For once I actually got up early and was on the road by 9 AM. Before leaving I had a lengthy chat with the cabin site owner, a fellow biker. He gave me great advice on what to see along the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as the pitfalls along the way.
First of which was the steep, rutted, gravel driveway leading down from the cabin site. I struggled riding up there the day before and the owner admitted the descent was “treacherous” on a motorbike. But he suggested another way out of the site, through the adjoining church grounds. He said he would get in trouble if somebody saw me go through there but the church was empty so I went for it, through a gap in the fence, across the back lawn of the church and down the footpath. Apologies to The Almighty, but I figured God would prefer me to not fall off the bike, which was probable if I went the other way.
The parkway itself was a spectacular. It was a little wider than Skyline Drive, which I rode the day before, so the speed limit was a more acceptable 45 mph. It was a little chilly on the bike but it was good to breathe in the fresh morning air and forest smells.
All morning I rode along the ridge, occasionally descending into valleys, and up over the next ridge. Again like Skyline Drive, there were no traffic lights, no stop signs and no commercial traffic. Why cant every road be like this?
You could barely go a mile without coming upon another scenic viewpoint. I only stopped at a few because otherwise it would have taken me all day to get anywhere.
My routine for finding lodging is to start looking around 4 PM. This gets me off the road well before dusk (when deer, etc. start wandering on to the road) and leaves me a couple of hours daylight to look for a place. I rarely make reservations as I don’t where I’m going to be by the end of the day so I have to look on spec.
Tonight I made a bad pick for accommodation. I’m staying at something called a “Housekeeping Cabin”. Its like a regular cabin, but charges hotel rates AND you have to clean up the cabin before you leave! Plus there are zero food options except cook it yourself. So, to recap while they charge hotel rates they offer none of the facilities, and make the guests do the work!
OK, rant over. I cant win them all! Lets see what tomorrow will bring.