Smile #80 – Nice to Meet You, Blue Ridge Parkway!

Nice to Meet You, Blue Ridge Parkway!  

Blue Ridge Parkway attracts visitors from around the world.  And who can blame them?!  The mountains radiate the most glorious look each fall.  A burst of red and orange and yellow makes the mountains absolutely picturesque.  🙂

After living in Boone for four years, I couldn’t resist returning to the mountains.  Fresh cooler air, quaint local restaurants and small town atmosphere, I am ready to be back in my habitat.  🙂

This year’s fall foliage looks even more vibrant than before.  🙂  The drive up to the Boone has been quite beautified!  🙂

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After dropping off Bubble for his BNO (boys’ day out), my sister and I headed to the Parkway, where a series of interesting events began.

Event #1 – Given this is the first time we actually drove to the parkway, we have no idea where we are going.  So when we saw the Parkway entrance sign, we immediately turned on the first narrow road…leading us to a cemetery.  Should we have taken this as an omen?!

Event #2 – Our plan is to hike Rough Ridge, a short 1.5 miles with magnificent views of the mountains.  We began at milepost 297 passing Moses Cone, Price Lake, Linn Cove…and soon we reached a sign that said Linville to the right.  Sis said she recently visited Linville Falls and Rough Ridge should just be a little past that.  Little did we know the sign refers to the town Linville…not Linville Falls the trail.  Soon we found ourselves at the entrance of Grandfather Mountain!  35 minutes away from Boone, haha!

Event #3 – Alright, we realized we are on the wrong way and needed to turn around.  But we kept passing any areas that would allow us make a u-turn.  Before we know it, we were descending the mountain on a narrow curvy road with no stops.  And so we reached Linville…unintentionally.  🙂

Event #4 – Second time around, we tried to pay more attention to the mileposts.  We returned to the main parkway and up the mountain we went.  We remembered mom’s love for local honey so we pulled over at a random roadside honey vendor.  Just a random honey run #nbd

Event #5 – With just an hour until sunset, it is time to change our agenda from hiking the Parkway to a scenic drive of the Blue Ridge.  As a passenger, the drive was serene…aside from a few terrifying turns that left me holding my breath and praying we wouldn’t slide off the side of the mountain.  🙂

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Event #6 – We took a quick break at Grandfather Mountain Overlook.  It offers a gorgeous view of the mountain and a small lake.  🙂  Take a look for yourself!

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Side story:  While we were posing and taking pictures, I told sis that I wanted a picture of my back.  She took my comment literally and this is what she captured…MY BACK.

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No worries, I got her to take a more ideal one too. 🙂

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Event #7 – The best overlook award goes to Yonahlossee overlook.  At an elevation of 4412 feet, colorful trees stretched for miles and painted the perfect fall foliage image.

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There were so many sight seekers.  With luck on our side, we caught a group departing.  🙂  Thanks for your spot, sir!

The panorama of the mountain left us breathless!  We lingered for a while just absorbing this spectacular view.  🙂

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Event #8 – We made it to our final stop at Moses Cones Mansion.  It has become a tradition for us to visit this trail and so we had to take a piggy back photo like years past.

Typically we have our friends and families with us to help take the perfect photo.  But since it is just the two of us today, we had to get creative.  Using the white wooden fence and my new iPhone 6s’ timer, we took turns hopping on each other’s back.  The image turned out perfectly and we had a great laugh!  🙂

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Dun Dun Dun, ladies and gentlemen, here is our 2015 Blue Ridge piggy back photo.

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We also got a normal sissy picture 🙂

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Conclusion of the day, we had a series of interesting events occurred.  Guess this is what happens when you give the car keys to two girls with zero outdoor navigational skills.  It is all worth it though!  The day was full of laughter and smiles.  🙂   Unfortunately we did not find Rough Ridge…but I promise I will be BACK for you, mysterious Rough Ridge!

For now, Appalachian Cookie Co is calling my name.  🙂

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