There’s a natural way to get high that not enough people experience.
When’s the last time you went to a national park “just because”? Or stopped to smell a flower, sit quietly by a babbling brook, or simply look at the sky?
Heady stuff, really.
Even though my recent Appalachian ramble was mostly about riding, I appreciate natural stuff, too. And, heck, the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) is a national park of sorts. As explained on the BRP’s FAQ page…
Is the Blue Ridge Parkway a national park? The National Park Service administers a variety of kinds of areas. Some of these are “parks”, some are called “seashores”, some are called “monuments” or “historic sites”, and some are called “parkways.” We wear the same uniform and operate under basically the same rules as Yellowstone, Gettysburg, or Cape Hatteras. Our agency web site at http://www.nps.gov will give you the entire list!
Yes, the road is a good one, but there’s lots of natural beauty to enjoy, too. Like Linville Falls at Milepost 316.
I wasn’t exactly dressed for a hike, but the walk from the parking lot was relatively short, and well worth the sweat it induced.
There were actually quite a few people around, I just framed my shots carefully to exclude the strangers.
And, look at this, you can literally and legally get high, too. For free.
This is the place that was inundated with weevils. You actually get to drive most of the way to the summit. From the parking lot a short, but steep, walk gets you to the high point.
The plant pics were all taken between the parking lot and the mountain’s actual summit. It was a great way to stop and catch my breath without looking like a total wuss that couldn’t make that short, steep trek without getting winded.
After enjoying the view and having to ask some stranger to brush all the bugs off of my back, I hopped on the bike and headed back to the BRP. A bit later, I stopped at one of the visitors’ centers/exhibit halls to stretch and use the facilities. That’s where I saw this beautiful, huge rhododendron.
Yes, that’s a lot of pictures of the same flower, but I thought it was pretty.
It really was a pretty day. I’ll close this post with another of my favorite bike shots.
There are times when the BRP, being in the mountains, is completely fogged in, making it impossible to enjoy the stunning views that seem to be around most corners.
The weather Gods were certainly smiling upon me that day.