Fort Valley

Let’s just say Shenandoah National Park was a bit crowded this weekend.   Much of our day was spent in a line of traffic slowly moving down the drive.  We drove all but about 15 miles of the park’s road.  Through some mix-up, our campsite was not available.  So we traversed back down the valley and into Fort Valley.  So we spent the night enjoying the campfire, considering the “snug” mountain outlines of Fort Valley, and listening to Passage Creek.

We’ve often visited Elizabeth Furnace, but never camped out there.  The camp ground offers basic services (for those who can’t get away from gadgets, there is no electricity on site).  Although, not provisioned as well as a commercial campground, it is typical for National Forest Service campsites.

I like that kind of experience.  Real camping! You get what you packed in and that is all you get!

Some have called Fort Valley a “valley within the valley” between Massanutten and Green Mountains.  At the north end, where Elizabeth Furnace is located, Passage Creek cuts a path north past the mountains, with sharp inclines on each side.   George Washington undoubtedly surveyed the area during his work for Lord Fairfax.   According to some sources, Washington considered using the valley during the Revolution as a possible defensive position.

I don’t know for sure if Washington did intend to turn Fort Valley into Virginia’s version of Valley Forge.  But I do know it was a nice place to catch up on much needed rest!

On our way out this morning we covered some back roads into Front Royal.  Stumbled across this gate guard at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport.

Front Royal Airport 061
F-86H at Front Royal

That is the Blue Ridge in the background to the left.  The model on display is a later series production F-86H.  Appearing after the Korean War, the H was a fighter-bomber.  I know these types saw service well into the 1960s with the Air Guard.

Just rather impressive to see that aluminum glinting in the morning sun with the Blue Ridge as a backdrop.