Prev: Day 11: Starting the Blue Ridge Parkway
Next: Day 13: Day 3 of the Blue Ridge from Meadows of Dan to Blowing Rock
10/14/2013: Day 12: More on the Blue Ridge
From Buena Vista and Lexington down to Meadows of Dan, VA, described in captions.
The old Howard Johnson up on a ridge just north of Lexington, VA had several features that amused me. I showed the view (http://danklarmann.com/travels/?PicNum=201310131644) before. But here we see solar water heaters on the roof, with the old restaurant spire behind them. The restaurant is but an empty bay in the building, now. But they had a nice lobby breakfast with dueling waffle irons, and egg pucks.
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We had to take a snapshot of this Building Shaped Like a Coffee Pot (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/6174) on the road near Buena Vista.
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Ahaed is the Blue Ridge itself. Up there in the clouds. It does not look like a scenic day, but we are determined to drive the ridge, fog or no.
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Still climbing the roads up to the entrance, and I saw this off of a bridge and asked Karen to pull over. I walked back in the light mist, and took a few shots. I like reflections. Meanwhile...
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... Karen stayed int he car and looked over the map.
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I enjoy any attempt by architects to make mundane features more interesting. Here is a railroad underpass that I liked the looks of.
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Finally, the Blue Ridge Parkway! You may note from the picture number that it is 9:03 (0803 CDT). The visibility is as bad as we suspected. But it lends a nicely sinister note to what we see here, and (next slide, please)
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Here are ghost trees. Or tree ghosts. These towers were vine wrapped trees. The trees died, and rotted away, but the sheath of vines are still standing.
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Looking up at these hollow cylinders of vine, you can see the light coming through where once there was a trunk.
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We stopped at Otter Lake in a valley that dropped below the cloud line to walk around. There is starting to be a bit of color in the trees.
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Another architectural note: You may have noticed how perfectly the reflection in the previous picture met its source in one area. Here you can see the almost perfect flat top to the dam. Such perfection would primarily be for the purpose of creating that effect.
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What's my sign? Well, someone left this here for me.
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I snapped a shot of Karen taking a picture of the dam cascade.
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I stepped out of the car to show how hard it was to even see the warning signs for scenic wonders on this day.
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Ah, the grand vista of Arnold Valley. Perhaps on another trip.
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Dan on the rocks, high above Arnold Valley
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We stopped for an early lunch at Leaks of Otter Lodge. They petitioned the government for the right to open even though all facilities are supposed to be closed on the grounds that there were no actual government workers present, nor were the grounds government maintained. So here they are, one of the few things open on the entire Blue Ridge.I'm guessing that is why the small woman with the big camera and her staff were interviewing the staff.
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A comprehensive theme of wood.
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The view from our table of Abbott Lake
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Always the one to take advantage of shiny things: Dan and Karen at lunch.
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We don't often eat at places with wooden napkin rings. But when we do, I show it.
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The clouds trying to come down to Abbott Lake
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After another hour of fog driving, we dropped below the clouds, and rested at Mills Gap for me to fail to get another time lapse sequence.
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Meanwhile, the way that the paint on the road protects it fascinated me. The lines clearly have seen better days. But the road around them has eroded many millimeters deeper. These moist conditions do eat the roads.
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During this break, Karen does some stretching.
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A little later, at another stop to savor (and time lapse) Dan takes the board walk in the futile search for some signal.
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Dramatic clouds.
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The dramatic diagonal underpass below US-221/460
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Looking down from a long, high bridge over the Roanoke River Gorge.
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Spotted on the span above the Roanoke River Gorge, note the relative attentiveness of the front and rear seated passengers in the beamer.
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Karen, a cop, and a tricycle on the bridge across the Roanoke River Gorge.
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Down the trail to the bottom of the Roanoke River Gorge.
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The sign said: Extreme danger, do not climb on or over the wall. I stood on the wall to take this shot. It's only a fifty foot drop to the rocks on the edge of the Roanoke River a few inches behind Karen.
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One thing I noticed up on the Blue Ridge is that so many bridges and tunnels curve. For tunnels, this only makes it hard to see how long it is. But bridges do ice over. And things only travel in straight lines on an icy bridge. THis is why the parkway is closed so much during the freezing season.
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I stay up on the boardwalk just in case a scenery-distracted driver comes around the curve. Bicyclists don't really have that option. Danger.
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The fog rises late in the day, and we get to see a scenic valley. I misnumbered the picture, this is 14:47 CDT or a quarter to four up here.
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I take quite a few pictures of my shadow; sort of to prove that I was there. I have a collection of these called "A Void in the Landscape (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3290928567140.108006.1685526085&type=1&l=b58f6e5860)".
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We finally get the the most photographed point on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill.
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I try to find views of the Mabry Mill that other shutterbugs are skipping.
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I saw this across the grounds, and could not figure out what it was. I had to read the sign and learn something!
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Although all the buildings were closed (along with the government) I found cracks through which I could point my small bu able camera to see the inside of (in this case) the sawmill.
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Dan and Karen shadows at the Appalachian House
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Another nice shot of the Mabry Mill.
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Peering into the smithy through a knot hole.
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Some of the gaggle of photographers.
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Just south of Mabry Mill is Meadows of Dan. This seemed an appropriate place to stop for the night. This old roadside motel is the lodging option in town.
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A quick stop for fruit and cheese for dinner.
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Misquoting Garrison Keillor
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Back to our room, behind and above the main building that once had a restaurant as well as the lobby and managers housing.
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Me almost in our room in Meadows of Dan, VA
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You know you are in an old motel when, not only does the room have a metal key, and not only does the key have the room number attached, but the fob has the address of the motel to assist the old tradition of dropping a mistakenly taken key in a mailbox to return it. Also note: We are at the intersection of the Jeb Stuart highway. If you didn't know, J.E.B. Stuart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.E.B._Stuart) was the first man ever named "Jeb," and a famous Confederate general.
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Next: Day 13: Day 3 of the Blue Ridge from Meadows of Dan to Blowing Rock

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