Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Blue Ridge Pkwy

This past weekend was incredibly dreamy, involving all of my favorite things.
Open road.

Not to mention the howl of the flat six as Justin sped through winding roads festooned in a riot of colors.

The trip was spur-of-the-moment, planned in just a few days. Justin and I decided we needed to ride the Blue Ridge parkway and see what all the hype was about. He, of course, wanted to take the '83 911, a test of its mettle.We planned to spend a night with family, and one night in Asheville, NC.

We started from Louisville and headed east to my aunt and uncle's house in Mountain City, Tennessee. They live in the most glorious corner of the earth, against the south side of a mountain. On a clear day you can see all the way to North Carolina from their front porch, and a clear night makes the Milky Way visible to the naked eye.

The trees were just hitting their peak and seemed to change colors before our eyes as the weekend progressed. My aunt and uncle have the most glorious garden, growing everything from grapes to corn to mushrooms. They keep bees and harvest honey and take hikes to the top of the mountain behind their cabin. We were only able to stay one night, but it was so wonderful to catch up with family.

The next morning we hit the road with coffee in our bellies and a bag of candy corn in the glove compartment. We were going to take the Blue Ridge Parkway from Boone to Asheville, NC.

There was rain. There was fog. And there were incredibly stunning vistas.

 There is no greater felicity than this: to stand in swirling mountain air and look over the world. I don't think a king's ransom could buy such beauty. Every overlook that we stopped at was like a Christmas gift, each better than the last. The rain cleared up enough for us to take a hike to hidden waterfalls just off the parkway.

Yeah. We're cheesy. But it was the best.
We stopped off for coffee at an eclectic bookshop in Little Switzerland and dined in a restaurant on the edge of Mount Mitchell. Upon summiting Mount Mitchell, our whole world was enveloped in fog, making the day seem dark and late. It was like a page out of a Steven King novel. The temperature also dropped drastically, making it way to cold for me in my cut-offs.

Everything about Saturday was heavenly. From the panoramic views to the bustle of Asheville, every moment was golden. Justin and I drank navy grog and shared spaghetti and meatballs at Vinnie's and fell asleep with the rain dashing against our window and hum from the 911 still in our ears.

I still can't believe that I live only 5 hours from the parkway and had never been. It was just endless miles of smokey blue ridges and chilly air whipping through my hair. I cannot wait to go back.

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