Saturday, September 1, 2007

Stories of Adventure: Traveling Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Pulling onto the Blue Ridge Parkway from I-85 North near Roanoke, Virginia was like a breath of fresh air. Few cars inhabited the small two lane highway with lined with tall green pines and foliage on either side. I felt like I was taking a trip back into the sixties when going for a drive on a Sunday afternoon was a legitimate form of entertainment. Me? I was taking the scenic route because I wanted a change of pace from the frantic driving experienced while being surrounded by multiple 18 wheelers and speeding vacationers. Every mile there seemed to be a scenic pullover created for travellers to stop and take notice of what appeared to be untouched mountains and woods transporting the viewer even further back in time. I continued to drive not taking the time to quite pullover and thinking to myself that taking the scenic route was a good idea and wondering why more people hadn't opted for this route. Sure, there was the occasionally scary part where small older looking bridges travailed deep gaps between mountain tops but they were few and far between. Around the bend drove a biker with his headlights on leaving me feeling confounded rather than recognizing the harbinger of what was to come. Moments later I found myself driving into a dense fog barely able to see a foot in front of me. The fog hugged the mountain like two lovers in a lingering final embrace unable to quite say goodbye. It was then that I realized I was going to do penitence for the thoughts I had earlier when deciding that the Appalachian mountains here in Viriginia were like hills compared to the ones in Vermont. No, no, no... these Appalachian mountains were merely monsters hiding behind lush green foliage unlike their Vermont counterparts. Ever so slowly, I inched along this desolate highway in tears wondering if I'd ever make it down off these mountains. Those small old bridges that before had only caused momentary fear now held sheer terror for me. Trying to hide these feelings from my children were impossible yet they didn't seem aware of the danger only that Mom was upset. Eventually, two cars who clearly held drivers far more familiar with the road than I started following me closely. I found one of the scenic lookouts to pullover in and did so in order to let them pass. I also took this small break to pray to God that the fog would lift and that I'd be able to exit this highway soon. Pulling out of the lot, I rounded yet another bend and felt the road making the slow descent to the mountain's base and as it did so the fog cleared and revealed an exit.
Yeah, I thanked God.

(I wish I had had my camera with me to show exactly how terrifying this hour of driving actually was but I didn't so these words will have to do)


colleen said...

Did you wave? Those two red cars I have posted this week were taken on the Parkway. I'm one of those little driveways you saw.

colleen said...

PS Oh yes, it DOES get foggy up here often. And don't do the last part up into Cherokee. It's a killer of climbing windy road.