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Posts tagged ‘Blue Ridge Parkway’

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.

_LG21701NC Route 215
near the U.S. Route 276 and NC Route 215 Intersection
Sign indicates that the next 34 miles will have 9% grades, 15 MPH curves and 5000 ft. elevations.

_LG21703We 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.

_LG21704Sunburst Falls

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.

_LG21709Sunburst Falls (Lower Falls)

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

_LG21713
Waterfall #2

Please click here, if you are not able to watch the embedded waterfall video.

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.

_LG21718Beartrap Gap Overlook
Elevation 5,580 ft.

_LG21719We enjoyed a picnic lunch, while at the Beartrap Gap Overlook.

_LG21722Richland 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.

_LG21729Standing 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).

_LG21587Where 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.

_LG21592Looking 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.

_LG21595Black Balsam 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).

_LG21599
Devils Courthouse
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).

LJG21600Bob 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.

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!

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