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 Post subject: Re: SeaWatch Sept 14-24
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:20 pm
Posts: 321
Location: southwestern PA
Not home from the beach yet, traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway for those of you interested.

Yesterday, Monday we left the beach at 7 am. Got to Chimney Rock, NC about noon and went to the State Park. We walked alot and climbed alot.It is rugged and beautiful. The roads in the park are very twisting in sections.Spent about 3-4 hrs there, and finally got on the parkway about 5 pm.

Speed limit is 45, we picked up the parkway north of Ashville. We drove till about 7and weren't sure where we'd spend the night. The mountains thru N Carolina are very very high, we stopped at Mount Mitchell which is the highest in the USA east of the Mississippi. Stopped at other lookouts also and took pics. By 7 there were no exits close by ,it is desolate, no houses on these roADS, NO FAST FOOD, NO GAS, NO SHOPS.but luckily there was one place we passed on the parkway, the only commercial area in NC on the parkway. I thought thankfully at last a room, which they had. Some of these things with no plans turn out the best.

The inn was Little Switzerland, and it looked like a miniature Switzerland. The mountains were within full view of the lodge. It felt like it was another world. Beautiful. There was a restaurant too. We were so glad we wouldn't be sleeping in the truck.

This morning we had breakfast at the lodge, and went to a few of the village shops there. On the parkway by 10. I love the drive, the mountains and the curves in the roads. We went to Grandfather Mountain, got there about 12. 18.00 per person. The place is beautiful too. It has a viewing area with a few animals, a restaurant , 2 gift shops. You have to drive to the top parking lot to walk on the swinging bridge from one side of the mountain to another. Rich wouldnt but I did.

The park is 1 mile high above sea level. Once I walked to the other side of the mountain I thought if this bridge breaks we'd have to be flown off by helicopter if possible or stay on the mountain. Rich was safe on the other side. Ha Ha The views are breath taking.

Forgot to mention the drive up to the parking area has many many S curves. It wasn't too bad though.( Part of the movie Forest Gump was filmed on this road too._

We are here in Roanoke VA now at a hotel near some civilization tonight. We figured out where we would stay by looking at the map with a better understanding of it today.

I do love the parkway more in the higher mountains in North Carolina. The parts thru VA are more farmland with alot of rolling hills like I drive thru everyday at home. I guess if you live where there is flat land you'd love it though, or be too scared on this road. Some people I know did not continue the drive said too many hills and curves.

Until tomorrow,,,

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 Post subject: Re: SeaWatch Sept 14-24
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 12:50 am
Posts: 64
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Chimney Rock is a fun and beautiful place. I have early childhood memories of visiting there. I remember taking our kids there when they were quite small. It is rugged enough to be "mountain climbing" but not so tough that they couldnt handle it. We havent been there since it was purchased by the state and became a state park. Thank you for including it in your report. Last year I included a trip to Boone, NC in my report.


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 Post subject: Re: SeaWatch Sept 14-24
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Location: southwestern PA
As of Tuesday evening when we stayed in Roanoke our plans were to continue on the parkway but when we woke up Wednesday morning we both decided we were tired and wanted to drive home. We got on the Interstates and got home Wednesday about 4 30 pm.

There are so many things we did want to see in the Virginia area, Civil war sites, the Natural Bridge in Va which was used in the Civil War, some Caverns and more.

We decided there was just not enough time so we will do these things some other time.

We had a great time though at the beach and Rich and I enjoyed Chimney Rock but mostly Grandfather Mountain Park.

If I had my choice though, the beach or the mountains, I'd have to pick the beach.

Rich would pick the mountains.

This year will be unforgettable as far as our vacation. It was wonderful.

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 Post subject: Re: SeaWatch Sept 14-24
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:41 pm
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Location: Ontario
Your trip sounded most enjoyable. It is always fun when there is time to go off the beaten track. Thanks for posting and for also adding the bonus trip home.

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 Post subject: Re: SeaWatch Sept 14-24
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Location: southwestern PA
Thanks Chrisine, I really did enjoy the parkway. Good thing I got home Wednesday. I have went grocery shopping, did laundry, unpacked suit cases, and still have some house cleaning to do. Made lasagna now. The rest of the day I am relaxing. Too bad I don't have a maid here. Had to put money into our furnace yesterday only 127.00 though. This week after work will put up fall/Halloween decorations after work Back to reality :mad: it is.

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 Post subject: Re: SeaWatch Sept 14-24
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 3:26 pm
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Location: Sardis, Ohio
Great trip, Cathy! Terry & I have driven the Blue Ridge pkwy and we do enjoy it...we stop A LOT on the drive...love the overlooks...I have to laugh at the first time we drove the Skyline Drive in VA...we had no idea how long it would take...I think it was one of our 1st vacations ever. We had been to Blackwater Falls and several other places in WV. We started at the southern part of the drive...made MANY stops along the way...by the time we got to...I think it was Martinsburg, at the northern part of the drive...it was getting dark...no room booked for the night...limited cash...no credit cards at that point in our married life(we were so young and travel newbies)...we did know it was unrealistic to try to drive through the mountains of WV to continue home...then we see a sign for a small motel...$35 a night....mmmm...in budget...would they have a vacancy...they did...we took it...luckily it was a nice MOM & POP place...clean but basic...we were thrilled...that gave us just about enough cash to get gas and eat on the way home...when we got home the first thing we did was get a credit card to use for traveling...then I pay it off when we get home...Young and silly but good memories...maybe we should redo that drive for old times sake?

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 Post subject: Re: SeaWatch Sept 14-24
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:53 pm 
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Location: southwestern PA
ohiojo, That's what we got into, we started a little north of Ashville, we drove alot and it was getting dark and we had no room for the night. I had the paper maps though. GPS wouldn't work in the hills or I phone to find a room etc.


We pulled into a mom and pop place too Little Switzerland and it was so nice. It was the last room available. It was so cozy it made me feel like I was in switzerland. Yeah, maybe you should do the drive again.

Sometimes the unplanned things turn out the best.

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 Post subject: Re: SeaWatch Sept 14-24
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:33 am
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Location: "Southern" New York
Cathy wrote:
This year will be unforgettable as far as our vacation. It was wonderful.


I think that sums it up beautifully!! So glad you enjoyed yourselves and thanks for a GREAT report!!

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