Introduction to Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long through North Carolina and Virginia. It is composed of two sections: The Blue Ridge Parkway and The Skyline Drive. The elevation is about 6000 feet in North Carolina and decreases in elevation to something near 2000 feet in northern Virginia. The highest point in elevation in the parkway is 6053 feet. The midpoint in the parkway is near the town Galaxy, VA. The Blue Ridge Parkway begins in Balsam, N.C. and ends just outside Waynesboro, VA. The Skyline Drive begins just outside Waynesboro and ends in Font Royal, VA. ( Figure 6)
Day One of Blue Ridge Parkway ride.
I left Biltmore at 11:30 AM and onto the parkway just outside the town for about 20 to 30 miles. I was getting dizzy from so many curves and had to get off and take regular roads to get over to Boone, N. C. I had thought that Boone was a small town but was surprised when I came around a bend in the road and saw the size of the town. It was huge. The sign said that the population was 20,000 people. I had reservations at the Super 8 Motel in town. When I pulled into the lot I found the hotel had five floors and saw people arriving in limousines. When I checked in, still in my leathers, I was not even given a second glance and this surprised me. As I walked into my room on the 5th floor of the hotel, a rain began, coming down so hard that I could not see across the street. Today was my first day on The Blue Ridge Parkway. I found out that only cars, RV’s & motorcycles are allowed to drive on the parkway. There are very few gas stations on the parkway itself. To get gas you have to leave the parkway and ride into a near by town. I checked around for a local restaurant that had excellent food and was directed to the Boone House, which was close by.
When I left the hotel to go to the Boone house it was still raining so I put on my rain jacket and walked over to the restaurant. I was wearing my deals gap T-shirt that had a tail of the Dragon on the back. This drew some attention from the family that was sitting next to me. They called me over and asked if I had been to Deals Gap to which I answered yes. They were heading over tomorrow and wanted to know what to expect. So I spent a little time with the family talking about my experiences, then I sat down had my meal said goodbye. As I left, it felt like an excellent day. Tomorrow’s trip to Galaxy was a short 80 miles or so I had to leave the hotel between 8:30 and 9:00 AM. Storms were predicted for tomorrow so I made sure my rain gear was ready before bed.
copyright © 2014 James M. Curtis