I would never want to take away from the importance of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. They changed out nation, the way we live, and the world for ever.
However. There were other things that happened on the date of September 11 that were happier things. I’d like to talk about one of them today.
It’s one of my favorite things!
Work began on The Blue Ridge Parkway on 9-11-1935.
The ‘Parkway’ was established in 1936. FDR was President. Originally called the Appalachian Scenic Highway, the work started near Cumberland Knob, North Carolina. It was the largest highway project the nation had signed on for.
Cumberland Knob is mile post 217.5 along the 469 mile route. It like every other inch of the Parkway is beautiful.
I was born about 20 miles from the Parkway, and remember going UP there from time to time as a kid. When we would come ‘home’ to Virginia from Ohio, I always wanted to take the parkway, but the 45 MPH speed limit was a deterrent, and Daddy always took the Interstate or some other road that we could ‘make good time’ on.
The Parkway stretches from Rockfish Gap, or MP 0 in Virginia to MP 469 at the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina. The scenery along the way is breath taking, the stops interesting, and the places to go, see, and do limitless.
I remember as a teenager, spending a week with my Aunt Nett – whom BTW, I really need to talk about someday – and her cussing and fuming about the ‘poke assed speed limit’. She was quite the character. Her Oldsmobile Omega eating UP the road usually caused those ahead of her to pull over and get out of the way for fear of their lives. Well, it was either that or her waving her hand out the window for them to ‘get the hell out of the way’.
Nett, like the rest of the family, was usually in a hurry.
Back the to Blue Ridge!
One of the views from the Parkway is of Big and Little House Mountains near Kerrs Creek, VA. Our home was at the bottom Big House Mountain for the first five years of my life, and every time I go to my brother’s home in Buena Vista, I always take ride to see the mountains from the Parkway.
Charlie, my brother, and his wife Diane, have a second home in Virginia. You go under the Parkway, take a right, go down the mountain, then back UP the mountain, and hope you make it UP their driveway.
You may remember that I nearly fell off. If you missed that post, click HERE to check it out.
Along the Parkway, you’ll see flora and fauna, crafts, restaurants, attractions, and hundreds of things to do. It’s a long trip, like I said, that 45 MPH speed limit keeps you moving slowly. But, then there’s so much to see, that to whip along at 60 or 70 would be not only dangerous, but well, you’d miss all the beauty.
So, on this day, that we remember with such sadness, remember something wonderful too.
The Blue Ridge Parkway…it’s a Ride to Remember!