Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things I Learned On The Great Dollywood-Smoky Mountain-Blue Ridge Parkway-Natural Bridge-Monticello-Skyland Drive Trip

You may have noticed, I am back. Driving alone out in the (semi-)wilds gives you a lot of thinking time, so I thought I would share I few things that occurred to me.

  • There is no limit to the number of times you can say "Golly, THAT is pretty!" in a day.
  • There is no limit to the number of times your ears can pop, going up and down mountains, in a day.
  • Falling rocks on one side of road, sheer cliff on the other. Difficult choice.
  • I am still afraid of heights.
  • My car, my automatic transmission car, has gears you can select. Who knew? 1 to 6. I used them all.
  • NC Rt. 194, between Banner Elk and Valle Crucis, the last part down the mountain, is the scariest road I have EVER DRIVEN. Ever.
  • I love Cracker Barrel's collard greens.
  • I may not have the right personality to stay in B&Bs. 
  • Different people's opinion of what is a "moderate" hike may differ. 
  • When in the middle of nowhere, take every chance to use the restroom facilities when you happen upon them.
  • Sirius/XM satellite radio has a full time Bluegrass station.
  • Bluegrass is the only music you should be listening to on the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you don't like bluegrass, go to Florida.
  • Satellite radio does not work at it's best on the side of really tall mountains and valleys. 
  • Always travel with snacks and water. A snack can make you feel better when you are lost.
  • I really need someone to help keep me from getting lost. Yes, even with a GPS.
  • Sometimes, your GPS will play games with you. Takes you for a little detour. Do not take the bait.
  • I love road trips!

Falling...Fallen...which is better??


  1. I prefer my rocks to have already fallen, but I would definitely be concerned about falling rocks....

    We once took 10 days to drive from the north end of the Skyline Dr / Blueridge parkway to the south end. One of the best trips ever.

  2. I wish I had more time....which would have been 10 days!
    there were a lot of off BRP side trips I would have liked to have taken but did not have the time.

  3. I vote for fallen, thank you! There were roads in Yosemite that inspired me to keep my head between my legs. Me no likey heights. Snacks didn't even lure me back to a normal seated position.

  4. Put me in the fallen column too. I feel awful since I'm up that way several times a year and never go on the Parkway. The steep roads and sharp drops don't bother me after riding in the Alps in Switzerland.

  5. Actually, I had no problem with driving the Parkway itself. Yes, you are very high and yes, I hate heights but the road felt fine. Nice nice overviews, road in great repair.
    Better than the Skyline Drive, which for some reason scares me a little bit. Something about the sharpness of the turns or the angles..or maybe I was just tired.

    No, my really scary drive were local roads. At night..driving small steep unknown roads awful. In the day, that road I mentioned...worse in my life. lol

  6. I'm with you - I love road trips too. I found your list hilarious as well as inspiring. I was just on a road trip last week and I'm ready to go again. That Blue Ridge mountain area is indeed beautiful.

  7. Love your list. And I think fallen is better than falling.

    I'm not sure I have the right personality for a B&B either. (I KNOW for a fact that Mr. Jenners doesn't.)

    Now I'm thinking I need to do this drive!

  8. Jenners, I will be happy to lend you my "Best of the Blue Ridge Parkway" book!

  9. b&b's are creepy. you are staying in a stranger's house. you are relying on that stranger to have a clean kitchen in which to cook breakfast (and hopefully not poison you). you must congregate with other strangers staying in the strangers house.

    ...doesnt get more awkward than that.

  10. well, speaking from one hotel experience I had on this trip, you can not necessarily rely on anyone to clean.

    The congregating with strangers part is an issue, especially since I am there alone, which people seem to find very odd. And from NJ, which always interests them too.
    And I do not like to talk to people, esp. strangers, in the morning before having a caffeine filled beverage.

  11. The photos below for WW are stunning, but I had to comment on your point about "moderate" hikes. Amen, sister!


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