Always Have A Plan B

Good advice but most of us place a lot of faith in Plan A so Plan B doesn’t always seem important. When we were planning this USA road trip the idea was to fly to Boston, explore a bit of New England then drive (very roughly) down the line of the Appalachian mountains to Georgia. We talked enthusiastically about travelling along the Skyline Drive in the Shendandoah National Park, then following the Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia down to the Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

Well, if you’ve been following this Blog you will know that last week we did the Skyline Drive in beautiful weather to Front Royal. We stayed there 2 nights, spent a day at Harper’s Ferry, a significant place in the American Civil War. The next day we wandered through the mountains and backroads of West Virginia before crossing back into Virginia, staying at Harrisonburg.

Skyline Drive in mist

Skyline Drive in mist

The next day was when we needed Plan B. The weather suddenly changed. We went back up onto the Skyline drive intending to head south and pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway but the Skyline drive had changed since our last visit. The mist had come down and visibility was down to 50 yards. Views? What views? By the time we reached the junction with the Blue Ridge mountains it was worse. No point in going on.

So, a hastily contrived Plan B. We turned back east towards Charlottesville and went to Thomas Jefferson’s house at Monticello. It may not have been Plan A but it was well worth a visit. rsz_img_4228Jefferson was one of the signatories of the original Declaration of Independence and also the 3rd President of the USA. He designed this house himself and it is impressive.

We stayed in Charlottesville that night but the next day the weather was still bad. Blue Ridge Parkway still a no-no. So instead we took the old route 11 down through the Shenandoah Valley. The weather cleared a bit and at Lexington we chanced going up onto the Parkway. Not bad, clear in places, swirling mist in others. We crossed the James river, one of the main transport routes of early Virginia and headed to Bedford for the night.

And now it’s Tuesday 29th September and the weather is apparently set to get worse, much worse, especially in Tennessee and the southern Appalachians which is where we are headed. They are forecasting extremely heavy rainfall here and floods on the coast. The prospects for our last week are not hopeful.

Time to think about Plan C perhaps. Unless anyone knows an anti-rain dance.

Michael