Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Short Drive on the Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic highway running the 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia (Helen takes you there often) to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. With few exceptions in limited areas, there are no commercial vehicles and the maximum speed limit is 35 miles/hour.

Almost every week, my husband and I drive a small section of the Parkway. Our destination is the Pisgah Inn where we have a delicious breakfast and then head back down the mountains. The Inn overlooks a large gorge and we often see birds flying below us. The scenery is outstanding and no matter how often we make the trip, we find new joy in looking at the mountains. We climb several thousand feet in elevation on the way to the Inn, and we love to see the differences in the trees and flowers, especially in the Spring and Fall.

The Parkway has frequent turn outs and scenic viewing areas. However, it is perfectly acceptable to pull one's car off anywhere so long as the car is completely off the road. Here are some scenes from our most recent visit:

The mountain in the center of this picture (with the rock face) is Looking Glass Mountain, located in Pisgah National Forest.

The clouds make lovely shadows on the sides of the mountains.

The pointy mountain in the center of the photograph is Funnel Top.

The top of Cold Mountain.

What, you may ask is on the other side of the car?

Rocky banks, rhododendron, lovely wildflowers and an occasional black bear.

We are truly blessed to have this beauty around us. And doubly blessed to have the time to take advantage of it.


The Birdlady said...

And "Ah" to you, too! These beautiful old mountains call to me - in fact, John got me a shirt that says, "The mountains are calling, and I must go." Gorgeous photos.

KGMom said...

Such lovely scenes.
And it is great to see a photo of the real Cold Mountain.

MicheleRF said...

Simply breathtaking Carolyn! Definitely on my "to go" list for next year's vacation!

Jayne said...

I remember driving the Parkway towards Gatlinburg all the way to Asheville once. There is just nothing like it. A new view around each and every corner! :c)

Shelley said...

I love the mountain photos - something about looking at them that makes one so thoughtful!

Kerri Farley said...

Breathtaking views!!

Michele said...

Your mountain photos are excellent... absolutely stunning.
It sounds absolutely ideal for a day out, something my husband and I would just LOVE to do...
What a beautiful area.
Mountain Retreat Photos
Fishing Fiesta

Kelly said...

Beautiful! It's always nice to find bloggers in WNC. I write a blog about Asheville and the area, if you are interested you should visit: We have a vacation specialist in our company who also works at Pisgah Inn, it's such a nice place!

troutbirder said...

Your right it is a wonderful place to visit. Also not having people wanting to pass you at sixty miles an hour while your sightseeing make it a lot easier to enjoy!

Kelly said...

thanks again for visiting the blog!

it's a pretty small world - our owner at carolina mornings just informed me (after seeing your comment) that when we represented only B&Bs in the area, we used to represent a woman who owned a garage apt on Pearson and made it a B&B...!

Leedra said...

Those blue ridges are oh, so beautiful. When from the East, we can't stand to be far from them.

Susan Gets Native said...

Jeez. My knees feel all wobbly looking at those vista photos.

Such a beautiful place....nice that we still have places like this, huh?

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments. I do hope that all of you have a chance to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a wonderful drive and the scenery is unbelievable.