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Posts tagged ‘Blue Ridge Parkway’

Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 6

Thursday, August 25, was Day 2 of SEVROC 2022.

We got up around 6:00 am.  A group of eight of us ate another good breakfast at Pop’s Place. 

After breakfast Bob and I went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stopped at several overlooks.

Our first stop was at was Waterrock Knob Overlook. The Parkway’s highest visitor center is located here. The visitor center was closed at the time that we were there. Waterrock Knob Overlook is known for its beautiful long-range views of several major mountain chains in the Appalachians. Waterrock Knob is uniquely suited for viewing sunrises and sunsets. 

Waterrock Knob Overlook
Looking East
Waterrock Knob Overlook
Looking West
Milepost 451.2 – Elevation 5820 ft

Our next two stops were at the View Wesner Bald Overlook and Woodfin Cascades.

View Wesner Bald Overlook
Milepost 448.1 – Elevation 4914 ft.
The Woodfin Cascades can be seen
at the Woodfin Cascades Overlook.
Milepost 446.0 – Elevation 4345 ft.

To see Woodfin Cascades, park at the overlook and cross to the other side of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Our next four stops were at The Orchards Overlook, Rabb Knob Overlook, Richard Balsam Overlook and Casey Fork Overlook.

The Orchards Overlook
Milepost 444.6 – Elevation 3810 ft.
Rabb Knob Overlook
Milepost 441.9 – Elevation 3725 ft.
Richard Balsam Overlook
The highest elevation along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Milepost 431.0 – Elevation 6053 ft.
Caney Fork Overlook
Milepost 428.0 – Elevation 5650 ft.

A lone flower caught my eye.

A Wildflower at Caney Fork Overlook

We left the Blue Ridge Parkway at NC 215. We drove North on NC 215. We stopped at two waterfalls.

This Unnamed Waterfall was alongside the roadway,
approximately 1.5 miles after turning onto NC 215.
There is a small pull-off on the right side of the road.
Sunburst Falls is located about 3 miles
from the first waterfall.

I captured video of all three waterfalls.

I used Apple’s iMovie to create a short movie of the three waterfalls.

We returned to A Holiday Motel around 12:30 pm. 

Several VROC friends rolled in, while we were sightseeing.
Moonshine was being passed around.

I believe this is the most colorful label I have ever seen on a bottle of moonshine. Anyone who wanted to taste moonshine was welcome to a sip. I didn’t sip.

We ate dinner at Haywood Smokehouse in Waynesville.  Bob ordered a brisket platter, and I ordered a pulled pork platter.

We ate at Haywood Smokehouse.

We filled the party tent.  I think there were 35 of us.  The food and service were excellent.  

Today’s map


Virginia and North Carolina Vacation: Day 5

Wednesday, August 24, was the first day of SEVROC 2022.  This event ran through Sunday morning.  We last attended SEVROC in May 2018.  We attended SEVROC in other years as well: May 2008, May 2014, May 2015, and May 2017.

We got up around 6:30 am. We ate breakfast in.  We each had a Jimmy Dean Scrambles and orange juice.  I ate oatmeal in a cup as well.  Bob had a banana.

Shortly before 9:00 am “Skid” (Jim) and Sandy, the Texas gals (Debbie, Vickie and Kay) and “Pappy” (Jeff) left for a motorcycle ride.

Please check out Skid’s blog post to see to where this group of six rode.

At 9:15 am Bob and I left en route Newfound Gap, via Cherokee and US 441.  We stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, where I obtained a National Park Service passport cancellation stamp for both the Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The cancellation stamp is a rubber ink stamp that records the name of the national park and date of your visit. We would be driving on the BRP on our way back to Maggie Valley.

Our next stop was at Mingus Mill, located about 1/2 mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

This grist mill was built in 1886 and uses a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power all of the machinery in the building.
A miller was on site to demonstrate the grinding of corn into cornmeal.

 We arrived at our destination, Newfound Gap, at 10:52 am.

Looking down on Newfound Gap Road from the Newfound Gap Parking Lot
Rockefeller Memorial is at Newfound Gap.

To thank the Rockefeller family for its assistance in establishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a memorial was built for Newfound Gap.  President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated Great Smoky Mountains National Park on September 2, 1940 at this spot.

Do you see the trail leading to the right side of the memorial? That trail is the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap

When at Newfound Gap, one can stand both in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Bob is standing on the
North Carolina – Tennessee State Line

We turned around at Newfound Gap, leaving at 11:15 am, and drove back to Maggie Valley, via Newfound Gap Road (NC Route 441) and via the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We stopped at a couple overlooks on our way back down Newfound Gap Road (NC Route 441).

Deep Creek Valley Overlook #2
Charles A Webb Overlook
Clingmans Dome is visible (barely) on top of mountain partially in clouds.

On the Blue Ridge Parkway we drove through FIVE tunnels and stopped at several overlooks.  

View Thomas Divide Overlook
Elev 3735 ft.
Big Witch Overlook
Elev 4160 ft
Bunches Bald Overlook
Elev 4925 ft.
Plott Balsam Overlook
Elev 5020 ft.

Leaving the Blue Ridge Parkway, we drove through Maggie Valley and fueled up at Exxon in Waynesville.  We drove across the road to Walmart, where Bob purchased a pair of reading glasses.  He forgot to pack his reading glasses.

We returned to A Holiday Motel and ate a tuna salad kit and a chicken salad kit for lunch.  Both salad kits include crackers on which to spread the meat salad.

We sat outside our room and chatted with “MT” (Tim).

Bob and Tim chatting

“Skid” and company, who left for a ride this morning, returned to A Holiday Motel around 3:30 pm. Again, if you would like to know where the group of six rode, please check out Skid’s blog post.

While the eight of us were sightseeing, more of our friends arrived at A Holiday Motel.

“Ice Cream” arrived with his wife Sharon, as did “Butch” with his wife Theresa. Here is “Ice Cream” with Vickie,Kay, Theresa and Sandy.
“Joker” arrived and is seen here
with “Skid” and Sandy.
“Cargo” arrived and is seen here with the Texas gals and Sandy.

Around 5:30 pm twelve of us left for dinner at BearWaters Brewing Company in Maggie Valley, not far from A Holiday Motel. 

We ate dinner at BearWaters Brewing Company.

The food was good, as was the service. 

I took this video, after dinner as we were leaving. The video shows the creek that ran alongside the restaurant, as well as the outside seating that we occupied.
“Blondy” (Donna) arrived at A Holiday Motel, while we were at dinner.
Theresa and Sandy are shown here with Donna.
Sunset at A Holiday Motel
The end to a wonderful day!

Today’s map, excluding side trip to Waynesville.

Subaru 6,000 Mile Service and More Waterfalls

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post is about our sixth day of vacation.

We awakened at 5:45 am on Friday, May 19.  We were showered and dressed for the day by 6:30 am.

We left A Holiday Motel at 6:38 am en route Asheville, NC. I drove. We arrived at IHOP at 7:15 am. Bob ordered coffee, two scrambled eggs and two slices bacon. I ordered two scrambled eggs, two slices of bacon and two pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream. The food and service were good.

After breakfast we went to Prestige Subaru, where we had an appointment at 8:15 am for our Subaru Legacy’s 6,000 mile service.  We purchased our new car in March this year and have put over 5,000 miles on the car.  We knew we would be over 6,000 miles by the time we returned home, so we made a service appointment, while on vacation, for this important first service. Customer service was excellent.  From the moment we walked in they were so kind, welcoming, and generous. We were offered breakfast snacks and coffee while we waited in comfortable seating.  The service was fast and efficient.

The car service was completed by 8:55 am. We left Prestige Subaru en route Canton, NC. In Canton we hopped onto NC Route 215 south.

Intersection of U.S. Route 276 and NC Route 215. Sign indicates that the next 34 miles will have 9% grades 15 MPH curves and 5000 ft. elevations.
We passed by Lake Logan.

As our drive brought us closer to the Blue Ridge Parkway, we saw two waterfalls.  We have seen both of these waterfalls during past visits in this area.  However, we have approached them from the opposite direction.  It was strange to come up on the waterfalls on the opposite side of the road than expected!  In the past I have referred to these waterfalls as Waterfall #1 and Waterfall #2.  This year I discovered the name of one of the two waterfalls.

There are two sets of falls here, an upper falls and a lower falls.  I have shown the upper falls in the photograph displayed above.

Sunburst Falls is located right next to NC Route 215.  The waterfall crosses under a beautiful stone bridge. The water flows through an arch in the bridge and plunges into some smaller falls below the bridge.

Sunburst Falls (Lower Falls)

The second waterfall we passed was also located right next to NC Route 215.

Waterfall #2

Leaving the second waterfall, we continued on NC Route 215 to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We turned right onto the Parkway.  We stopped at three overlooks before returning to Maggie Valley.

Our first stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway was at Beartrap Gap Overlook.

Beartrap Gap Overlook
Elevation 5,580 ft.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch, while at the Beartrap Gap Overlook.
Richland Balsam Overlook
Elevation 6,053 ft.
Highest Elevation on the Parkway

Our last stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway was at the Standing Rock Overlook.  The standing rock for which the overlook is named is located at the south end of the parking area.

Standing Rock Overlook
Elevation 3,915 ft.

We returned to A Holiday Motel, home base for the Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners (SEVROC) motorcycle rally, at around 1:30 pm.  We were tired, so we took a nap.

After our nap, we socialized with our VROC friends until it was time to leave for dinner.

Dinner was a group event, the SEVROC Meet & Greet.  Back at A Holiday Motel, after dinner, the son and daughter-in-law of one of our friends, entertained us with music.  I will share a separate blog post about the Meet & Greet and our evening entertainment, as well as other specific SEVROC-related events, in the near future.

From “Chasing Waterfalls” to Maggie Valley via the Blue Ridge Parkway

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post continues our fourth day of vacation.

When we finished chasing waterfalls, we continued on Route 276 to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We rode south to the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping at a few overlooks along the way, before making our way back to Maggie Valley.

The first overlook that we stopped at was Looking Glass Rock (mile marker 417).

Where we stood looking at Looking Glass Rock, the elevation was 4,492 feet.
Looking Glass Rock rises from the valley floor to an elevation of 3,969 feet.
Looking Glass Rock

We veered off of the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 420.2, following Black Balsam Road for a short ways.  There is parking along this road for Black Balsam Knob Area hiking trails.   We didn’t go hiking, but we did enjoy the view from several overlooks.  Here is the view from one of the overlooks.

Black Balsam Knob Road overlook
Bob pointed out to me that we could see Looking Glass Rock
from this vantage point.

Our next stop was at Devils Courthouse (mile marker 422).

Devils Courthouse may have received its name
because of the sinister aspect of the rock formation.

Our last stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway was at Richland Balsam Overlook (mile marker 431).

Bob and I at the Richard Balsam Overlook
Highest Elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway

We exited the Blue Ridge Parkway at 4:50 pm and returned to A Holiday Motel, home base for the Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners (SEVROC) motorcycle rally.

Around 5:30 pm we went to dinner at the Sagebrush Steakhouse in Waynesville.  This was the second time in as many days that we ate dinner at the Sagebrush.  The first time we were a party of five.  This time we were a party of fifteen. The restaurant set a table for us in the back room.  As it was the day before, the food was very good.  The company was excellent.  There was a lot of good-humored conversation going on around the table.  The service seemed quicker than the previous day, especially given the larger party.  Service was good, until it came time to pay. Similar to the day before, it took a while for the waitress to take care of the bills.

After dinner, we returned to A Holiday Motel.  We socialized a bit with our VROC friends and then called it a night. We were in bed shortly before 11:00 pm.

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 8 of 9

If you have read my previous blog posts about our West Virginia and North Carolina vacation, you will recall that we traveled to Maggie Valley, NC to attend the South East Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally.  On Saturday, May 16th, we awakened at 6:30 am, showered and got dressed. Bob rode the motorcycle to a fuel station to fill up, in preparation for the day’s group ride. We ate breakfast at Pop’s Grits & Eggs, located on the motel’s premises.

At 9:00 am we departed A Holiday Motel en route Asheville via the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sandy and ‘Skid’ say goodbye.

I drove the car, with Sandy as a passenger. Bob rode the motorcycle, along with many others. ‘Skid’ led the ride. We made one stop along the BRP at the highest elevation.

SEVROC 2015 BRP Highest Elevation

 

Our final destination was MR Motorcycle in Asheville, where we were treated to a free BBQ lunch.

11221918_802295636534877_5333961752943305424_oI obtained this photograph from MR Motorcycle’s Facebook page.

Complimentary BBQ at MR Motorcycle Asheville

The BBQ was very good.  Thank you, MR Motorcycle for the free lunch!

MR Motorcycle provided a discount coupon for store purchases.  Motorcycles were looked at, but I don’t believe anyone purchased a motorcycle that day.  ‘Jax” of VROC and Mike of MR Motorcycle (top left photograph in the collage displayed above) set up the free BBQ lunch.  ‘Jax” also organizes the SEVROC rally.  He does an excellent job!  ‘Skid’ in the top right and lower right photographs was the lead for the motorcycle rides that Bob and I participated in.  ‘Skid’ did an excellent job leading the rides!

It was a beautiful morning/afternoon for a drive/ride. Bob, ‘Skid”, Sandy and I returned to A Holiday Motel at approximately 1:15 pm.

At 3:00 pm several of us girls went to the Seven Silver Seas, or what is popularly called the Purple Store by VROC ladies.

20150516_211621000_iOSVROC ladies at the Purple Store
(Photo obtained from Susan, who is standing in the first row at the far right.)

The Purple Store has been a popular destination for VROC ladies, while at SEVROC.  This was my first visit.  I went to browse, not intending to purchase anything.  As you can see from the photograph displayed above, I made a purchase.

20150519_194222488_iOS
I purchased this wind chime.

The wind chime is hanging on our front porch presently.  I am thinking about moving it out to our picnic pavilion, where I can enjoy its melody more often.

After shopping at Seven Silver Seas, we stopped and got ice cream.

Bob and I didn’t eat dinner out on Saturday evening, opting to have a picnic lunch inside our room.

Later in the evening was the raffle and 50/50 for D.A.R.E.  Bob won five chocolate chip cookies baked by Wanda, a knife and a VROC buff. We shared the cookies (Wanda is an excellent baker!); Bob gets the knife; and the buff belongs to me. Our raffle raised $600.00 for the local D.A.R.E. organization.

“Jax” and the local D.A.R.E. representative

“Skid” and Sandy with the local D.A.R.E. representative

I heard that the person who won the 50/50 contributed another $100.00 to the D.A.R.E. organization.

‘Jax’ arranged live entertainment for the evening. Ginny McAfee plays the guitar and has a lovely voice. One of our VROC friends shared the following video with the VROC FAcebook group.

Ginny performing “Ode to Popcorn Sutton”

With Ginny performing in the background, we said goodbye to our friends. Since Tuesday we had been visiting with friends, friends who are like family to us. I can’t believe our time together is ending. It seems like we just got here! The SEVROC motorcycle rally was a great time!

After saying our goodbyes, we finished packing and went to bed. We were in bed by 10:00 pm. I was awakened at least one time during the night. I don’t know what time it was. I heard Bill “Southern Draw” belting out a couple heartfelt tunes about SEVROC, which made me smile.

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 7 of 9: Back to Maggie Valley

As I wrote in the two previous vacation blog posts, we spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th.

I shared photographs and videos from Cullasaja Falls, Quarry Falls, Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in the blog post dated June 5th.  In the blog post dated June 7th, I shared photographs and videos from Silver Run Falls, Toxaway Falls, Batson Creek Falls and Looking Glass Falls, as well as a few photographs from a lunch stop in Brevard.

Soon after leaving Looking Glass Falls, it started to rain.  The rain came down hard during some of our driving along U.S. Route 276 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, en route Maggie Valley.  I am happy that we took the car, not the motorcycle, on our waterfall tour!

When the rain ceased, we stopped at a few overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views were incredible after the stormy weather!

Graveyard Fields Waterfall

 

From the Blue Ridge Parkway we took U.S. Route 23/74 to Waynesville and U.S. Route 19 to Maggie Valley.

If you have read my previous blog posts about our West Virginia and North Carolina vacation, you will recall that we traveled to Maggie Valley to attend the South East Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally.  The SEVROC Meet & Greet, held on Friday nights, was at the Maggie Valley Inn & Conference Center’s Rendezvous Tiki Bar from 6:00 until 7:30 pm.  The location was the same as last year’s Meet & Greet.  We missed this year’s Meet & Greet, as we didn’t get back to A Holiday Motel until 6:50 pm. I heard that this year’s meal, the food as well as the service, was an improvement over last year’s meal. The dinner was served family style this year.  Last year the dinner was served buffet style. I am sorry that we missed the Meet & Greet. “Jax”, the rally organizer, said 45 people signed up, and 60 people went to the Meet & Greet. Bob and I would have made the total 62.  I didn’t hear any complaints about not enough food, so plenty of food was provided.

I took several photographs, after everyone returned to A Holiday Motel from the Meet & Greet.

It rained in Maggie Valley for the first time since we arrived. It was very nice to have the use of a large party tent this year.  The main activity inside the party tent was the sale of tickets for the next day’s raffle, which benefits the local D.A.R.E. program.

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 5 of 9

On Wednesday, May 13, we went to Bryson City with “Skid” and Sandy and “Lucky Al” for breakfast. “Skid”, “Lucky Al” and Bob traveled by motorcycle, with “Skid” in the lead. Sandy rode with me in the car.  There were three other motorcyclists who left A Holiday Motel with us.  I thought they were going to Bryson City as well, but they turned off at Country Vittles located within walking distance from our motel.

Byson City, NC is located a little less than 30 miles west from A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley, NC.  It was a nice drive to Bryson City. It was the first time that Bob and I had ridden to Bryson City. Shortly before reaching Bryson City, we stopped at Two Rivers Lodge, where another rider was supposed to join us for breakfast.  “Skid” knocked on one of the hotel doors.  A man stuck his head out and said that his alarm had not gone off and that he would catch up to us later (but he never did). By the way, Two Rivers Lodge looked like a very nice hotel.  It is located alongside a river.  What I saw from the parking lot looked quiet and peaceful.

In Bryson City we ate breakfast at the Everett Street Diner. We ordered the special–2 eggs, bacon, potatoes and toast for $4.25. The food, service and company were excellent.

After breakfast, I turned my car around and waited while “Skid”, “Lucky Al” and Bob got on their motorcycles and backed out of their parking spaces.   I was watching the backing up through my rear view mirror.  I saw “Skid’s” motorcycle fall over, as he was backing out! “Lucky Al” and Bob hurried over to help, but “Skid” had the motorcycle upright before they reached him. All this happened within a few seconds.  When I found my voice, I told Sandy, who had been looking straight ahead, that “Skid’s” bike had gone down.  She was out of the car faster than lightning!  Thankfully, neither “Skid” nor the motorcycle were hurt. We returned to Maggie Valley without incident.

Jim “Skid” Robinson also writes a blog about his and Sandy’s travels.  Please visit “Skid’s” blog post about our ride to Bryson City.  In “Skid’s” blog post (the first six paragraphs) you will find more details about our ride, along with photographs.  At the end of his blog post is a map showing our route.

Soon after returning to A Holiday Motel from Bryson City, Bob and I went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway to its highest elevation.

En route the Richland Balsam Overlook,
we stopped at the Woodfin Cascades Overlook (Elevation 4535 ft.).

 

Richland Balsam Overlook (Elev 6053 ft)


We departed the Blue Ridge Parkway via North Carolina Route 215, along which we saw a couple waterfalls.

Waterfall #1

North Carolina Route 215

Waterfall #2

We took U.S. Route 276 into Waynesville and ate lunch at the Sagebrush Steakhouse. Bob ordered fish and chips. I ordered chicken tenders and French fries. We ordered dessert too. Bob had a peach cobbler with ice cream. I had an apple cobbler with ice cream. Our lunch was good. The service was a BIG improvement from the previous night!

We returned to A Holiday Motel after lunch and spent rest of the afternoon and evening hanging out with our VROC friends.

We went to bed at 10:00 pm. As happened the night before, I was lulled to sleep by the talk and laughter of our friends.

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