The Blue Ridge Parkway Is So Beautiful To Me

flame azalia on blue ridge parkway

Last Sunday (May 29), Ann and I left my cousin Bobbie's home and merged onto the Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke, VA. After 20 years of driving in Atlanta, the Parkway looks like paradise to me. Very little traffic, beautiful overlooks, no advertising, no commercial vehicles, and lots of natural plants and wild critters – I feel at home there.

We stopped in Floyd for lunch at the Floyd Country Store (I had my usual, grilled cheese sandwich and strawberry milkshake). Floyd was starting to get busy with visitors for the National Music Festival, which is not featuring country music – rare for Floyd.

We got back on the Parkway and took this picture of a flame azalia about 10 miles south of Mabry Mill. We drove another 10 miles and turned left onto Squirrel Spur Road. Squirrel Spur Road runs down the mountain to the valley, a significant drop. We stopped at an overlook, where we heard a strange sound. Two young men on skateboards (obviously in the immortal stage of life) were flying down Squirrel Spur Road. (How do they slow down for the curves?)

After we got down in the valley, we drove into Kibler Valley, where I used to spend wonderful days chasing trout in the Dan River as a teen with John David Epperly, who had a camper there. Everything seemed smaller.

Then we headed to the Greensboro Airport, to Atlanta, to traffic and heat and work and busy-ness. It was nice while it lasted.