Friday, March 23, 2007

road trip

If you are looking to take a road trip, consider the Blue Ridge Parkway - 469 peaceful miles from the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

The speed limit is 45 mph, with lots of places to pull off and enjoy the view. The road goes through many tunnels carved out of the mountains and at its highest point is 6047 feet in North Carolina.

We have traveled the entire length of the parkway twice including the additional 105 miles of the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah. We have also made several shorter trips on the Parkway over the years, up to Mt. Pisgah to camp or hike.

Along the way you will see places with interesting names such as Looking Glass Rock, Devils' Courthouse, Grandfather Mountain, Peaks of Otter, and Fryingpan Tunnel.

Travel on the parkway is not only a scenic drive - with mountain vistas, wildlife, wildflowers, trees - but it is something to be experienced. Definitely the journey, not the destination.

When riding through the pristine forests and mountains, several things are missing, but you don't realize it until you leave the parkway - signs, billboards, trucks, signs of civilization, commercialism. When leaving you feel like you have been in another world.

If you do plan to do this road trip, do not rush it, take enough time to enjoy all it has to offer.

The entire 469 miles of this great scenic highway is a National Park.

I was reminded of our trips there when I recently saw the exquisite photos of the parkway taken by photographer and blogger Fred First in Virginia.

~photo above of Looking Glass Rock found on Wikipedia


david santos said...

Hello, Susan!
This work is very good. thank you
have a good weekend

jellyhead said...

What a beautiful photo. I bet your road trips along the parkway were awesome!

doubleknot said...

Beautiful picture. The trip sounds wonderful. Many, many years ago I drove the sky way I am glad it is still the same.
Catching up on blogging since blogger is letting me post and leave comments now.
The weather picture is awsome and the flowers pretty and as usual your quotes just add that finishing touch.

Sandy said...

We drove the parkway, on our motorcycle two summers ago and it is just as you said...peacefull & beautiful. We also saw wildlife along our way and many scenic views. I also loved the stone bridges and rail fences.

The same summer we took
another ride just like this parkway but with different scenery. The Natchez Trace Parkway which starts south of Nashville, Tenn and ends in Natchez, Mississippi covering about the same number of miles as the Blue Ridge Parkway. Natchez Trace is also a National Park with a 50 or 55 mph speed limit and no billboards or signs.

The Blue Ridge Parkway & Natchez Trace Parkway are two routes that I definately plan on visiting this summer. And have to take your time and enjoy the ride and the many interesting sites to stop and visit.

colleen said...

I think it's Pilot Mountain (in NC?) A peak with a big hole next to it, making it look like some giant scooped the mountain out of it.

bluemountainmama said...

i love the parkway and spent many weekends at devil's courthouse, waterrock knob, and various other favorite spots when i lived in nc. i hope to drive the whole way at some point. lovely pic!