On the Parkway

The most amazing and thing about the Blue Ridge Parkway is how well it fits, blends, and, almost, breathes in its environment. Unlike other National Parks where the scenery is the star, here it is the road is designed to be the star. And it didn’t really occur to me how this happens until somewhere in the third hour of the drive: not only are there no white lines on the side of the road, there are almost no signs on the side of the road. Mile markers are small and non-obtrusive. Curves are only warned for when they are of a severe degree – by my estimation, yellow highway warning signs only occur when the curve is more than 270 degrees. Because of this the road blends into the scenery and while the overlooks offer stunning, stationary views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Mountains come alive on the road as your car hugs the parkway which runs along the Mountains like their backbone.

The Blue Ridge Parkway isn’t the fastest or even the fourth fastest route from Charlottesville, VA to Asheville, NC. The slow pace is a true luxury. Everyone on the Parkway got there in search of a great drive, an expert drive. And the road doesn’t pander. It won’t warn you over every curve or hold the driver’s hand. It demands alertness and skill to get the most from the drive. And the reward is a calm, steadfast and beautiful drive that pulls you through the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains.

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