Sunday, June 5, 2011

The entire Blue Ridge Parkway by Motorcycle in 3 days—May 10-12, 2007

Ride report: The entire Blue Ridge Parkway by Motorcycle in 3 days—May 10-12, 2007

This is a must for any rider who wants to see some of the best country in the Country. Not to be missed!

My three friends and I finished a very enjoyable 3-day ride of the BRP in May 2007; here's the gist of the ride:

Me and a friend departed Raleigh, NC on Wednesday morning. Another friend left the Winston-Salem, NC area. Still another rider left Church Road, VA. Our destination was Charlottesville, VA--the kick off of a 3-day motorcycle ride of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.

I'd researched just about all I could before departing and we were ready to go. We were hoping against rain, but looking forward to a nice ride.
We met at a Charlottesville hotel on the evening of Wednesday, May 9, 2007. We had breakfast, made final checks, gassed up and headed for The Blue Ridge Parkway’s Milepost Zero about 25 miles away.

The morning of Thursday, May 9th couldn't have looked better---a clear, sunny sky and brisk weather. We had some coffee and off we rode.

The quasi-visitor center by the BRP entrance was unremarkable and we almost missed it. There’s a small building tucked away behind a group of abandoned buildings/motels staffed by a very nice and very knowledgeable gentleman. We arrived as it opened at 9AM. We obtained maps and information about road closures (none) and gas stops, as well as dining and lodging recommendations.

The four of us rolled onto the parkway at 9:30 AM. I’d like to tell you we strictly followed the 45 mile per hour speed limit, but truthfully, we stayed between 40-50 MPH almost the entire route.

We stopped far too many times, as the views are really something to see. We pulled off the Parkway to eat and fill up on gas about every 3 hours or so, which provided an adequate rest. There are overlooks all over the place---each nicer than the last but not as nice as the next.

We hopped off the Parkway to have lunch at Buena Vista, a nice little town just a few miles off the BRP. Then we had coffee at Peaks of the Otter near Milepost 86. Right on a lake---a great view went well with some hot coffee.

At Milepost 174 we were at the Rocky Knob Cabins, out lodging for the evening. The lady who took my reservation didn’t have room for the four of us, but we were able to secure another cabin. After a buffet dinner in the nearby town, we headed back to the cabins for some relaxation and cold ones.

There were two other bike enthusiasts staying there, as well, and we had an interesting conversation that ended in me wearing her pink chaps. Photos at 11.

Linville Falls/Little Switzerland 316
Spruce Pine 331
Crabtree Meadows
Craggy Gardens 364
Folk Art Center 382
Mt. Pisgah 408
Waterrock Knob 451
Cherokee 469

Gasoline is not available on the parkway, but is available not far off the Parkway at many US or State Highway Intersections, including those below.

US 250 - MP 0
US 60 - MP 45.6
US 501 - MP 63.9
US 460 - MP 95.9
VA 24 - MP 112.2
US 220 - MP 121.4
US 58 - MP 177.7
US 52 - MP 199.4
VA 89 - MP 215.8

North Carolina
US 21 - MP 229.7
NC 18 - MP 248.1
NC 16 - MP 261.2
US 321 - MP 291.9
NC 181 - MP 312
US 221 - MP 317.5
NC 226 - MP 330.9
NC 226A - MP 334
US 70 - MP 382.4
US 74A - MP 384.7
NC 191 - MP 393.6
US 25 - MP 388.1
US 276 - MP 411.9
US 74/23 - MP 443.1
US 19 - MP 445.7

Rangers and volunteers present a variety of interpretive programs June through October. These are given on weekends and occasionally on weekdays. Activities include campfire talks, music and history demonstrations, nature walks and slide presentations. Program types and subject matter vary from area to area and week to week. Schedules are posted at visitor centers, campground entrances and Parkway concessions.

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