Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Scary-sounding name for a beautiful vista and trailhead on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

When we polled our friends on how to make the most of a US East Coast Fall foliage tour, one of the most repeated suggestions: driving the Blue Ridge ParkwayThe Parkway runs 469 miles through the Great Smoky Mountain portion of the Appalachians, through North Carolina and Virginia, where it links to Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park. To make the most of it, split it up over at least a few days, like we did.

My video will give you a one-minute tour of some of our highlights.

One of my favorite highlights not in the video is getting a good smooch from Wayne atop Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the US west of the Mississippi. Why not?

The Parkway also is rich in pioneer history. A cabin shown in the video is the former home of Orlean Hawks Puckett, born in 1844. As a midwife, she delivered over 1,000 babies. She lived to the ripe old age of ninety-two, though she lost all of her own twenty-four children. 

Asheville, North Carolina is one great area to bail off the Parkway. While Asheville’s renowned for its thriving art scene and a foodie mecca, we were most interested in catching up with our friend Steve.

Me, Wayne and Steve on the Tanbark trail just outside Asheville, NC on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Steve played tour guide around Asheville, and we also popped up to the university’s tiny but free botanical gardens.

Canoeists on Asheville NC’s French Broad River.

After Asheville, we popped back onto the Parkway with the intent of driving the whole shebang then continuing into Shenandoah National Park via Skyline Drive. 

However, road construction kept us from completing the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.

Instead, we took a couple of long detours to reconnect after short stretches of road closures along the Blue Ridge.

Fog. We saw more of this on the Blue Ridge Parkway than we anticipated.

Driving through clouds also messed with our enjoyment of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s scenic vistas, as well as putting a damper on our plans to camp along the way. We took solace in the vibrant reds of dogwoods and maples, the bright orange of sycamores, and buttery yellow birch leaves. Foggy or not, the fall foliage was still gorgeous.

Location Location

We’re currently in Oswego New York. We’ve spent most of our trip out of wifi range. More catch-up blog posts are on the way.