We have had a strategy each day when leaving the cabin. We putter around in the morning (which means I sleep late and David plays his computer game). After lunch we take Yoda out to get him tired. This means we throw sticks into the River so he can swim and fetch. After we feel he is suitably tired, we try to sneak out. Yoda has become wise to the strategy and today just refused to be left in the cabin. After several tries and the realization we would likely end up hurting him we took him with us.
If Yoda was good in the car we would take him anyway but he doesn’t like it much. Well, more accurately he only likes it when he is allowed to ride in the front seat on his daddy’s lap. A small Saturn Ion is not the vehicle for a sixty-five pound dog and two large people to ride in the front seat. So most of the journey is fighting to keep Yoda in the back. We have worked out a way to secure him but the result of that is whining.
Fortunately we didn’t have far to go. Our first stop was Naked Mountain Winery. We took Interstate 66 east to exit 18 and Rt. 688 north to the winery. I have to say it was another tasting room with a deck and magnificent mountain and vineyard view. I did the tasting today and tried six wines. I would have liked to have owned them all but left with one bottle of 2008 Chardonnay-Riesling. One word of warning. The road into the winery says “Blind Curve, Honk Horn.” They aren’t kidding.
Rt. 688 continues north five miles to Rt. 17 a few miles south of Sky Meadows State Park. Sloping meadows with cattle grazing bring to mind my definition of bucolic. Add to that distant mountains and Historic Bleak House and you have Sky Meadows State Park. There is a hike-in primitive campground, group campground, and a small meeting space with a great deck and views. We have equestrian parking and great horse trail access. We have had a horseback riding concession in the past and hope to find someone else to operate one in the future. We also have a very popular fishing pond. All the folks we saw in the park today were fishing at this pond.
I decided to drive back a different way and took 17 north to Route 50 and west to Route 340, south back to Front Royal and the park. I did see two places I want to come back to before we leave – the State Arboretum of Virginia and Locke Store. I started following Locke Store, a General Store in Millwood, on Twitter near when I began our @VaStateParks Twitter account. They always offered mouth watering lunch specials and I vowed to stop in when I was out this way. Then there’s this other winery I missed today ….