, at one point even singing an old southern song. The Battle of New Market was a battle fought on May 15, 1864, within about 5 miles from here during The Valley Campaigns of 1864 in the American Civil War.
Today we moved on down to New Market, VA to the Endless Caverns RV Campground. This campground belongs to Morgan RV Resorts, same as the Tall Pines Campground which was the last place where we had a long term stay in New Hampshire. We found that place to be very friendly and safe, so we were delighted to find another one in the area we were looking to stay. There is a large Cavern there that you can tour and it is a practically new campground in the hills of Virginia. There are lots of woods to explore and place for the dog to run. We had to stop for two deer crossing our campsite when we pulled in! The owners told us that there have been a couple of small bears walking through as well, so maybe the kids will get to see them as well. Regardless, it will be a good place to relax for a couple of weeks and get back into some hard book-learning :) (I can hear the children whining already!)
After staying the night at the Killens Pond National Park, the boys and I got up this morning and went to Mickey D's for breakfast, then to the Air Mobility Command Museum at the Dover Air Force Base, Dover, DE. The Museum has many exhibits of aircraft that have served at the base. We met a guy at a display of the B17 that was an actual tail gunner in that model and was shot down over Germany during WWII. We got to walk through several of the aircraft and I got to sit in the business end of the C-141 (yipee!). Later we picked up and drove through Maryland and by Washington D.C. landing for the night in Front Royal Virginia. We are going to bypass Washington for the time being because we are just toured out! We stayed for the night at Suzanne's favorite RV park. . . Wally World.
We were able to find a nice lady in the campground that would let Jedi out in the middle of the day for a walk, which enabled us to spend a full day in Philadelphia today. We went on a tour of the Historical Dist. which included a laundry list of locations that are important to American History. There is a great web site with a map and a short synopsis of each of about 35 stops on a three mile course. You can take a look at the map here:
Some of the sites that we saw on this tour were:
National Constitution Center
Independence Visitor Center
The Liberty Bell Center
Old City Hall
Second Bank of the United States
Bishop White House
The First Bank of the United States
B. Free Franklin Post Office & Museum
Betsy Ross House
Arch Street Friends Meeting House
Christ Church Burial Ground
The Bourse Building
Declaration House (Graff House)
This morning we pulled up stakes in Croton, NY picked up Jedi from the kennel where he stayed the last two days (Supposedly the oldest kennel in the US?!?) and headed to the Trenton N.J. area. We ended up in Clarksboro, NJ at the Timberlane Campground.