Not only did someone propose that the spectacular countryside be set aside for protection (mostly) but then some insane genius felt that putting a parkway along the very tops of the mountains was an even better idea. Truly splendid. It is a unique was to appreciate the resource in the most spectacular manner.
|Transportation and Jungle Gym|
So it was true with the Blue Ridge. The first stop we made was very nice. Yet, in comparison to what would come, mundane. Opportunities to stop are frequent and the views are designed to be breathtaking. Apparently one of the design points of the parkway is to force you to move at a slow pace and take time to appreciate what you see.
Tunnels are numerous and exciting especially when you're wearing sunglasses. Most are short and when you enter you can clearly see the other end. There were one or two however that were on sharp curves and were longer than most. They provided the special challenge of not only overcoming the fear that Wile E Coyote had painted it on a flat rock face but also dropping the sunglasses, turning on the headlights and not steering into oncoming traffic in one smooth motion. Much fun.
The goal for the afternoon was to get to a place called Graveyard Fields and do some hiking. There were waterfalls that were worth seeing and we meant to see them. Graveyard Fields gets its name from the overturned stumps of trees that fell in a large windstorm. Fire eventually erased the remnants of those stumps but the colorful name stuck.
The hiking was relatively easy though long. We covered a little under five miles. The hike criss-crossed meadows, streams, and wetlands. We scrambled up rocking hillsides and were rewarded with views of several waterfalls. More than anything, I got to see my boys doing something other than toying with electronics. Very rewarding.
All in all, a spectacular start to a visit to the area.
|Mountain Brook Trout Stream|
|Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields|
|Looking Glass Rock|