Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blue Ridge Parkway — Part 4

We climbed out of Asheville, NC, early this morning, and were almost immediately rewarded with our best view of the entire drive. Morning fog on the valleys is a special treat.

The last hundred miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway are the most visually striking. I would attribute that to the relatively high elevation and sharper terrain of the mountains. At 6,000 feet or so, the highest point on the road is 2,000-3,000 feet higher than most of the peaks, gaps and saddles so far.

It is also the most challenging part of the road to drive, with steeper climbs/descents and sharper turns than elsewhere. The fall foliage has mostly given up, with only the evergreens holding on. The consensus among other travelers and locals is that it hasn't been a very good year for fall color.

We reached the end of the Parkway at Cherokee National Forest. Overall it was a pretty and enjoyable drive. We did it in four days, averaging a little over 100 miles per day. That amounts to 3-4 hours of driving with several more hours stopping for various lengths of time. It could be done faster or slower, but I think four days is a good benchmark.

After continuing south into North Georgia, we are spending the night with very good friends near Lake Rabun. Tomorrow we will continue south to Atlanta for a weekend of shenanigans, and decide on what's up for next week... Stay tuned!

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