Shenandoah Valley, Front Royal and Luray, VA

Another fun day!!

The campground we stayed at in Front Royal, Skyline Ranch, was very pleasant. Complete with a small pond,

petting zoo, (this guy thought I had something for him! There were also two more pigmy goats, a small pony, and two pot belly pigs that were still sleeping )

and small train for kids to climb on, and yes, we got lots of close-up pictures for possible future project!!

And here is another view of the Massanutten, from the campground. It seems we have been all around it!

We have seen many caverns in different states, so we were not going to see any of them here in Virginia. But since we have been here, everyone talked highly of the Luray Caverns, so we decided we should probably see them!

So Thursday, we visited the Luray Caverns, discovered in the 1880’s. On the way we kept intercepting the winding Shenandoah River.

At one point, we were 147 feet below the ground at the deepest, and we saw 47 acres of the 60+ acres that they cover during our 1 1/4 mile walk.

I thought this looked like the Nativity scene!

This was a one foot deep lake that had such a beautiful reflection…. it looked much deeper!

and best of all was the world’s only Stalacpipe organ

I videoed it playing, but it failed to upload (after a couple of tries), so it is just the picture!

Included in the ticket was entrance to the Car and Carriage Cavern, a museum displaying more than 140 items dating back to 1725. The automobiles covered 1892 to 1935.

The 1892 Benz,

the Rolls Royce, with the faux leather paint job, that belonged to Rudolph Valentino,

and the 1935 Hispana-Suiza, with the 24K gold plate accent trim and German silver, that cost $20,000 new, were among my favorites.

The Luray Valley Museum, a living history museum, was also included.

It displays artifacts from the 1750’s to 1920’s along with a collection of historic, local buildings transported to the site and restored to represent a small 19th century farming community.

Among the artifacts owned by a local family, was the Abraham Strickler Bible, printed in 1536 in Zurich,Switzerland. Abraham was the first owner of this Bible here in America. It is one of the only complete Bibles in vernacular German left in the world. This edition even has woodcut illustrations by Hans Holbein, royal painter for the English court of Henry VIII. It was quite interesting, that a descendant of the Strickler family came in to see it while we were there. It had been in the same family since a Swiss relative of Abraham Strickler, Conrad Strickler, was arrested and died in prison in the mid 1600’s for his religious belief.

Close by, just at the East entrance, we saw the Luray Singing Tower, a native stone carillon containing 47 bells.

We left Front Royal on Friday, arriving at our destination, Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, PA, mid-afternoon.

We know our leaders, the Taylors, having worked with them in French Camp, MS, earlier this year, and met the other two couples around the campfire. We will begin work on Monday.

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