Hot apple cider by the side of the road. A flurry of leaves falling from a thicket of scarlet maples. Rich blue skies framed by wispy strokes of white. You get the picture. We're headed to the mountains for our Tar Heel Traveler Weekend Getaway. The road leads to Roaring Gap in Alleghany County. I-40 West to 421 North to I-77 North to Highway 21 North. Before we get to the gap we'll hike the trails of Stone Mountain State Park. Later we'll hike some more around Doughton Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Bluff Mountain Trail is awesome. We will also admire the fall colors at Cumberland Knob and dip down deep into the forest and listen to the peaceful sounds of Bully Creek. We'll roll into Sparta and buy a couple of pumpkins at Hawk's Produce. It's always fun to stop by Farmer's Hardware in Sparta. They have the most creative merchandise. If we have some time we'll head over to Mangum Pottery. Hey, there's a great little riverside cafe in Sparta. You will see it before you get to KFC We'll grab some coffee and a sandwich there. The Pines offers delicious down home country cooking. For an elegant candle light dinner we might try Senator's House. We'll drive some of the backroads around Glade Valley. The views are awesome. Lots of hardwoods. Rich and vibrant colors. We'll also take the drive over to Camp Cheerio off Highway 21. It's fun to start looking at Christmas trees. We'll be choosing one in just a little over a month.