Where there's Smoke...there's Mountain

Trip Start Jun 09, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Where I stayed
Fairfield Inn

Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Friday, June 12, 2009

Yesterday's post was short on scenery, which required much written description. Today’s push north was just the opposite…short on description because the scenery spoke for itself.

Dispatch time: 12:06am EST.  We kind of got into Chambersburg a little later than we had planned.  We were so overwhelmed by the incredible natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina that we realized around 3pm that we still had 480 miles to go to get to Pennsylvania.  Yikes!  Put the camera down, and get off the mountain.  Brian was hoping to get some time at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood in Gatlinburg – but this schedule was tight.

But it was so hard to.  Each and every hairpin turn on the famed Blue Ridge Parkway took us to an elevation of 5800ft, and a temperature of 51 degrees.  So high, we actually stopped at a roadside picnic area above the clouds.  The fast moving wisps of clouds blanketed the rich green peaks, giving it that classic Smoky feel.  And the Blue Ridge Mountains….well, take a look….that was not Photoshopped!  I was concerned about driving the parkway on a Friday for traffic reasons, but to my delight, it was our road.  I loved this area so much, that I would love to do the whole 487 mile parkway as a separate vacation.

So off the mountain we came and onto the interstate we went.  A smooth 75mph through Hickory and Winston, NC – up Shenandoah Valley through Roanoke we rolled into West Virginia just after sunset.  Darkness fell quickly in Maryland before the Penn border, requiring my eyes to work overtime against the blinding southbound 18-wheelers.  After this much driving, there is something melodic about the different pavement textures.  Black tops are quieter and smoother with a low hum, while light grey concrete surfaces vibrate the truck more and have a higher pitched hiss.  Then of course, there are the wonderful side-road rumble strips, which I did my best to avoid.  At times, it seemed the GPS just froze, but it did not.  It was just calculating the endless miles that lay ahead.  1625 miles on the truck’s clock as we pulled off of the interstate into the well lit parking lot of the Fairfield Inn, adjacent to the Bob Evans.

No exciting run ins with any locals today.  Just some great driving in the morning, and hard driving in the afternoon.  But this was a good push north….hard to believe we left Houston day before yesterday.

So enjoy the pics.  They speak better than I could.  Bloodshot eyes are now closing.  Tomorrow holds many historical treasures.  Anteidem….Gettysburg….and Washington.   A mere 78 miles from the Nation’s Capitol….Dispatch Out.
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