Day 34 – Blue Ridge Parkway, day 2

20th July 2018

I head back onto the BRP to continue as far as I can today. The issue isn’t the mileage it’s the time, the speed limit on the parkway is 45mph but the sharp bends can be as little as 20mph so it might take all day just to ride 150 miles.

This morning is really quite cold and misty…

Of course it’s black bear country… I hope there aren’t any out there waiting to pounce!! Do bears pounce… or just shit in the woods?… discuss.

This road is really something and I encourage anyone who is contemplating travelling on it to do it, it is without a doubt one of the best roads I have ever ridden, including the Swiss alps, which I love. It isn’t just the challenge of the road itself, but also the scenery, which is awesome, the opportunity to see some great wildlife and there are some beautiful flowers too.

The park has a number of visitor centres, there are hiking trails with degrees of difficulty guidance, mountains, waterfalls, exhibits, etc. I believe one could have a two week holiday just exploring this parkway.

I, unfortunately, have limited time. If I hadn’t had to stop over in Albuquerque waiting for the tyre then I might have more time to explore. As it is I do manage to see some of the varied delights on offer.

First stop is Craggy Gardens Visitor Centre where I am hoping for a loo and a coffee. They have loos ok but no coffee 😕

I do have a look in the small shop and pick up a couple of bits.

Back on the road and I stop quite often at the various overlooks. I then turn off at Little Switzerland, I hope I can get some lunch here, it’s gone 1pm and I’m quite hungry now.

I do get a very nice sandwich. On the road again and I come across this…

This is Duggers Creek Falls, just a small offshoot of the larger Linville Falls. The hike to see the main Falls is too far for me, but this small cascade is just a short trot away from the car park. I am rather surprised by the trail to it, I assumed it would be paved in some way, but it’s au natural including fallen tree trunks to climb over… mmm not very accessible, what about the ADA, (Americans with Disabilities Act)?

As for the fauna… there are hundreds of black butterflies all the way along the route and occasionally yellow ones. I want to photograph them, but they won’t keep still… 😂

There are also large birds circling in the skies, they look like some kind of hawk, but again trying to get a photo is impossible.

I have sorted out my accommodation for tonight, the High Meadow Inn at Glade Valley, it’s just before the Virginia state line so will cross over tomorrow.

The next point of interest is the Mabry Mill, I don’t miss the opportunity for a look around here, it’s very pretty.

And another exhibit on the road…

At one of the overlooks there’s this piece of history…

It’s starting to get dark now… I see a ranger station up ahead and stop for a look… it’s closed of course, but when I am leaving, there’s a deer across the road, again it’s a doe, not seen any bucks yet. She wanders off before I can get my camera out.. of course.

It’s been a long day and yet again I am exhausted… I’m actually falling asleep on the bike and at one point almost mount the grass verge, just managing to save myself at the last second, I fact I did actually go onto the grass… jaysus, gotta get to the motel soon!!

Shortly after this I turn off to my motel… hurrah… mmmmm… nite

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