DC Day Three

On the evening of my first day in DC Rich and I worked out a plan of action. This would allow Kate to organise food and other such sundries. Monday, Day Three, is a trip along the Skyline Drive of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Luray Caverns.
We set off after rush hour so we weren’t delayed on the way. There were some signs along the freeway informing us that our speed was being monitored by aircraft. I find this somewhat interesting. I’m not sure it’s possible. The only thing I can think they do is track vehicles for a set distance and then radio ahead for a patrol car to interdict. I doubt they can track a vehicle and get a good identification of the vehicle at the same time. One would require distance flying and the other close flying. Doesn’t matter, I’m not going to find out.
For this trip I decided to wear an evolution t-shirt [although it does have man evolving into Tim Minchin]. It wasn’t deliberate, and essentially probably an accident heading out into the Virginia countryside wearing a pro-evolution shirt. I also removed my Atheist pin, no sense in pushing the locals.
The weather was a bit dull and overcast. But this did not detract from the views along the road. We could see a reasonable distance and also saw plenty of Turkey Vultures flying the thermals and updrafts. Lunch was a most excellent picnic organised by Kate at Elkwallow picnic site. The toilet there was a rather spectacular hole in the ground surrounded by a prefabricated building – real countryside! Lunch was a lovely chicken roll and crisps followed by coffee in china cups. You don’t get much better than that!
From Elkwallow we followed the road to pass through the 600 foot Mary’s Rock Tunnel and then turned around to head to Luray and the caverns.
These caverns were spectacular. The tour was really well organised and everywhere was accessible (this is for Americans though), our guide was knowledgeable and delivered well. Some of the sights were really impressive. Just the time it takes for stalactites and stalagmites to grow was awe inspiring. The biggest cavern had a mechanical organ that played a hymn. The notes were created using hammers to hit certain stalactites and the vibrations picked up using a solenoid and then amplified. The sound was a wonderfully natural calm sound, not like my usual musical tastes!
Our return to DC took about an hour and a half with some reasonable traffic on the freeway.
That night we ate at Ruth’s Chris Steak House out at Tysons Corner. It was a nice meal and the dessert, chocolate explosion, was particularly worth it. Such a wonderful day.

Luray Caverns