News / USA

Virginia’s Colorful Autumn Foliage Dazzles Tourists

Virginia’s Colorful Autumn Foliage Dazzles Touristsi
X
October 25, 2013 7:54 PM
Each autumn, a wooded stretch of highway high in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia attracts crowds of tourists who come to admire the colorful fall foliage. Deborah Block takes us for a spin on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.
Deborah Block
Each autumn, a wooded stretch of highway high in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia attracts crowds of tourists who come to admire the colorful fall foliage on the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.

This couple from Maryland is enjoying the array of colors from one of the nearly 75 overlooks on Skyline Drive.  The view reminds Sandra Andrade of a palette of watercolors.

“Different colored trees, it’s just like everyone is having a party. So colorful!," said Andrade.

Apart from passing cars, Bob Bryant enjoys the serenity.

“What you see and what you hear, which a lot of it is nothing, which is just a wonderful thing to hear when you live in the city," said Bryant.

Park ranger Sally Hurlbert says visitors come from all over the United States and around the world.

“They’re from China, from India, they’re from all over. South Africa. I’ve had people from the Ivory Coast,"  said Hurlbert.

Mihuie Lee is from South Korea.

“Here is very calm and very beautiful," said Lee.

Skyline Drive stretches 169 kilometers through the national park. New Yorker Pardees Goshtasb is awestruck by the spectacular views.

“It really makes you realize how little we are compared to the greater scheme of things. But at the same time, you know, we’re so connected with all of this," said Goshtasb.

She’s hoping to spot some wildlife. Hurlbert says she might catch a glimpse of deer or other animals as they prepare for winter.

“The deer are really fun to see at this time of year. Their colors are blending in with the background and they’re losing their summer coats and getting their winter coats.”

The highest peak in the park is 1,200 meters. Rick Steinberg lives by the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, which are much higher.  

“Such a different vista than the Colorado mountains. All the different colors and the greenery, the shadows, just the overlooks are very different," said Steinberg.

He was surprised to learn that the Blue Ridge Mountains are older than mountain ranges with higher elevations. Hurlbert explains that’s because the Blue Ridge range has eroded over time.

"These mountains are about 250 million-years-old, and when they were first formed they were much higher than they are today. Some people compare their original size to the Alps or the Himalayas. Since then they have been eroding away," she said.

While the leaves on the higher elevations are mostly gone, those in the middle are at peak. On the lower level, Hurlbert says, the leaves haven’t changed but will soon.

“Fall lasts a lot longer because you can see it in different places at different times," said Hurlbert.

By mid-November, she says, the color will be gone and so will many of the tourists.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More