Skip to main content

A Blue Ridge Parkway Journey

Yesterday, I visited an old friend, the North Carolina Mountains. I took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I took it from US 421 in Deep Gap (around mile 278) to VA 8 in the Rock Castle Gorge region (around Mile 170). It took about six hours to drive the 108 or so miles. Why because I stopped at a lot of the overlooks to hike or take photos. I took 209 photos on this trip. Here are some of the ones I liked the most.

The Cascades: There's a stop withing E.B. Jeffress State Park with a short hike to a waterfall simply known as 'The Cascades". It's a great spot for photos and to forget about life for awhile.


One of the great things about the Parkway are the vehicles that you find on it. Motorcycles are common place but so are classic cars.

View of Mt. Jefferson: Jefferson, NC is one of my favorite small towns in Ashe County. From the parkway, you are able to view the mountainous backdrop that shares its name.


The Lump: Is known for sweeping views of the foothills below. At the lump there's a small trail to the top and it gives this view.

Doughton Park: One of my favorite stretches of the Parkway is through Doughton Park. There are numerous trails and overlooks, and my next journey to Northwest NC and the Parkway, I will be spending considerable time there.


Devil's Garden Overlook: An awesome view here!

Mahogany Rock Overlook: I have a page on it already. I'm looking forward to improving the photos.

Bullhead Mountain Overlook: As you can tell in a number of photos. I experimented with various angles of adding the overlook information sign in the photo.

Puckett Cabin: Now in Virginia. Virginia starts of slow with overlooks and photo opportunities. In fact, for much of the southern part of Virginia, a local road parallels the Parkway. A neat little stop is Puckett's Cabin. It is the former home of Orlena Puckett who for most of her 102 served as a midwife. In fact, the year of her death - 1939, Ms. Puckett continue to perform that duty. Tragically, the 24 children that she would give berth to never survived infancy.

Mabry Mill: The last ten miles of the Parkway I was on in Virginia made the journey thoroughly enjoyable. First, a great setting of Mabry Mill. Took a number shots around the mill. Here's some highlights.



Finally, the last overlook that I stopped at was the best. The overlook for Rock Castle Gorge was home to a large patch of butterflies. It was one of those pleasant and unexpected surprises that makes any trip worthwhile.



I did gain two new Virginia Counties on this trip (Patrick and Floyd) along with a number of new routes. I also stopped at two covered bridges off of VA 8 north of Stuart. It was a great trip, the weather couldn't be better no humidity anywhere...with it in a warm upper 70s in the mountains and a just right mid 80s in the Piedmont.

I'll certainly get back to Doughton Park and more of the Parkway later this year

Comments

Mahzha said…
If you think you like Doughton Park now, you should camp there for a weekend. You'll fall in love with it.

CD
Vince said…
I'm guessing one of the covered bridges north of Stuart was Bob White «http://tinyurl.com/3xt6kx». What was the other one?

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

Independence Boulevard - Charlotte's First Urban Highway

Today, the major pieces of Charlotte's highway network include the Outerbelt (I-485), Interstates 77 and 85, and the Brookshire and Belk Freeways (I-277), but nearly sixty years ago Charlotte's first major urban highway project would begin.  The construction of Independence Boulevard in the 1940s and early 1950s would give Charlotte and North Carolina its first urban expressway, and would usher in a new era of highway building throughout the state.
With the help of former mayor, Ben Douglas - who sat on the State Highway Commission in the 1940s - the push for building Independence Blvd. began.  In 1946, city residents passed a $200,000 bond issue that would go along with over $2 million in federal funding.  The highway would open in two stages in 1949 and 1950.  When a grade separated interchange was built at South Blvd. and Morehead St. in the mid 1950s, Independence Blvd. was completed. (1)  Although the highway was not a fully controlled access highway, it gave motorists an …

The Bigelow Blvd. / Crosstown Expressway (Interstate 579) Ghost Ramp Mystery Explained

For nearly five decades, many Pittbsurgh-area motorists, when leaving the old Civic Arena or exiting off the Crosstown Expressway onto Bigelow Boulevard, have wondered what exactly the ghost ramp in the above photo was for.  Where was it to have come from?  When and why did they stop?  Will it ever be built?
The original plans for the Crosstown Expressway included a full interchange with Bigelow Boulevard.  However, these plans never came to fruition.  The only ramps that were built were from I-579 North onto to the Bigelow and from Bigelow Boulevard/PA 380 West to I-579 South.  The above ramp was to have come from I-579 South, and depending on what older map of Pittsburgh you have over or under the existing roadway, and on to Bigelow/PA 380 East.  It never came to be, and the HOV ramp to what was once the Civic Arena has basically eliminated the need for completing this interchange.


The two photos above show the retaining wall with the ghost ramp and how it would have connected onto…