Friday, November 22, 2013

the blue ridge parkway...

 The Blue Ridge Parkway is America's favorite scenic drive.

So we were told...
and now we know why.

It is a 469 mile scenic drive that follows the highest ridges of the Appalachians between the Shenandoah and Great Smokey Mountain National Parks.

And I'm thinking we picked the absolute perfect time to drive the Parkway!

I like green...
but nothing beats the colourful foliage of autumn.

At Milepost 61 of our drive...
we paid a visit to The Natural Bridge.  

Twenty stories tall, one hundred feet wide and forty feet thick...
 Virginia's immense Natural Bridge is a National Historic Landmark
 shaped by Mother Nature over thousands of years.

Once owned by Thomas Jefferson...
and said to have been surveyed by a young George Washington
...the Natural Bridge is a window into the American past.

Though the Natural Bridge can be viewed for free from above (it is part of US Highway 11)...
one needs a ticket to hike down the trail and along Cedar Creek...

...the lazy creek that can be credited with carving through the limestone terrain...
to form the gorge.

 The Blue Ridge Parkway follows the crest of the mountains through the far western edge of North Carolina.

Who knew we would find rugged peaks...
and many deep valleys?

The stone guard walls along this section of road were most impressive!
Apparently they were constructed in the 1930's...
and many have recently been rebuilt.

Our guidebook says the Blue Ridge Parkway...
 'is a high road of adventure,
intended for gypsy-like travel on the ride-awhile-stop-awhile basis.'

We made good gypsies...
and stopped often!

Sometimes just for a picture of an old barn!

And sometimes to read the historic markers.

We also stopped at Blowing Rock...
and at Linville Falls.
I'll take you there another day.

If one picture tells a thousand words...
I'll leave you six more.

Like I said...
we couldn't have picked a better time to do that drive!

I had no idea we would be climbing to an elevation of more than 6,000 feet.
The higher we climbed...
the cooler it got.

Soon there was ice beside the road...
and then we reached snow.

As long as it was just on the trees...
and not on the road...
it was all good!

We passed by Little Switzerland...
and then on to Asheville...
a mountain resort made famous by the Vanderbilt family.

And that is where we parted ways with the Blue Ridge Parkway...
and took a road more traveled into South Carolina.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Oh! Judy what memories you bring back for me. I totally agree, beautiful but in the Autumn amazing. I will look forward to seeing your pics of Blowing Rock. Driving along the Parkway in the early hours of the morning alone by the light of the moon was an experience I will never forget. Something about the atmosphere.

  2. What a gorgeous drive with so many visual treats! If Katie and Andrew were going to be in North Carolina longer I'd take a peek at Asheville for sure. It's a lot of hours away from the base, though. Now you have me singing that song..."Hang down your head...

  3. Such beautiful, beautiful views from bright colored trees to that natural bridge and winding roads, tunnels, icicles and snow covered hills! I can imagine listening to music and loving every minute, every view!

  4. The Carolinas are so beautiful especially in the spring and fall. You really gave us a treat with your autumn scenery photos. Just wish I was snacking on some southern foods while seeing them.

  5. Gorgeous scenery Judy! You sure did pick a great time of year to visit and drive the parkway. A lovely drive for sure.

  6. So beautiful! I've heard a lot about The Blue Ridge Parkway because a close friend of mine used to live in Asheville. But I've never been there. I'd love to though. You picked the perfect time to go.

  7. Scot and I are drooling over this part of your trip. Gorgeous photography Judy! You are good gypsies:)

  8. Beautiful pictures Judy! The frosty ones are amazing and that natural bridge - WoW! Hope our RV takes us there someday.

  9. I love that part of the US - and you seem to have traveled through it in the very best way. You two are authentic gypsies!

  10. What a beautiful journey through the Blue Ridge Parkway showing its beautiful autumn colors. You saw some very interesting sights, Judy. I was also unaware there were peaks of 6,000 feet there. I live at that height but we are in a pleasant make me appreciate how high all of Colorado is!

  11. This is so interesting to me! It is a part of the country that everyone who visits it, talks so favorably about it. You did one great job in capturing it for us, and thanks to you, I will now be humming that song of Tom Dooley. I agree with you, you did pick the perfect time of the year to drive that route.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson