Blue Ridge

“On the Road Again…”

Yesterday we traveled 143 miles and had a brand new adventure.  We began our morning packing up our campsite at Stone Mountain State Park. Our team rolled tents, boiled water and packed vans, ready to hit the road by 8:00am. After a short drive we hopped on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at Bluff Mountain Overlook, E.B. Jeffress Park Overlook and the Linville Cove Viaduct to enjoy the beautiful scenery. We learned the rich history of how this famous viaduct came to be and why it is considered an engineering marvel. We then headed over the Viaduct around Grandfather Mountain to Linville Falls Shelter. There, we met with Ranger Jonathan Bennet to learn the vast history of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We discussed everything from how the Blue Ridge Parkway became the most traveled National Park in our country to how Linville Falls earned its name.

Then, it was back in the van for a bumpy ride to Wiseman’s View where we had a beautiful view of the Linville Gorge. From there, we drove to our campsite at Briar Bottom and discovered a surprise along the way. On the side of the road there was a Timber Rattlesnake. We were able to quickly get off to the shoulder of the road and into the nearby grass. Once at Briar Bottom we dried our tents and set up our new campsite at the base of Mount Mitchell.

Once set up, we spent the evening with John Gerwin, NCMNS ornithologist and bird expert. He discussed how the birds are tagged and how data is collected about bird migration. We ended the evening with a moth light, and searching for salamanders using fluorescent dye powder. The dinner consisted of burritos. Yum!

Check back for photos!