Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our Stay at Skyland Resort on the Skyline Drive

View from Skyland Lodge on Skyline Drive, VA
View from Skyland Lodge
Skyland Resort is located between mile marker 41.7 and 42.5 on the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.  They have a dining area, gift shop, horse stables, hiking trails and many Ranger programs to attend.  Do not let the word Resort fool you into thinking you will be staying in a luxurious room.  The rooms are rustic and do not have phones or Wi-Fi, but then again, this is what helps you to relax and get back in touch with nature.   Cabins are available also. As soon as we arrived at Skyland, we checked in and then headed over to the dining room.  We were starving and it was definitely time for lunch.  The Dining Room was closed, because lunchtime was actually over.  We sat ourselves in the Tap Room.  The waitress handed us our menus, welcomed us, and that was it.  No one ever came back!  We sat there as people were getting served all around us.  I started thinking it was because I was a single parent.  I wanted to cry, I was sooooooo hungry.  Well it turns out, that the waiter, who was supposed to take care of us, did not realize that we were part of his tables to take care of.  He apologized and took our order.  I felt better after I ate.  The food was delicious, but pricey. 

View from Back Porch at Skyland Resort - Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
View from Back Porch
After our lunch, we went to find our room.   Our little building consisted of five one-story rooms.  We were at the end near the wooded area.  As soon as we got out of our car a deer was coming out of the woods!  Nadia and I were so excited.  As we were unloading our car, I met one of our neighbors.  She told me that the last time she was here, she had seen a bear.  It did not bother them, but to be mindful that they are around.  I thanked her and wished her a good trip.  “Yikes!” I said to myself after she left, I think I will just keep my bear spray on me just in case. Our room was very rustic.  It had two double beds that were very comfortable, a nice bathroom and ceiling fan.  There was no phone or TV.  You have a nice porch out back that looks out into the valley.  Trees blocked our view, but you still had a good view of the wildlife.  We were happy with it.  The only thing I did not like was that I thought we could not walk to the dining room and were going to have to drive, but I was wrong!  We had gone out to do some exploring and I saw my neighbor and her husband take a path up the hill beside our rooms.  I told Nadia, “let’s check out the path and see where it leads.”  Yes!! It led to the dining room.  Was I concerned about bears? Yes I was, but we just used caution and talked and made noise while we walked on the path.
Deer at Skyland Lodge, Skyline Drive, VA
For the rest of the afternoon, we just hung out at our room.  I looked over my guidebooks and Ranger Schedule to plan out what we would do for the rest of our stay.  At around 5:30 p.m. we walked the path up to the dining room and had dinner.  This dining room also had a nice view like the other places we stayed on this trip.  The food was good. After dinner we walked over to the Ranger Campfire Program.  It was not far from the room.  Bring your jackets; it gets pretty cool at night.  Also, if you are walking over, remember to bring a flashlight or lantern for your walk back.

Deer at Skyland Lodge, VA
Look how cute!!
The campfire program is held at the amphitheater.  It is about a 45 minute long program.  The Ranger lights a campfire and you sit on the benches and they give a slide show presentation on a topic.  There is a different topic discussed each night that they have the program.  Nadia was able to have the Ranger sign her Junior Ranger booklet. (You can purchase the booklet in any gift store on the Skyline Drive) We both enjoyed the program and thought it was very informative. Afterwards, we quickly walked back to our room and called it a night.  Tomorrow was our 2-½ hour horseback ride.  We needed to be at the Stables early in the morning.

Back Porch View at Skyland Lodge, Skyline Drive, VA
Another view from the back porch
Below is my newest book that is available on Amazon that was written about this road trip along with some added bonuses

Below is my first travel guide