Friday, May 18, 2012

Out for a Ride: Monacan Park, Woodruff’s Café & Pie Shop, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Shenandoah National Park

Sometimes you just have to get out of the house.  That’s what I did with my family last Saturday.  It was a gorgeous day so we grabbed our cameras and went for a ride.  We aimed at heading to Shenandoah National Park but weren’t tied to any particular schedule since it was 3 pm by the time we got going.  Here’s what we did and saw along the way. 

We headed north out of Lynchburg, VA on Route 29, drove through Madison Heights, and turned left on 130.  Along 130 in Elon you will find signs pointing you left toward Monacan Park.  The park, located in Amherst County, is named after the Indian tribe that once roamed the area.  It is set along the banks of the James River in a beautiful and peaceful setting.  There is a boat ramp, picnic pavilion, play area for kids, restrooms, and plenty of places to park a chair by the river and do some fishing.  We saw lots of fish activity on the surface of the water and heard a splash from a particularly large one.  Sadly the people I spoke with said nothing was biting that day. 

After leaving Monacan Park, we headed West on 130 and made a quick stop at Woodruff’s Café and Pie Shop (3297 Elon Rd., Monroe, VA).  The shop is located in a store from days gone by and is run by Angela Scott who offers a lunch menu of sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, and devilled eggs.  The real draws though are her delicious pies and turnovers.  Particular favorites for our family are the sweet potato turnovers, the coconut cream pie, and the buttermilk pie!

Pie in hand we continued West on 130 and took a right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The parkway is 469 miles of roadway connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  There are plenty of scenic overlooks, places to picnic or camp,  hiking trails, and more.  Along the way, we made many stops for photo ops, the restroom, and to eat our pie.

(Okay, I admit I was a little too fascinated with the patterns and texture made by the growth on these trees!)

After many stops, we finally reached the entrance to Shenandoah National Park at Rockfish Gap near Waynesboro a little after 7 pm.  We drove into the park a ways and took just a few pictures before we realized it was getting late and we were all hungry.  So after a quick meal in Waynesboro, we headed home, tired, but pleased with the day! 

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