Thursday, June 14, 2012

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

On a sunny day with a blue sky dotted with white puffy clouds, a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway between Mileposts 160 and 220 is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

With a speed limit of 45 mph, the drive is even more enjoyable. Much of the parkway is shaded with a canopy of trees,

but there are breaks in the shade to reveal small interesting scenes, such as a road leading to...somewhere,

an unusual tree with its bare, bright branches,

and an old, weathered fence.

When calculating the time to cover any distance on the Parkway, it is necessary to calculate the time to stop at overlooks with vistas such as those shown in the next three photos taken at just one of the many optional stops.

Then one needs to figure in time to take one or more of the trails that start at many overlooks

or the time for a picnic lunch at one of the designated locations, or stop to take photos of wildlife, or stop at one of the Visitors Centers for a Ranger talk,

or stop at Mabry Mill. Run by E. B. Mabry from 1910 to 1935, the Mill is part of group of buildings and displays that includes a sawmill, blacksmith shop, a sorghum mill, soap making kettle, and an "old time" whiskey still.

And whenever I see historic structures, I see them in black and white.

And speaking of historic mills, we also visited White's Mill near Abingdon, VA.

Beginning in the late 18th century and continuing until 1989, the mill's water-powered milling provided meal and flour for the farm and kitchen, as well as a gathering place for sharing news and views.

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