Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sparky and Eldo Meander on the Way Home

Isn't it great to be retired and go anywhere you want to, when you want and for how long you want? After leaving seeing Kelly off, Sparky and Eldo were headed to the Blue Ridge Mountains, at last report. This time, we were absolutely sure that's where we were going. (See yesterday's post) But then again, you never know with Sparky.

Well, we sort of knew we were going....west, towards the Blue Ridge Mountains. Where to stay? We stopped at a beautiful welcome center in North Carolina, gathered up a bunch of brochures (Sparky likes to collect them, you know....) and were on our way...
entrance coming up to the Blue Ridge Parkway
A trail near the parkway visitor center
A few hours later, we stopped in Boone, North Carolina...a beautiful town nestled up against the Blue Ridge Mountains. The entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway was nearby, and after we got settled in our hotel room, we decided to venture out on the Parkway for awhile before it got dark. The Blue Ridge Parkway spans 469 miles and wends its way through 29 counties in Virginia and North Carolina. It connects two popular national parks--Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are nine official parkway campgrounds along the way, but since we no longer have our motorhome, (sniff sniff), we stayed in a hotel in Boone. There are more than 200 overlooks and 26 different tunnels, and some gorgeous waterfalls and fabulous hiking trails, so this is an amazing greenway to explore, and one of America's most popular scenic roadways.  We stopped along one overlook, and Sparky saw an entrance to a trail. It looked so inviting, but it was getting late in the day, and not the best time to go.....We didn't have the proper shoes or our poles, either, so we weren't going to head out today. We will definitely come back to this area....It was beautiful!

We stopped at overlook after overlook, each one just as beautiful as the last......

The temperatures were dropping into the very pleasant low seventies and high sixties....What a relief from the Florida heat! As the sun started to set, we headed back to the hotel. We had one day left to explore the area, and we were going to make the most of it! Time to go back and plan an excursion as we only were going to spend one more day in the area before heading back to Florida....

Back at the hotel, Sparky started investigating and reading all the info we had gathered...


Linn Cove Viaduct in the Fall
  • Grandfather Mountain at Milepost 305
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at Milepost 384
  • North Carolina Arboretum at Milepost 393.6
  • Folk Art Center at Milepost 382
  • Mt. Mitchell, the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi, Milepost 355.4
  • Craggy Gardens picnic area and hiking trails at Milepost 367.6
  • Pisgah Inn, an inn and restaurant, at Milepost 408.7


  • Cold Mountain overlook, the namesake of the best selling novel and movie, at Milepost 412
  • Looking Glass Rock overlook, a distinct rock formation named for the way water and ice reflects off mountain's granite surface, Milepost 417
  • Graveyard Fields overlook, the barren scenery is reminiscent of the moor of England, Milepost 418.8
Here's a link to the hiking trails near Boone, NC. Sparky is definitely going to save this for a future trip to the area. We hope to maybe go back next summer and stay for a little while.

We decided to head to the Mile High Bridge on Grandfather Mountain the next day.....See you there!


  1. Sounds like you are enjoying you trip back to Florida, take your time.

  2. Drive north to where the parkway ends and Shennandoah National Park begins and stop to climb Humpback Rock. When you get to the top and look down our farm is in a little hollow in the foothills.

  3. We've only done a tiny bit of the parkway. It's such a beautiful area!

  4. Blue Ridge Mountain upcoming trip I will have to hope it will be interesting to explore. friv 4