Day 3, November 1, 2016
Start: Fancy Gap, Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia)
Via: Blue Ridge Parkway Virginia and North Carolina
Destination: Asheville, North Carolina
Total miles for the day: 207 miles
Total miles from day 1: 830 miles
We had to pull off the Blue Ridge Parkway at some point to fill up gas and we ended up in the middle of no where in North Carolina and felt very out of place. I guess…Welcome to the middle of nowhere North Carolina – home of southern accents, white folks, Christmas tree and pumpkin farms galore, and a whole lot of trucks.
Afer feeling a bit lost, we found an awesome diner place along the way in West Jefferson and had a delicious breakfast. It was called the Coffee House and Marc almost took us to McDonalds instead of this diner! (He thought it was a Starbucks coffee shop that only served pastries.) Our server started telling us her life story. She too was a Yankee and her family moved from Islip, NY when she was younger. But she loved her small little town where everyone knew everyone and how she never had to pay for a Christmas tree or a pumpkin for the holidays. It felt very local and every one was just so nice.
After our little gas/breakfast detour, we got GPS lost some more (as in the GPS took us through some random back roads where no one else was around and we ad to fact check it on a real map). WE eventually got to the Parkway and stumbled upon the Moses H Cone Estate/craft center/visitor center. Craft center sounds really cheesy but it’s basically local art and is actually really cool! They had these leaves and flowers dipped in wax that would make cool gifts (but… we didn’t get any). The estate itself is also really beautiful. It had great views of this lake (Price Lake?).
After that, we stumbled upon the Tanawha trail when we arrived at the Linn Cove Viaduct visitor center (which was closed for the season already!) We decided to do the hike. I really wish I got a picture of the Viaduct because that’s the famous photo in a lot of the Blue Ridge mountain brochures!! Look how beautiful a road COULD look:
I didn’t think the viaduct was that impressive, but I didn’t realize its potential or really it’s history until I read the sign at the trailhead. It’s apparently the first viaduct of its kind in the US built in the 1960s inspired by similar designs in Europe. I was pretty unimpressed for the first mile because all the trees were mostly dead. At one point along our hike, we were almost sure we heard a bear! The hike eventually took us to the Rough Ridge overlook. It’s 360* view was amaking and i really don’t know how to capture it in a photo so below is a video. And yes, it was high up on a rock and a little scary.
View from the top
After the hike, we drove into the sunset along the Blue a Ridge Parkway and were off to Asheville for some good craft beer!