Blue Ridge Parkway
I’ve mentioned before that I believe one of the good things done by the US government is the National Park System. One among many gems within the system may not be thought of as a national park, but the Blue Ridge Parkway is operated by the NPS, and I like to think of it as a 469 mile long national park. The BRP connects Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. It is a 469 mile two-lane road that makes its way over, around and through the southern Appalachian Mountains.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s a single traffic light along the Parkway, but the speed limit on this magnificent mountain road is 45 mph or less. Construction began in the 1930s and was completed in the 1960s. The Parkway is open year round, but in winter, sections are often closed due to high snow.
Autumn is an ideal time to drive the road and stop at the many overlooks for views of the mountains draped in their colorful fall foliage. The only downside is that it seems like everyone living east of the Mississippi has the same idea. Some of the overlook parking lots were full to overflowing with leaf peeper’s cars.
Not that I can blame the tourists, I mean that’s why we’re here too. We’ve driven various sections of the Parkway at other times, but never this time of year. The views are worth dealing with the traffic.
There are some sections of the Parkway, and the Smoky park as well, that have vast groves of mountain laurel, rhododendron and flame azaleas that must be magnificent when in bloom. We’d have to be here in June to see those colors.
We had dinner at a restaurant in Asheville last night and were really surprised when we opened the menus. Not that the offerings were anything special, but the menus were like two panels of an x-ray view box which lit up when opened and back lit the menu pages. The light behind one page of Penny’s menu went out, and I asked the waiter to turn the menu over to tech support for a repair. The waiter suggested a reboot.