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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:49 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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It's getting closer to leaf peeping season. For any newbies thinking of taking a drive on the Parkway to see the fall colors, news is of another collapse that has caused a lengthy section to be closed.
http://www.virtualblueridge.com/news...s/news-187.asp



This is near the southern end (IMO the most scenic part) of the road.

Btw, for those wanting to educate themselves about the BRP, check the home page for that site: http://www.virtualblueridge.com/index.asp That's one of the neatest sites I've seen constructed for the parkway. There is a page of virtual tours where you can <click> and get a panoramic view of some of the best sections of the road.
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Thanks for the information.

I love virtualblueridge too and have had it in my bookmarks for a few years now.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:55 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niki View Post
Thanks for the information.

I love virtualblueridge too and have had it in my bookmarks for a few years now.
We were up on the Parkway last week, riding from the entrance at Fancy Gap and planning to drop down to Boone and get off at 421. We only made it to Laurel Springs/Rt 18 when we decided we’d had enough for the day. We noticed another change: the Doughton Park/Brinegar Cabin section no longer provides gas at the wayside. I think that makes Peaks of Otter the only spot left where you can get gas without leaving the parkway, though I may be wrong – it may not be available there anymore, either. I know that the Pisgah Lodge service providers took out the gas pumps some years ago. There’s now a sign on the parkway near Asheville alerting motorists to the fact that there are no gas services from there to the end of the road.

I guess that could be considered a travel tip for anyone wanting to visit the BRP: gas up before you get on that road. Day trippers usually don’t drive that far anyway; it’s usually the bikers or RVers who have the ambition to drive the entire route at once; but I don’t think there is any gas to be found on the parkway now.

Another change we found was the interpretive display now open at the Blue Ridge Music Center. They have a small hall where visitors can learn about some of the early mountain music pioneers who influenced the later country and bluegrass genres.

I don’t know what the current gas price crunch will do to travel on the BRP. It was dead up there when we visited, but that’s typical for late summer.

The BRP is one of the things we love best about living here. No matter the reasons that we sometimes contemplate leaving, we tell ourselves “but we’d be leaving the Blue Ridge Parkway behind!” That makes us say “ehhhh, no. That’s worth staying for.”

http://www.nps.gov/applications/parks/blri/ppMaps/blrimap1.pdf (broken link)
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwing View Post
We were up on the Parkway last week, riding from the entrance at Fancy Gap and planning to drop down to Boone and get off at 421.

That's the way we always go. We leave Greensboro down 40 west, get on 52 north and make our way to Fancy Gap. (That's where we usually get gas.) Get on the Parkway and head south for Boone. We always eat at the Dan'l Boone Inn Restaurant when we go. Love their food! Then we get on 421 and head back home.

We make that trip every October. It's one of the things I look forward to every year.


Thanks for the information on the gas situation.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niki View Post
That's the way we always go. We leave Greensboro down 40 west, get on 52 north and make our way to Fancy Gap. (That's where we usually get gas.) Get on the Parkway and head south for Boone. We always eat at the Dan'l Boone Inn Restaurant when we go. Love their food! Then we get on 421 and head back home.

We make that trip every October. It's one of the things I look forward to every year.


Thanks for the information on the gas situation.

hey there Niki-been up in this area a few times now...last time was in June....I swore this time we were going to eat at Daniel Boone's...wouldn't you know it though...it was closed for renovations (the site now says it will open back up sometime between August 25th - Sept. 1st)
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Yeah, I heard somewhere (maybe here?) that they were doing renovations. I'm glad it'll be done before we go.

Sorry you missed out on it. You'll just have to go back.
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:34 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz Ann View Post
There are several areas where you can exit on and off to get gas. Try getting off at Pisgah Cradle of Forestry near Brevard, Bent Creek on Rt. 191, or at Rt. 25. Get a map !
A few miles down from the Cradle of Forestry is Looking Glass Falls

http://www.joenall.com/joenall2/images/looking%20glass%20falls%20copy.jpg (broken link)

Many of the roads branching off from the BRP are just as neat as the parkway itself, and are -typically- lightly travelled. All the tourists stick to the parkway itself. The only problem is that you'll be subjected to the kind of traffic not allowed on the parkway. Trucks and stuff.

NC has great roads if you are a rider. People come from all over the country just to ride one 11-mile stretch of road called The Dragon. My Midwest relatives can't get it thru their noggins why we sneer so much at their tales of riding thru The Ozarks. Those roads are nothing in comparison to the ones we have here
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:54 AM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
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Default Brp

My wife, daughter, and I went to Peaks of Otter, VA last Saturday (~mile 86). We also take a day trip to Rocky Knob, VA a few times each year (near Meadows of Dan & Mabry Mill).

We enjoy the BRP - I believe that I have been on every mile of it in NC at one time or another (not in one drive, but combined in different trips), and I have been on it almost everywhere in VA except for the most northern 30 - 50 miles.
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:26 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz Ann View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the last time we did the "Tail of the Dragon" as they call it, it was on The Cherahola Skyway that goes from Deals Gap in NC to TN. What a great ride !
The section referred to as The Dragon is US 129, generally regarded as being from the Foothills Parkway in TN to a point near Robbinsville, NC. The Cherahola is 143, accessed from Robbinsville, to Townsend, TN. Both are distinct and challenging.

Quote:
“but watch out for the Ninjas ... they do not know how to ride, and the memorials on the trees are there as poignant reminders.”
Wellll … actually they think they do. The squids just have a different philosophy: “ride like this will be your last day”, whereas the rest of us want to live to ride another day. Had an example of that yesterday as I was riding to work. I could see a screaming yellow crotch rocket coming up behind me in my mirror. I was getting ready to make a left turn, using my blinker and hand signal. Something made me pause before turning, and –sure ‘nuf- the idiot blew past me on my left . @ss. It makes me have a very unsamaritan thought: if I ever see one of them crash, my first thought will be to pass by. They don’t give a rat’s patootie for anyone but themselves, they can suffer the consequences.

In the last couple of years, the National Park Service has had to crack down on the two-wheel speeders. Lately, it became sort of a badge to ride from the southern end of the parkway, through The Dragon, and back in as short a time as possible. This meant triple digit speeds for some of the riders. The average $150 tickets were worth it to be able to brag about beating another rider's time. Now, fines go as high as $1500, plus an appearance in court.

I wouldn't want that to detour anyone from the BRP. There are other aggravations, like the 40 ft land yacht RVers who trundle along the road, blocking the view of upcoming turns and don't have the courtesy to pull off at an overlook to let the line of cars pass. You just have to know when to pick your time. Weekends in the fall can be awful for traffic. Late April, when it's just a bit too chilly for the average biker (I've bundled up and rode there in December. Some of the northern cliff faces have ice falls) are great. The dogwood and azaleas are starting to perk. Winter, too. The air is clearer and the views are much better. I definitely prefer weekdays to weekends, but some of the attractions aren't staffed then, especially since budget cuts have drastically trimmed parkway funding.

Shoot .. I'm giving myself the riding itch ::: off to gather my gear and maps. I know where I'll be spending tomorrow:::
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