Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, October 8 Following the Color on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville, NC

Unfortunately it is still very ove cast this morning with rain in the forecast. We are on the road by 9:30AM, but no rain so far. Our plan is to head down to the North Carolina border and pick up the BlueRridge Parkway as it heads into North Carolina at Fancy Gap, VA. We toy with the idea of going over to Mount Airy....Maybury, USA, but even though it is not raining, the sky still looks iffy.

The Parkway is one of Carolyn’s life long all time favorite drives, especially the part in North Carolina. There are no towns, signal lights, stop signs or trucks just a good road with exits leading to near-b, very small towns, lovely over looks and great picnic areas, nice walks and a few mountain craft centers. The Parkway is really beautiful any time of year...in the sunshine and rather spiritual...in the mist, but no fun...in the rain! The park service does close the road during the winter months for snow.

At first, we have heavy overcast, but we can see the valleys and other mountains with all the color.

As we approach Grandfather Mountain, where the last section of the Parkway was completed in 1987, the mist settles in. The Parkway was built in the early 1930's as a works project, but there was a long battle to get everyone to agree on the best way to build the highway around the unique mountain. When Dick first drove the parkway with Carolyn, this section was a torturous route though the busy resort town of Boone and the quaint college town of Blowing Rock. A road cantilevered into the mountainside, Linn Cove Viaduct,

was finally built to connect the part north to VA with the rest of the road bypassing the two towns.

We get off at Blowing Rock and get some lunch. It has turned really cold and we are getting patches of misty rain. Back on the Parkway, we stop at the Moses Cone visitors center which is located in a beautiful old home with an outstanding view and carriage and hiking trails.

The house has a local artisan showing off his wood carving skill and many, many, quality mountain crafts by locals for sale. Carolyn loves this type of place and as usual finds some nice items.

Back on the Parkway, driving in and out of the mist, and by lakes

past Linville Falls, another really nice mountain hike to a beautiful falls, we reach the turn off for Spruce Pine about 4PM. The next section which is about an hour and half drive past a very nice resort called Little Switzerland and on into Asheville where we plan to spend the night is beautiful if it is nice weather. It goes around M.t Mitchell and gets quite high with great views. In weather like this, it can get very fogy. Carolyn knows from many summers spent here growing up that if it is fogy at Little Switzerland, the road becomes a nightmare to drive and there is no real way to get off for the next 50 miles.

We drive out to Little Switzerland and it is pea soup! So we back track and go down the mountain to Marion and take the low road into Asheville where we have reservations at a Homewood Suites. We eat at the hotel and call it a night.

No comments:

Post a Comment