Blue Ridge Parkway, Done

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.

Ominous-looking storm.
Ominous-looking storm.

Lot’s of other people were stopping, too. That’s where I captured this next pic, one of my favorite images of the day.

Ominous-looking storm.
Ominous-looking storm.

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.

Ruh Ro
Ruh Ro

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.

Gorgeous View
Gorgeous View

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…

8 Replies to “Blue Ridge Parkway, Done”

  1. It’s been great seeing pics trickle through on instagram, etc.

    Did you have a favorite section of the BRP? It seems to me like they have different personalities.

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying the trickle of pics. 🙂

      Coverage in the mountains is so spotty.

      I really like the last part of the Parkway in NC, where the mountains are highest, and it often looks like the road is leading you off into the clouds. The sunny weather helps. And the views are just stunning. But I like the forested sections, too. There are walls of rhododendron bushes that were just getting ready to bloom as I made my way south, so I may try to re-do some of the middle sections as I make my way back north.

      I re-did a portion of the parkway today as it was a shortcut from where I’d ridden. Temps hit 95 degrees in the Cherokee Foothills in SC. It was brutal. Imagine my delight when it was in the low to mid 70s on the parkway and, at times, as low as 68. That was AWESOME. The heat really saps the ole energy.

  2. Glad you managed to dodge most of the rain. Those clouds are really dark.

    I like how your iPad turned some of the pics sideways. Makes the second picture look like gravity has changed into different direction in the BRP. Took me a minute to figure it out.

    Glad you are having fun. I am enjoying the pics of Facebook too.

    1. Yeah, I’m glad I had nice weather most of the day. I’ve actually been lucky. Sometimes it can get really foggy.

      I had no idea the pics were messed up until Mike told me this morning. Of course, I was already on the road when I saw his message. Something about Apple products recognizing the rotated pics, but other operating systems showing them in their original orientation. Hopefully, it won’t happen again. Most pics will just have to wait until I get home.

      I’m glad you are enjoying the FB pics. 🙂

  3. Great looking stuff, Toadmama.

    There’s nothing like being in total control of your trip schedule and being able to say, “Hmm, I’m just gonna’ wait out the storm here, where it’s dry”… And then getting hit with cloudbursts a few miles down the road. 😉

  4. What fun! I love the word ominous. 😀 So wonderful to have no schedule or agenda and just wait out storms…or whatever you want to do!

    The southern part of the BRP is definitely the BEST. Curvy, awesome views, beautiful scenery. I don’t have Instagram and am not sure why I didn’t see your pics on FB. Hmmm. Do you post as Kathy or ToadMama? Will have to go check that out.

    1. “Ominous” IS a good word. 🙂

      I did enjoy not having a schedule. Or a plan, from day to day. I don’t think you need an Instagram account just to view other peoples pics, but I could be wrong.

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