Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina

10/13/13 Sunday at Hillsville, VA (Lake Ridge RV Resort-PPA)

I see bits of sunshine coming through, so we’ll be heading onto the Blue Ridge Parkway after church and lunch. At Mass today the lady announced that we’ll have no pianist for the next month. She played the autoharp for us. Lovely and the first time we’ve had that instrument at church. This is major bluegrass country (the Carter family), where lots of music has flourished. They call it “The Crooked Road”; 333 miles of major and affiliated venues. Unfortunately, the one we were hoping to enjoy was the Blue Ridge Music Center, which is closed because of the government shutdown. So at least we got a little of their music at church today.

Photos from the Blue Ridge Parkway:

Mount Airy Granite (as seen from the Parkway). It’s the white area at the bottom. Remember, we were at that site 10/9.

Mt Airy Granite in foreground

Mt Airy Granite in foreground

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Cumberland Knob. The gate was closed, but we parked off the road, on the grass, and walked past the gate to enjoy this area that was where they began constructing this park. Interestingly, they started on 9/11/35. In 1937 the CCC worked at the first recreational development on the parkway-picnic tables and even a snack bar. In the 1930’s the state law mandating racial segregation. In the Parkway gas stations, sandwich shops and lunch counters would be open to all. Comfort stations (Southern term for restrooms) would have separate stalls, but not sinks. Larger recreational areas would have separate picnic grounds and campgrounds. By 1940 efforts to build one at Cumberland Knob ended. When WWII ended so did all segregation policies.

IMG_2718 Cumberland Knob View IMG_2722 Cumberland Knob Trail IMG_2728

Vistas along the road

IMG_2730 Blue Ridge Parkway 4a IMG_2731 Blue Ridge Parkway 4 IMG_2737 Fox Hunters ParadiseFox Hunter’s Paradise, the ridge above, is so named because hunters, sitting by the night fire, could tell which hound held the lead in the chase by the “Personality of its voice.”

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Little Glade Mill Pond

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Stone Mountain. The light area is the massive granite surface of Stone Mountain, exposed through centuries of erosion. At one point it attracted the attention of miners, but it proved too difficult to mine and was eventually donated to North Carolina.


Mahogany Rock Overlook and another

IMG_2786 Blue Ridge Parkway 5 IMG_2788

Devil’s Garden Overlook and others

IMG_2792 IMG_2796 IMG_2801 Blue Ridge Parkway 7

The Brinegar Family Cabin. Martin (21) and Caroline (16) married. They had 3 children while living in the one room cabin already on this land they purchased from a cousin. Their last child was born in this cabin that Martin built, but died as a child. All the materials for his cabin and other buildings came from his land.

IMG_2809 Breniger Cabin

John standing in the 5’5” door. Mr. Brinegar was 6’3”. He made the door short to conserve heat.


Tall chimneys and the front

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Their outdoor pantry (root cellar below and dry storage above)

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Cold Storage-shelter built over a stream, for keeping items cold. Reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright and his Falling Water house in West Virginia.

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Goodby Blue Ridge Parkway for today.


Did I mention that, with the shutdown, there are no open restrooms on the Parkway, so we need to get off for that necessary comfort station. Then on to home. It was raining as we drew close, so we just hunkered down to dinner (no barbecue as planned) and TV.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
This entry was posted in National Parks (NPS), North Carolina, Virginia and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina

  1. Elaine Syth says:

    All wonderful; Little Glade Mill Pond looks like a scene (or several) screaming “Paint me!”

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