To get to the highest point east of the Mississippi one is subjected to driving through some of the most stunning views also east of the Mississippi.
The Blue Ridge Parkway has been called one of America’s roadway. If the purpose of a roadway is to allow you to move from point “A” to point “B”, then that title does the Parkway no justice. It not only moves you from a place to a place, but through time to from the present back to a past where America was free.
We actually made the summit at Mt. Mitchell (with the help of Layla’s husky genetics, mush dog mush) on Wednesday. The climb to the summit lookout was actually only 280yds of paved walkway. Piece of cake compared to the mile and a half we hiked earlier in the day.
And what they say is true the view from the top of the world is spectacular.
One of the story boards along the Parkway points to the first 8000 acres purchased by the Forest service under the Weeks Act around 1920. These acres had been deforested and lay in ruin due to timber being clear-cut during that time. The Service began a “reforestation” project, and even experimented with planting other than just native trees and foliage. Now, little more than 90 years later stands in that place a lush beautiful landscape. Though it was destroyed by the hands of man it was returned to a beauty that represents what we can accomplish.
It’s hard to believe we had dropped almost a mile of elevation at this point looking back at the mount. But the winding of the road gave hints that we were rapidly descending “from the mountaintop”.
I stayed in a campground last night in Marion, NC instead of boondocking somewhere. For the cost of little more than a “truckstop shower” we were afforded a nice spot, electricity, wifi, and the hot shower! That was a pleasant surprise, and much needed after traveling down route 226 from the Parkway. I should have known how serious the road was when there was a sign warning trucks, “last chance to detour”. I had to pullover into one of the “brake cooling ” spots for the trucks twice due to my brakes beginning to heat up and fade just a little. More excitement for the trip.
Where will we go on today??
I don’t know just yet Layla’s still sleeping and I have not even looked at the map.
But, I’ll know when we get there. 😉