I finished the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) today. It’s been amazing. Really.
I ended up leaving the house at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday. That’s earlier than I’d planned on leaving since a quick check of the weather radar that morning showed storms moving in a bit sooner than anticipated.
It was a good thing, too. I managed to reach the northern entrance of the BRP almost completely dry. I did hit a few very brief sprinkles, and the air was humid as all get-out, but that was it.
Hubby and I rode a section of the BRP in 2007. It didn’t make a huge impression on me for some reason. I’d been thinking of the road as a longer Skyline Drive. It isn’t. It’s WAY better.
The 45 mph (~72 kmh) makes a big difference. The road’s a bit more challenging, too, with quite a few descending radius turns. Oh, and Skyline Drive is 105 miles (169 km) long while the BRP runs for 469 miles (~755 km) along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The weather was perfect for most of the day. Around 3:00, I noticed some clouds moving in. I stopped at an overlook near Rocky Knob to take this pic of a thunderstorm off to the east.
Lot’s of other people were stopping, too. That’s where I captured this next pic, one of my favorite images of the day.
After that, I rode through the picnic area looking for a bear, which took all of five minutes, and was going to continue south. Luckily I stopped at the little store to buy some water, because after leaving the store, I noticed another storm moving in south of me.
Since I have no timetable, I just stayed at the visitors’ center while that storm rolled through. It only lasted about 20 minutes or so, then the sky was blue once more, so I went on my way.
My luck didn’t hold. I finally had to don the rain gear after gassing up at Meadows of Dan, Virginia. How’s THAT for a town name. I rode through a couple of pretty good rain storms, and then one doozy of a storm.
After the doozy, I stopped at an overlook and captured this shot of the storm I’d ridden through.
I actually made it to North Carolina yesterday.
I had no idea how far I’d be going, but didn’t expect to get to NC. And then, once I passed that milestone, I decided I should keep going and get at least 235 miles ridden, which would be half the distance of the parkway.
Booking hotel rooms via phone from the mountains during off-and-on rainstorms is a bit trickier than I’d anticipated. So, as it turns out, I reached Boone, NC at the 290 mile mark.
I stayed at a crappy Super 8 motel and had an unremarkable dinner, so I’ll just jump to today.
Actually, I’ll skip today. I’m not used to posting from an iPAD. I saved some photos, which I thought i uploaded, but now can’t find. I’ll share more later.
I took some videos for y’all today, too. I won’t even be able to wtch them until I get home.
I’m in Cherokee, NC for Sunday and Monday nights. I may stay here on Tuesday, too, depending on whether or not I cover the roads I have planned for tomorrow (Monday) and see a few roadside oddities of note.
The adventure continues…