Across the country to Key West and up to New Brunswick, Canada Summer 20010 by Rick Swallow Page 4Day 22 (Monday July 5) After a Waffle House Breakfast, Buzz departed for home outside Memphis. Kim and I took a really nice drive in the mountains so I could enjoy the scenery as a non-driver. Really enjoyed it as I seldom get a chance to just "ride along" as a passenger in a car and enjoy landscape.
The Ocoee River was host to the 1996 Olympic Kayaking events. Imagine what it looks like with water in it! Being controlled by dams upstream, it can be pretty tough to run at even half water-flow.
Day 23 (Tuesday July 6) Had breakfast at the Waffle House again with Kim before saying my goodbyes and heading northward to Bryson City, NC, to spend the nite at a small Ela Campground just outside the city limits. Day 24 (Wednesday July 7) About 10 miles to the north is the small city of Cheerokee, NC, where the Blue Ridge Parkway. begins about 2 miles outside of town. The Parkway is 469 miles from South to North, mostly around 3000 feet in altitude, the highest point being right at 6053'. It is 2-lane from end to end with no stops or lights and a maximum speed limit of 45 mph...has 27 tunnels, 168 bridges and literally hundreds of overlooks for viewing the countryside below. I took a large number of shots, but these few will have to be representative. Today I stopped at virtually every turnoff and as you can see by the pictures below, at many of the turnoffs and presumable view is completely cut off by trees! I figure that the parkway would be best viewed in Oct-Nov when the leaves of the trees are gone for the winter. There are lots of nice hiking trails on the drive. Spent the night tonight at the Crabtree Meadows Forest Service Campground (1 of 9). Restrooms but no hookups at sites. $8 Day 25 (Thursday July 8) More of the same. Driving along much of the Parkway is akin to driving through a tunnel of trees. Pretty it is, and the Fall colors would certainly be breathtaking, but the miles and miles of "tunnel" driving can be a bit monotonous. Spent the night at Rocky Knob Rocky Knob Forest Service Campground. Restrooms but no hookups at sites. $8 The RV picture is of a '96 Airstream "Lumpi" owned by Peter and Elizabeth from the Canary Islands. There were a couple of lakes and waterfalls along the Parkway, but only a couple of buildings. Here is an old Baptist Church (background) and a luxury home of the time....
Day 26 (Friday July 9) I finally got off the Blue Ridge Parkway at its northern terminus went and continued to the Northeast to pick up Interstate 95 for DC. Spent the night at King's Dominion Campground, situated on the next lot from the large King's Dominion Theme Park just north of Richmond VA. $33.15
Day 27 (Saturday July 10) Arrived at Becky and Utpal Vasavada's home in Chevy Chase, MD, about 90 miles north of Richmond. Becky and their daughter Kajal were in the midst of packing for a trip to Paris. Drove to Dulles International to see them off about 3:00. Utpal and I had a delicious home cooked Indian meal, followed by an interesting bit of conversation.
Day 28 (Sunday July 11) Now, I've been to DC several times in recent years, and each time the Smithsonian puts on a few new displays, etc., so I headed into town to see what was new. I walked from Union Station to Lincoln Memorial (about 2 miles) and back, viewed Korean and VietNam memorials, spent a few hours in the museums that interest me most: ...Natural History, American History, and Space.... I'm going to mount the DC pics on the next page as this one seems laden already. Thanks for the use of your Metro pass, Utpal. Click here to go to Page 5.
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