Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’

The view out the rear window of Gypsy Lee at Yogi’s in the Smokies. — Photo by Pat Bean

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Adventures with Pepper: Days 37-45 

            I was ready for some days away from being behind the wheel of Gypsy Lee after finishing the 469-mile drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I also needed to plant myself somewhere for my vote-by-mail election material to reach me.

Pepper and I walked this trail every day while at the park, but never went as far as the falls. –Photo by Pat Bean

While I avoid politics as much as possible, I do keep up with what’s going on in the world, and being aware of how hard my sisters fought so women could vote, I repay their efforts by voting.            I feel strongly that anyone who doesn’t vote has no right to complain, and while I don’t talk politics much – frankly it’s usually too depressing – this is an issue I’m always vocal about.

And just for the record, since I’m far ahead of my blog in my travels, I will tell you that the presidential election results pleased some of my five children and displeased some of them.

Here’s a view of Mingo Falls, which I did get to see in my armchair travels. — Wikipedia photo

That’s the kind of family we are, and the fact that everyone can be vocal about it regardless of which side of the fence they’re on says a lot about America.

And for the sake of my own serenity in the family picture, I ain’t saying who I voted for.

And, yes you can be jealous,  while all the pre-election day chaos was taking place, I was nestled beneath a couple of big trees right by the river that ran through Yogi’s in the Smokies campground in North Carolina, where I sat in perfect serenity for a whole week.

I slept each night to the gurgle of river water as it flowed past my camp site — and was rejuvenated.

Book Report: I spent an hour writing on Travels with Maggie this morning, but cut more than I rewrote. Word count is 61,162.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Thought for Today: http://tinyurl.com/b88qq2s This made me laugh, and it’s oh so true.

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Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.” – May Sarton

Linn Cove Viaduct — Wikipedia photo

Adventures with Pepper: Days 35-36

One of the best things about the Blue Ridge Parkway is that it’s totally decommercialized, which means if you need gas you have to exit the parkway.

I found the rock walls along the parkway just as fascinating as the more spectacular autumn views at overlooks. — Photo by Pat Bean

I needed gas, and according to my maps, Linville, North Carolina was where I needed to get it. Right before I got there I crossed the Linn Cove Viaduct, a 1,243-foot bridge that snakes around Grandfather Mountain. It was completed in 1987 at a cost of $10 million and was the last section of the parkway to be finished.            As I was crossing it, I thought how nice it was for a change not to be going up and down ridges for a little bit. The thought turned out to be cause for laughter almost as soon as I got across the bridge. Linville was in the hollow at the bottom of the bridge crossing.

Some times Mother Nature makes words seem inadequate. — Photo by Pat Bean

So down I went, and then back up again to continue my slow, winding, uphill-downhill journey on the parkway.            I would spend the next five hours driving just about 100 miles. While the parkway speed is 35-45 mph, most of the time that’s way too fast for road conditions . And then of course there were the overlooks and Mother’s Nature’s wonders around every bend in the road that needed to be explored on foot.

I spent the night and all the next day at a small, but friendly, RV park just off the parkway in Ashville, North Carolina. It was a welcome break for all that uphill and downhill-ness, even if I had enjoyed every moment of it.

Book Report: Nada. Too busy with other projects. Somehow I’m going to have to push Travels with Maggie back up to the top of my priority list.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: A Silk Road Forest http://tinyurl.com/b82opv8 I thought this arm-chair travel blog was a nice contrast to the forests I was driving through.

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Mount Pisgah -- Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” __ Gilbert K. Chesterton.

 Travels With Maggie

 It’s raining, a steady pitter-patter on the metal roof of the RV carport that’s currently sheltering my RV. The world from. my window is tinted with dripping grayness, broadcasting a message for Maggie and I to enjoy the warm coziness inside our tiny home on wheels this morning.

 This travel writer actually enjoys such lazy days. They give me time to make traveling plans, which currently include sheltering from winter in Arkansas for a few more weeks, visiting Texas’ Gulf Coast, squeezing in some bird watching in the state’s Rio Grande Valley, and finally attending a grandson’s wedding in Dallas.

Mount Pisgah from Black Balsam Knob -- Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 These activities should keep me busy until mid-March when Maggie and I begin our real travels for the year. First on our agenda map is to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway between Smokey Mountain and Shenandoah national parks. It’s been a trip long in the planning, and one of the scheduled stops is the Mount Pisgah Campground.

 I mention this because in response to a recent question (Jan. 13 blog) about special places, one reader said hers was North Carolina’s “ Mt. Pisgah, up high where the Rhododendrons grow.”

I did a bit more detailed research about the peak, and learned there’s a “moderately difficult,” 1.6-mile path to the summit from Milepost 407 of the parkway. I think these old broad legs can handle that, especially since reviews of the trail report that the view from the top “is spectacular.”

 Thinking about that landscape almost has me urging March to get here sooner. But I don’t. I know it’s better to continue putting my own color to the magical grayness outside – and to continue listening to the wondrous composition of pinging rain and Maggie’s contented snores as she slumbers on the couch.

Life is too precious to miss one present moment of it.

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