Something else that's important to remember is that while it may look and feel as if you're on the twisty roads of the Nürburgring, you most assuredly are not. The speed limit is 35 mph for the entire length of the drive, and it is strictly enforced by park rangers. While these speeds may not allow you to fully appreciate your Corvette's handling capabilities, they will provide you with ample opportunity to roll down the windows (or drop the top) and experience every curve at a leisurely pace.
The Skyline Drive boasts 75 overlooks that allow visitors to pull over and admire the stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west, or the rolling Piedmont to the east. There is also a wide variety of wildlife, including the deer and black bears that may often be spotted along the road. The landscape fills up with a kaleidoscope of colors during the summer months, thanks to the many species of wild flowers found in the park.
9 Forced to maintain a respectable...
9 Forced to maintain a respectable 35 miles per hour, the CCDV crew enjoys a pleasant open-air drive.
10 Deer are a common sight...
10 Deer are a common sight on the Skyline—one reason for the strictly enforced speed limit.
11 During the summer months,...
11 During the summer months, large areas of the park are covered with patches of color from the many wild flowers that grow there.
After a leisurely drive with numerous stops to admire the scenic vistas, the CCDV crew stopped for the night at the northern exit of the Skyline Drive, in Front Royal, Virginia. Again, lodging wasn't an issue, as there are plenty of options here.
Day four brought the Corvette caravan back north, again through scenic back roads towards Pennsylvania. The final destination was the Gettysburg National Military Park. The site of the Civil War's bloodiest battle, and the setting for Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, this national park today welcomes visitors with its 22,000 square-foot museum and a gallery of interactive programs, multi-media presentations, and exhibits. While you'll need to pay to visit the museum, entrance to the park is free.
Once inside, you may explore the battlefield and cemetery on your own, or opt for a guided tour with a licensed guide. You may even drive your Corvette to many of the sites made famous by battlefield lore: Culp's Hill, McPherson's Ridge, Cemetery Hill, Spangler's Spring, Devil's Den, the Peach Orchard, Little Round Top, and the High Water Mark, to name but a few. The park also has hiking paths and a horse trail, and on-road bicyclists are welcome. On weekends during the summer months, living-history groups and bands may regularly be found performing at Gettysburg.
12 The Gettysburg National...
12 The Gettysburg National Military Park has approximately 400 monuments that are dedicated to the units and soldiers of the Civil War. The one shown here honors the 1st Rhode Island Battery.
13 The CCDV crew pose for...
13 The CCDV crew pose for a group shot along one the Skyline's many scenic stops.
14 CCDV members piled into...
14 CCDV members piled into this 1930s bus for their tour of Gettysburg. This is one of many options available to visitors who wish to see the park.
The CCDV group decided that a tour--conducted in a '30s-era bus--was the best way to get around. Several companies in Gettysburg, including some with Licensed Battlefield Guides, offer bus tours of the park. After the tour, the CCDV club members had the option to stay in the area overnight or drive home toward the Philadelphia area, which is only a two-hour drive from Gettysburg.
After a four-day drive with mixed activities, the task for the CCDV members began all over again with planning for the 2012 trip. But regardless of which direction they head next time around, they can rest assured that there's no shortage of things to do and places to visit in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.
All Photos used with permission of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy