Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway--North Carolina

8 June 2009 Asheville, NC to Blowing Rock, NC 129.9 miles

Pictures L to R: The Viaduct near Linn Cove; Baby dressed for the weather!

We went into Asheville to fuel up (there are no gas stations on the parkway itself—at least not is this area), and to try and find a NAPA to buy a replacement bearing. We found NAPA, but they don’t have this bearing in their system like Dave thought.

We also found out that Asheville is where the Vanderbilts built their “Biltmore Estate in 1895. We drove up to the welcome center and watched their short video, but decided to save the tour for another visit when we had more time. We had seen the mansion, “America’s Largest Home” (some 200+ rooms) from one of the overlooks on the Parkway.

We made our way back to the BR Parkway for today’s drive. Every turn in the road is a visionary delight. The water is dripping through the rock along the roadway, creating miniature waterfalls. The Flame Azaela’s are in full boom at this point on the parkway, and the rodedendrans are just beginning to bloom. Apparently, depending on the elevation, these plants boom anywhere from late May throughout June. The mountain laurel is also beginning their springtime show.

We stopped today after 129.9 miles and 6 ½ hours of driving and set up camp at Julian Price Memorial Park. Around 5 PM, the thunder started rolling in. We covered the car, made sure everything was stowed away and got set for a rain shower. After an hour, we’ve had a few drops but no downpour…maybe we’ll get lucky!

We may move off the BRP tomorrow, and try to work our way down the west side so we can take the Shenandoah Valley up through Virginia.

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