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Year 2018 Travel Summary

Changde Wu    2019-01-12

My 2018 travel is rather ordinary, not much to shine. The travel was largely depended on my son's agenda, who would be a high school senior after the summer. He did not make mind of college visiting before the last minutes. My initial travel plan was ambitious, touring the eastern Canada resgion including Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia aw well as Newfoundland, a perfect plan for scenery as well as birding. My son changed his mind in the last minutes, and decided to visist some colleges that have strong enigeering programs in the middle US. So the new plan was to visit such schools on the way, with most of them are public, then head to Appalachian mountains for real fun.

As for scenery travel, my key points are the Lookout Moutain in the Southeastern Tennesse, Great Smoky mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. We will also stay one night in the Natural Bridge. We have reserved a resort under the Eastern foot of the Shenandoah Moutain for several days. The location would serve as a base station for our itinerary in the Shenandoah area.

Blue ridge mountains is part of the broad southern Appalachian mountains range. It is the backbone of the Appalachian mountains. Great Smoky mountains is in the south, and Shenandoah National Park is on the northern part, and they are connected by the 755 km long Blue Ridge Parkway. It turned out that the scenery in these three parks are much similar. So traveling from one end to the other in several days will soon feel boring. In my perspective, Shenandoah National Park has not much to shine comapare with the Great Smoky Moutain and Blue Ridge Parkway. If I have to choose only one due to time constrain, I would pick the Great Smoky Moutain with no hesitation. This is because it not only offers super sceneries, but also rich wildlife.

P1 In the March, post the blizzard, coastal areas were stunning and most roads were submerged by sea water,due to high tide and strong wind. The scence from Rye Harbor Beach, New Hampshire.
P2 One quick tour to Long Island, NY for photoing terns during July 4th weekend. We revisted the appartment complex our family lived long time ago.
P3 A Lavender Farm in Long Island, small size, yet high entrance ticket price, not really worthy to visit
P4 The first sceneric stop in our Mid-US summer travel, Chimney Bluffs State Park on the southern shore of Lake Ontario
P5 A revisted of Letchworth State Park, nick named the "Grand Canyon of the East".
P6 Niagara Falls, a place my family visited manay times
P7 The night scene of Pittsburgh, PA, from Mt. Washington, on the way of Carnegie Mellon University visiting
P8 Reunion with my old friends in St Louis, MO after completing college tours in Mid-West area; the likely Washington Monument is actually the Gateway Arch from side
P9 The Outlook Mountain in SE of Tennesse, bordering Georgia, offers two nice sites for travellers, here is the Rock City Garden.
P10 Ruby Falls (nothing related to Gemstone), a waterfall within a cavern; nice to pay a visit, but very crowded
P11 The dusk of at the foot of the Great Smoky Moutain
P12 The Great Smoky Mountains, truely smoking
P13 Looking Glass Rock in the southern Blue Ridge Parkway
P14 The Morning sunrise in Natural Bridge, Virginia
P15 The Natural Bridge, a Virginia State Park; Used to be the private property of Thomas Jefferson
P16 Reflection in Grand Tavern
P17 The overlook of the fields from the Blue Ridge Parkway
P18 New York City on our way to home
P19 The Red Foliage watching becomes a religion. This year we didn't go far, rather spent most of time in SE of Vermont, had lunch in Woodstock, then headed to Jenny Farm, a famous out scene place that movie Forrest Gump shot.

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