Friday, July 31, 2009

Asheville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway

July 28
We are nearing the end of our journey, and this part of the drive is no less beautiful than all of the others. Asheville is a charming, artsy town, that reminds us a bit of San Francisco. On the tourist pamphlet stands, we see pamphlets touting hot air balloons and a surprise "Fabric, Fiber, and Bead Trail" (move over, New Mexico!). We definitely must add this to our list of weekend jaunts to take in the future.

At the Blue Ridge Parkway visitor center, we watch a breath-taking film about the Parkway, to prep us for our drive along the beautiful mountain road. We take a few moments to pop in to the Folk Art Center that displays the gorgeous arts and crafts of the renowned Southern Highlands Craft Guild.

The drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a bit disappointing, and a bit harrowing. Road construction projects seem to have followed us all across the USA (must be a result of the economic recovery act, we figure), but on these winding mountain roads it slows us down tremendously, and we think we ought to abort the mountain route so that we will not be driving all night long. But that decision is actually made for us, as a detour takes us off of the mountain road and through more populous areas. Good thing we have Maggie, our Magellan GPS, along with us -- she is getting quite a workout! (Lots of recalculating...)

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