We are moving on to a campsite in Virginia tomorrow. When I first started planning this trip I would never have believed that we would be spending two months just in western North Carolina. Even after two months, there were some places that we could have stayed longer and not run out of things to do. I just loved it here.
Today we headed north to two stops on another section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It was about a 40 minute drive to our first stop which was Mabry Mill. It is said to be the most photographed place on the entire parkway. That is made much easier because no hiking is involved as it is right next to the road.
The wheel wasn’t turning but there was another photographer there that said every once in a while they release the brake. In hindsight I should have gotten a closeup when it happened.
Inside the building there was a saw mill as well as the flour mill.
They sell the flour so I guess it still works.
I am not sure if this was a brake or a clutch.
Lots of wheels to power other tools.
Next up was the blacksmith shop.
Outside a old home that had been moved here, a women was basket weaving.
A flight ready broom.
We headed back to the car through the forest to look at another section of the raceway.
Our next stop was about 10 miles north at the Rocky Knob area. We did a very short 1.1 mile loop trail to the top of Rocky Knob.
The trail starts at an overlook parking lot. The trail goes behind and below the knob and then loops around to climb it from the far side. It was not much of a climb at only a couple of hundred feet vertical.
The outgoing part was just a stone path laid into the side of the hill.
We saw a few more flowers on this trail.
The plant with saw tooth leaves.
Two more lonely azalea trees. No others in sight and these were nowhere near each other.
At the end of the loop we started the easy switchbacks up the knob.
We started to see a lot of slabs of rock tilted up out of the ground. They sort of looked like tombstones.
Little splashes of red would always catch our eye.
Sometimes there were bigger splashes.
This was the viewpoint at the top. Another hazy day.
There was a small trail cabin.
I guess the fireplace was no longer safe.
Back at the car, we sat on the rock wall of the overlook to have lunch.
I had read that the trail continued out the other end of the parking lot to an open meadow. I went up for a quick look.
When I got to the meadow there was another fat man squeeze but I thought that this one was REALLY narrow.
It wasn’t until I got to the other side that I realized that the end was a gate.
This field was recently in use.
There was an OK view but the haze was pretty thick.
Back to the car.
On the way back we discovered the location of FloydFest.
Not that Floyd. This is Floyd, Virginia.
We had taken the direct route to get here in the morning. This afternoon I was going to take the roundabout way home and drive on more of the Parkway but it turned out to be boring. Trees and more trees. I got off and we took regular back roads home. It was much more interesting to look at all the homes, some small and rustic and some huge ones perched on the ridges for the views.
Tomorrow we head north into southern Virginia to the Peaks of Otter National Park campground right on the parkway. It is another no services campground. We even have a fairly shaded site so the solar panels will struggle. It is also a gamble as to whether our internet hotspot will be able to connect from the campground. If not we will head into town to periodically collect emails. We will be there for 4 days.