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Posts tagged ‘Blue Ridge Parkway’

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.

North Carolina Vacation – Day 6 of 9

Day 6 (May 16th) of our 9-day North Carolina vacation began with breakfast, once again at Country Vittles.  We walked to the restaurant with several VROC friends. Bob ordered the same entree as yesterday, a western omelet. I ordered scrambled eggs, bacon and two blueberry pancakes.

After breakfast Bob and I rode from Maggie Valley to the highest elevation overlook (6,053 feet) on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Highest Elevation – Blue Ridge Parkway

We turned around at this overlook and returned to Maggie Valley. On our way back to Maggie Valley we stopped at two other overlooks.  The first overlook that we stopped at was the Woodfin Cascades Overlook (milepost 446).

Woodfin Cascades Overlook

I thought THIS waterfall was Woodfin Cascades.  I learned afterward that Woodfin Cascades was what could be seen, if the leaves were off the trees, from the overlook.  THIS waterfall was located across the parkway from the overlook.

Our second stop was at  Waterrock Knob (milepost 451.2).  As you can see both east and west from the parking area, this overlook would be a great place to watch a sunrise or sunset.

Waterrock Knob Overlook

Waterrock Knob Overlook

The road you see in this photograph is the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It is the direction that we traveled, when we left Waterrock Knob.

 

When we left Maggie Valley, the temperature was around 50 degrees. It got colder the higher we climbed. It was a chilly ride, but not too bad. Returning to Maggie Valley, it got even colder because of rain and wind.   You can see the rain across the mountains in the Waterrock Knob panoramic photograph displayed above.  I am happy that we made the ride, but I was glad to be back at our hotel in our room with the heater on!

If you have read my previous blog posts about our 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.  We attended the SEVROC Meet & Greet at Maggie Valley Inn & Conference Center’s Rendezvous Tiki Bar from 6:00 until 7:30 pm.

10342961_10202091356941800_8894103808614404384_nPhoto obtained from Jack ‘Jax’ McGuigan’s Facebook photographs

Dinner was buffet style and consisted of salad, dinner roll, fried chicken, BBQ chicken, cowboy beans, corn on the cob, potatoes, fried shrimp, cookies and brownies. The food was quite good. It had been such a cold day. Can you believe that we had snow showers, while at the Meet & Greet!

We all came back to the hotel, after the Meet & Greet. A campfire was built, and we even had live music.

 

Hanging out at A Holiday Motel

Hanging out at A Holiday Motel

North Carolina Vacation – Day 4 of 9: Asheville to Maggie Valley

We planned to spend 3 nights (May 12-15) in Asheville and leave for Maggie Valley on the morning of Thursday, May 15th.  We changed our minds about staying 3 nights in Asheville. The weather forecast for Wednesday night and throughout the day Thursday called for rain and thunderstorms. The chance for precipitation was 100%. To avoid riding / driving in the rain we decided to depart Asheville Wednesday afternoon, rather than on Thursday morning, and check in at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley a day early.

After breakfast at the hotel, we packed and then checked out. We rode / drove to Biltmore Estate, arriving there around 8:45 am. We departed Biltmore Estate around 1:30 pm.  (If you haven’t read about our return visit to Biltmore Estate, please see my two previous blog posts.)

From Biltmore Estate we traveled to Maggie Valley.  It was less than an hour’s drive. We checked into A Holiday Motel, our home for the next 4 nights.

A Holiday Motel

Room #5 was our home away from home for 4 nights.
This room was right next to the lobby.

What brought us to Maggie Valley?  We traveled to Maggie Valley to attend the South East Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally. Other VROCers had checked in before us.  Soon after we checked in, Bob went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway with a few of those who had already checked in.  I stayed behind and spent my time taking pictures of the hotel, reading, surfing the Internet and talking with “Lucky Al”.

The group of riders rode to the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where Bob took this picture of his motorcycle.  Someone offered to take a picture of Bob on the motorcycle, but he declined the offer.  He was saving that picture for when he and I rode to this location.

When everyone came back from the ride, we went to dinner at Snappy’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria.

10298559_719312314758719_4694658485133800764_o

Photo obtained, with permission, from Katie Ayers.

I think you can tell from the photograph that food portions were generous.  I ordered a chef salad; Bob ordered a steak dinner. The chef salad was so large that I had to put some in a box for later.  The photograph shows, too, that we were a large group and that we had a fun time at dinner.  I love my VROC family!

Easter Vacation – Day 3 of 5: Blue Ridge Parkway (Humpback Rocks to Rockfish Gap) and Back to Waynesboro

Bob and I spent three nights (April 17-20) in Waynesboro, Virginia. Waynesboro is located near where the Skyline Drive ends and the Blue Ridge Parkway begins. Our original plan was to stay in Waynesboro for four nights, but we departed a day early. I will explain why we left Waynesboro a day early in a future blog post.

The highlights on Day 3 (April 19) of our Easter vacation included a visit to Natural Bridge, walking on a swinging bridge in Buchanan and driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.  My blog posts last week provided photographs and details about our visit to Natural Bridge and about our brief stop in Buchanan VA.  From Buchanan we took Route 43 to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We entered the Parkway at Milepost 90.9, Bearwallow Gap, and exited at Milepost 0, Rockfish Gap.   Our 90-mile drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway yielded many photographs.  My blog posts this week have shared those photographs.  In Tuesday’s blog post (4/29/2014) I shared photographs from Milepost 90.9, Bearwallow Gap, to just before Milepost 63.8, James River Visitor Center.  In Wednesday’s blog post I shared photographs that were taken at the James River Visitor Center.  In yesterday’s blog post I shared photographs from Milepost 63.8, James River, to just before Milepost 5.8, Humpback Rocks.  In today’s blog post I will share photographs that were taken from Milepost 5.8, Humpback Rocks, and back to our hotel in Waynesboro.

Upon reaching Milepost 5.8 we parked at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center.

Humpback Rocks Visitor Center

Adjacent to the Visitor Center is an outdoor farm museum.  A sign at the entrance to the farm museum reads: “This was originally a Land Grant tract granted by the Commonwealth of Virginia to induce pioneers to settlers the Blue Ridge Mountains and establish the border of the Western Frontier. Later it became known as the William J. Carter Farm. The original buildings have long since disappeared, but replaced with other authentic structures moved from nearby.”  The farm museum consists of a single-room log cabin and a series of outbuildings that represent elements of regional architecture of the late 19th century.  The buildings were assembled here in an arrangement that allows for an easy stroll along a pathway.

The first building that you come to as you walk along the pathway is a one-room log cabin.  Near the log cabin a sign reads: “A man’s home is his castle. The log cabin has always been associated with the American frontier, but the idea of homes built from logs came from immigrants from northern Europe. The early southern highlanders adopted this type of construction and found it well suited to their needs. Using the mountains’ most abundant resource, trees, a log cabin could be built quickly with only a few tools.”

 One-Room Log Cabin.  The small building behind the log cabin is a chicken house.

 

I like the vintage look of this photograph.

The next building that you come to is a “gear loft”, where the family stored their “plunder” (supplies and equipment).

Gear Loft

Continuing along the pathway, you will come to a barn surrounded by a stone-walled pig pen.

Barn

Note the pig pen behind the barn.  Farmers had razorback hogs that ran wild in the forest.  In the fall, the farmers would round up the best hogs and put them in this pen.  This was a bear-proof pig pen.  The “x” supports held the logs in place and kept bears out of the pen.

The last building along the pathway is a spring house.

Spring House

This is inside the Spring House.  Farmers kept their butter and other cold storage items on the rocks.

 

If we are ever in the area in the summer, it would be worthwhile to return to the farm museum.  During the summer months costume interpreters provide demonstrations of weaving, basket making and gardening.

Leaving Humpback Rocks we made one more stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We stopped at the Afton Overlook.  This northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway becomes the Skyline Drive from this point north through the Shenandoah National Park.

Afton Overlook

We talked about returning to this overlook early the next day, in the hopes of seeing the sun rise.  As it turned out, we didn’t make it back to this overlook the next morning.  We didn’t watch the sun rise; however, we did see a beautiful sunset in Waynesboro.

What a way to end the third day of our vacation!

Easter Vacation – Day 3 of 5: Blue Ridge Parkway (James River to Humpback Rocks)

Bob and I spent three nights (April 17-20) in Waynesboro, Virginia. Waynesboro is located near where the Skyline Drive ends and the Blue Ridge Parkway begins. Our original plan was to stay in Waynesboro for four nights, but we departed a day early. I will explain why we left Waynesboro a day early in a future blog post.

The highlights on Day 3 (April 19) of our Easter vacation included a visit to Natural Bridge, walking on a swinging bridge in Buchanan and driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thursday’s blog post (4/24/2014) provided photographs and details about our visit to Natural Bridge. Friday’s blog post (4/25/2014) was about our brief stop in Buchanan VA.  From Buchanan we took Route 43 to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We entered the Parkway at Milepost 90.9, Bearwallow Gap, and exited at Milepost 0, Rockfish Gap.   Our 90-mile drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway yielded many photographs.  I am sharing those photographs via four separate blog posts.  In Tuesday’s blog post (4/29/2014) I shared photographs from Milepost 90.9, Bearwallow Gap, to just before Milepost 63.8, James River Visitor Center.  In yesterday’s blog post I shared photographs that were taken at the James River Visitor Center.  In today’s blog post I will share photographs from Milepost 63.8, James River, to just before Milepost 5.8, Humpback Rocks.

By the time we left the James River Visitor Center area it was well past noon, and we were hungry.  We ate lunch at a Parkway picnic table along Otter Creek.

Lower Otter Creek Overlook, Elevation 680 feet

Otter Creek

After lunch we stopped at several scenic overlooks, as we made our way to the north entrance of the Parkway.

View House Mountain, Elevation 3, 612 feet; Elevation Here 2,498 feet.

View Irish Creek Valley 1,500 feet below, Elevation here 2,660 feet.

View Irish Creek Valley 1,500 feet below, Elevation here 2,660 feet.

 

Somewhere along Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia)

20-Minute Cliff

20-Minute Cliff

20-Minute Cliff

Most places we stopped along the Parkway were designated scenic overlooks.  Here is one stop, where we just pulled off the side of the road so that I could take a picture.

Bob took this picture of me, as I was taking a picture of the view.
The drop off the Parkway was straight down!

This is the picture that I took alongside the Parkway.

Ravens Roost Overlook (Elev. 3,200 feet) was the last overlook that we stopped at before reaching Humpback Rocks.

Ravens Roost Overlook, Elevation 3,200 feet 1,800 feet above valley.

This broad rock ledge is a typical raven’s roost. Although we saw none, ravens and buzzards are frequently seen from this point.

Bob took this picture of me at Ravens Roost Overlook.

Ravens Roost Overlook

To the right of the rock ledge is a scenic overlook of the Shenandoah Valley, 1,800 feet below.

We reached Milepost 5.8, Humpback Rocks, at approximately 3:15 PM.  It took us about 4 3/4 hours to travel 85.1 miles on the Parkway.

Fence across Parkway from Humpback Rocks Visitor Center

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