Day 9, Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The sun was bright this morning, and then it went to war with the clouds. By the time I was ready to leave it had lost, and was mostly hidden. But visibility was good - for a short while. As I approached the Parkway the earth ascended into the clouds, and I was in the famous Blue Ridge fog I had been warned about.
It can be quite beautiful, and of course it can destroy the wonderful views. But there is beauty in all of nature's displays, if one knows what to look for. I thought of JMW Turner. He knew what to look for - he might even have invented fog.
So even though the views were compromised, I found it all breathtaking.
And it cleared. A little.
And then a lot, and the views began to emerge again. I can't say enough about how extraordinary this Parkway is. From a visual perspective it's an engineering marvel, and a lot of thought must have gone into finding the exact right turn and the best side of the crest to maximize the vistas. It's very well cared for and wonderfully accessible, all courtesy of the US government. For those of you who think that government is wasteful and inefficient, drive this Parkway. You will be forever thankful for the New Deal and FDR and the National Park Service's amazing vision and commitment to preservation. I don't need to say it, but we desperately need similar wisdom and vision in our current federal government.
Small things can be beautiful as well. And that's a good thing because on a bike one spends some time looking down - checking gears, the chain and the derailleur. So, it's pleasant when something shows up in that visual field.
And the views stayed mercurial.
I decided to cycle ten miles or so off the Parkway to find lodging. It's supposed to rain tonight so I located an inexpensive motel in Boone, the home of Appalachian State University- a school I've been hearing a bit about since I've been down here. The ride down was intense, and I'm not really looking forward to the trip back up tomorrow, but I can't say I wasn't warned.
I'll let you know how it went.
More to come,