Enjoying the Parkway

Trip Start Jun 18, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19

We started the morning off at 8:30am and found ourselves at the Luray Caverns (http://www.luraycaverns.com/) by 9:30am. The Luray Caverns has been renowned as a spectacular natural wonder. The caverns were first discovered in 1878 by a tinsmith and a local photographer. It took us about an hour to self guide ourselves through the labyrinth of corridors. Stalactites, stalagmites, and columns by the thousands all dating back millions of years. Truly a spectacular view.

On our way to the Parkway we had to pull over and change the rear tail light on Rusty's motorcycle which had gone bad. This was accomplished in a matter of minutes when we found a Auto Zone store.

From there we headed South for our main objective the Blue Ridge Parkway. Other than 15 minutes of a light but continuous rain we had fantastic weather. I was impressed to find how little traffic we encountered on the parkway.

Majestic views to be seen around every bend, but all those nice curves kept us from wanting to slow down and look, which we ofcourse did do ..... once in a while. The 75 mph speed limit on the parkway was very nice and kept the curves interesting. Did I say 75 ??? What was I thinking .... I am sorry ... I meant 45 mph, and believe me that we never exceeded the posted speed limit. No sir .... never  :o)

We started the day in Luray, Virginia, and ended the day in Laurel Springs, North Carolina, at Bluffs Lodge (http://foreverlodging.com/lodging.cfm?PropertyKey=74). Bluffs Lodge is probably the best place to stay on the parkway itself. It is motel-like, but very rustic. Lots of hiking trails surround the property. The room was o.k., but clean and serviceable. There is no a/c available, but we did not need it with the temparature being in the high 60's. The setting was beautiful; there was a really nice terrace to sit and enjoy the view; a fire place on the open terrace to enjoy (a nice fire is built around sunset); and a park ranger tells stories to all guests sitting on the terrace. Very very nice. This is one place that I plan to visit again and again - it makes for a perfect base to explore the surrounding areas.

We had planned to visit the Natural Bridge (http://www.naturalbridgeva.com/) and Grandfathers Mountain (http://www.grandfather.com/) this day, but I had overlooked the mile marker exit for the Natural Bridge by about .... ooohhhhh ...100 miles or so, and at Grandfathers Mountain we were told that the observation deck (mile high swinging bridge) was closed due to extremely strong winds (80+ mph). So we rescheduled to visit both on our return trip (Northbound).

On this day we ran into various wildlife on the road: wild turkeys, ground hogs, squirrels galore, two deer, and a possum that actually played possum on us by laying frozen in the middle of the road as we approached it.  Geeezzzz  :o)   Shortly thereafter we stopped at Otter Creek Recreation Area for lunch, and wouldn't you know it - they were having a special on canned road kill !!!  Really  !!!! Ha ha ha
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