I love certain categories of photos, fall foliage and big skies among them. Here’s the first photo gallery of my blog from my trip to Shenandoah in October. (Click any photo to open the photos in a gallery and see captions.)

I started at Skyline Caverns, which has stalactites, stalagmites, and anthodites, cool and rare crystal growths. Very cool and less touristy than Luray Caverns, which was one of the first items on my places-to-go-when-I-stop-working list.

I got a last-minute reservation (as in, “Can I have a room in an hour?”) at The Woodward House on Manor Grade, which was as kitschy as a B&B should be. I wrote more about the B&B in the post about the food of this trip.

The next day was devoted to Skyline Drive, which I’m embarrassed to admit took me 12 years to visit. I drove all 105 miles of it, stopping for a few hikes and scenic views. The road is hilly and curvy, and goes in and out of bright sun and shadows. The result was a really queasy me. It took an hour in my B&B room to feel stable. Now I can say I’ve traversed the whole thing and don’t need to do so again.

The final day was in Staunton (pronounced Stanton).  Late-season sunflowers, a delicious lunch at George Bower’s Grocery, owned by Katie—who drank all of those beers—then beautiful sky along I-81 to Harrisonburg. The sunset in my rearview mirror as I drove home was gorgeous, but I was heavy traffic and chose to focus on driving instead of snapping a photo. So, please imagine your favorite bright orange and red sunset and insert that as the last photo below.