Day 29 Blue Ridge Parkway

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
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29
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Trip End Oct 18, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We started the day doing routine errands: haircut, Toby present, bear spray, etc. But then by about 11:30, we hit the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 470 odd mile road between the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and the Great Smokey National Park in North Carolina. The parkway is a road that follow the ridges, owned by the federal government and run by the National Parks. The Parkway was largely built in the depression year, so it is heartening that it is being upgraded as part of the current Stimulus funding. Anyway, a beautiful drive, hard to capture in photos. Every quarter mile there was a pull-off to view the scenery, and with a max limit of 45mph, it was slow going.

We eventually stopped at Clingmans Dome, the third highest peak east of the Mississippi. We arrived just as the storm hit, and one unlucky hiker got struck by lightning. But we waited the storm out, and hiked to the top (6500 ft) to see the view. It is apparently much worse due to the pollution.

Then on to Gatlingburg, Tennessee. Gatlingburg is everything Asheville is not. If Asheville was Fitzroy turned into a city, Gatlingburg would be Luna Park. Quite ghastly. But it is allegedly off season, and so we got a cheap motel room, a shoddy italian dinner (the less said the better), and somewhere to crash.
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