Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blue Ridge Parkway

One of the side benefits of traveling to VCQ meetings is seeing different parts of the state, and choosing different routes than the usual interstate highway.  On our return trip from Martinsville we took a leisurely drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Roanoke to Waynesboro.  While this route is slower than the interstate, it was actually more direct than continuing west to I81, so the time difference wasn't that great, in spite of a few stops along the way.  It was a beautiful day, and that made the trip all the more enjoyable, even though most of the leaves at that elevation had fallen.  There was still color to see off to the east or west at lower elevations.
This valley close up was off to the east side of the drive.
The Great Valley is to the west, between the Alleghenies and Blue Ridge.
If you enlarge the photo above you can read about this path of migration.
At the Bedford interchange there is a National Park Service visitor's center (closed for the season) and a gift shop. Sharp Top mountain is in the background.
This spot, known as Peaks of Otter, is a popular site.  A bit beyond the visitor center is the Peaks of Otter Lodge which sits along Abbott Lake.  We were advised to head over there before the after-church crowd arrived!
The lodge houses a restaurant and gift shop; next to it is a rustic motel with views of the lake.  Lunch was just about to open when we were there, but we opted to travel on.
Above is a view of the lake side of the lodge.  For you history buffs, you can read a bit more about the area on this historical sign.
We journeyed on, thoroughly enjoying the nearly empty roadway and the peacefulness of a lovely fall day.

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