A Day On the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is said to be one of the most scenic drives in the country. It connects the Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. It’s two lane, following the Blue Ridge Mountains, so it’s curvy and lots of fun to drive if you like mountain driving.

Work began in 1935 on the astounding 469 miles long road.

I have not driven the entire thing but have been on sections at various times and it is always a treat. There are side trips to enjoy from the parkway, scenic overlooks, and hiking opportunities. Plus, the looks of the mountains change with the weather and time of day.

We started out early to avoid Saturday morning sightseers. As we drove up the mountain road that morning, we experienced rain and gloom, saw sunshine burning off fog, felt the wind whip through our hair and even drive through a cloud high atop one mountain section.

It was early spring at the highest points where things were just starting to come alive. Down the mountain a ways, spring wildflowers bloomed and trees were in full leaf. The contrast was great fun to experience

The birds were especially vocal everywhere we went and this made my heart happy.

There are some things to see and do along the way including visitors centers, a folk art center and Mount Mitchell which is the highest point east of the Mississippi.

We took a couple of side trips that are worth stories of their own so I’ll tell you about those spots another day.

If you want to do some sightseeing but struggle with walking, this is great way to safely enjoy your natural surroundings. Pack a snack, roll down the windows, and enjoy the ride.

Thomas Stairs

I want to climb them just to see where they lead. This is one of many colorful, offbeat things you’ll see in Thomas, West Virginia if you park the car and go looking.

Thomas is a special town with a lot of history and heart that celebrates diversity. I was there last fall when the pandemic was hampering what should have been a busy fall weekend. The colors were glorious and, according to the locals I met, the best they had seen in years.

This area is on my list of places to return to another day. That list has become stunningly long.

What’s on your post pandemic to visit list? Because I need more ideas, you know…..

Airstream

Nothing better represents the thrill of the open road and the freedom of travel than an airstream camper parked on a mountainside.

It’s not too late this fall to squeeze in a road trip. What are you waiting for??