Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Day 2: Blue Ridge Parkway adventure

Posted October 29, 2019 7:10 a.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2019 7:36 a.m. EDT

Day two of our Blue Ridge Parkway adventure begins in the rain and fog of Mount Pisgah but with hope for better weather ahead.

As we are leaving, there’s some pretty nice color on Mount Pisgah, which once recorded 61 inches of snow in a freak storm in May of 1962.

The clouds start to break as we roll down the mountain toward Asheville, just 45 minutes away.

This will be our long day. We’ll travel 172 miles north on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Cindy and I love taking a side trip to Montreat to celebrate our Presbyterian roots. What a gorgeous place this is.

We also enjoy our stop at the Folk Art Center in Asheville.

Here we find a nice new sign celebrating the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The colors really start to pop as we climb the mountain and reach Craggy Gardens at more than 6,000 feet.

Craggy Gardens

A ranger tells us these brilliant Mountain Ash berries only grow at high elevations and serve as winter food for birds.

I ask a couple from Garner, Derrick and Terri Stout, how these mountains make them feel.

“Relaxed! The cabin we stayed in was called 'Serenity' on the top of a mountain near Rosman. And that pretty much tells the story.”

Soon we will tunnel our way through the charming mountain village of Little Switzerland.

The colors are spectacular here.

Cindy and I stretch our legs with a short hike to Flat Rock near Linville. A lot of the leaves have already come down here, but this is always a great view.

We stop for a picture at Grandfather Mountain and head toward Blowing Rock.

The fall colors are perfectly framed as we round Linn Cove Viaduct.

We realize we may not reach our mountain cabin near the Virginia line by sundown, but we can’t pass up a beautiful scene at Julian Price Lake.

Julian Price Lake

An hour later we find a photographer mesmerized by the sinking sun and golden hues. We too are lost in the beauty of this place and look forward to day three of our journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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