Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Last of the Miles!

I promise this is the last of the photos I'll post from our vacation last month.  When it gets to the point where I can't remember which one goes where in the sequence of our travels - it's time to move on!

I'm not sure where this pretty mountain range with the wildflower windowsill was  but it's pretty typical of the scenery we enjoyed through this portion of our trip. 
We did have to dodge a few rain showers and stopped to pull our rainsuits out occasionally.  This is our attempt at a self portrait!
Here's the full effect of the rainsuit.  Obviously I'm not making any fashion statement here but then I don't know that it's possible to care when riding a motorcycle for several days and attempting to stay dry (or cool or warm - depending upon the conditions of the moment!)
We spent some time exploring the Mabry Mill and taking a gazillion photos of this famous pictureseque old grist mill/saw mill.  Of course D was fascinated with the sawmill and old woodworking shop. 
Since we were there right at lunch time - we checked out the restaurant. 
It didn't take much to talk a hungry biker into trying one of their famous dishes.  Take a couple of cornmeal pancakes, stuff them with pulled pork and cheese then serve with the requisite cole slaw and pickle!  Maybe not the prettiest dish on the menu, but surprisingly good and definitely filling! 
One of the prettiest overnight stops on our trip was in Blowing Rock, NC.  We stayed at the Village Inn .  I think this is an older motel that has been remodeled and updated.  The rooms were small but attractively updated and decorated in an upscale lodge decor. Two complaints though were the non-working wi-fi in the room and the bedding on the comfy beds that kept slipping off.  (They do make fitted sheets for those deep mattresses!)  Otherwise - very nice!
Another interesting stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Moses Cone Manor, one  of the Southern Highland Craft Guild shops.  A gorgeous old home with a great view.

We didn't just sit on the bike all day - we did get off and do a little hiking.  Which only proved to us that we should do that more often!  This was a nice hike up to Linville Falls.  I think it was about 1 1/2 miles up to this viewing point. 
We stopped at Mt. Mitchell for another hike up to the summit but didn't stay long as we could see the low clouds rolling in.  Sure enough, before long we were stopping to put our rain gear on again.  Nice of them to put those little rock walls along the sides of the scenic viewing points.  Within a few miles of this we had to come to a complete stop at a visitor's center to let the rain and fog subside. 
We made it to the Asheville Best Western where we had reservations for the night with plenty of time to do some research for an interesting place for dinner.  Downtown Asheville is a most interesting place, especially on a Friday night, with a wide range of local restaurants to pick from.  We found Mayfel's and enjoyed our meal there, plus it was right across from the park where they hold a weekly "drum circle".  This draws quite a crowd, with quite a variety of participates and observers. 
We hadn't planned to spend too much time in Asheville, since we've been here before.  But we drove out to the Grove Park Inn (someday we're going to splurge for a night or two here!) and spent most of the morning browsing at the Grovewood Gallery then back downtown  to the Mast General Store and  lunch at another great cafe. I should have taken a photo of another great store we discovered, Tops for Shoes, a huge shoe store downtown also.   
With all of our browsing around  Asheville, we didn't get as far on down the Parkway as planned but spent our last night out in Maggie Valley then made our way home the next day.  One last photo from the outside of the log cabin at the Visitor's  Center at the end (or beginning - which ever way you want to look at it!) of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 
We love the Smokey Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway!  I'm sure this isn't the last time I'll be writing about a ride here!  So this is all of the posts  you will have to endure about this 2030 mile motorcycle vacation.   But I'm sure there will be more rides to come - in fact we're already contemplating a short overnight ride for this coming weekend!  Thanks for "riding" along with us!! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, what an incredible vacation! How many miles did you travel? This is the first chance we've had to take a look so we got to see it in total. What fun...

Dad & Pat