A Sunday Drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains

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Our campsite Bialetti brewing us each an espresso in the morning

On the route west, we had our first camping adventure in the mountaineering college town of Boone, North Carolina. The main street is bedded in a narrow valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s lined with bars, coffee shops, antique stores and North Carolina’s own Mast General Store with all your cabin and candy needs. A blue grass band plays in the town square.

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Our evening digs

Lined with two yoga mats, a flat sheet, two pillows and a sleeping bag to share, we prepared for our first evening under the stars at Honey Bear Campground – the first site I’ve ever been to where you can order firewood by text for delivery by golf cart.

The moon shone bright and the mountain air dropped to a cool mid-50s. Needless to say, we will be purchasing an additional sleeping bag as it turns out their cocoon design is far superior for warmth than trying to emulate it as a duvet cover. Brrr.

En route to Asheville, we chose the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway through the Pisgah National Forest.

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View from the top

The scenic route through the national forest from Boone to Asheville narrowly winds through wooded forest and along cliff sides and small grazing lands. It’s about four hours of driving – not including our picnic with a view at 2,815 feet.

While there are more efficient routes to reach Asheville, the drive truly leaves you feeling like you’ve explored the Blue Ridge Mountains. The roads guide you to the mountaintops and through the ranges. There are numerous overlooks and hiking points – and even places to camp. You’ll experience the multitude of weather patterns from a clouded and chilled 61 degrees at the highest elevation to the mid- and upper-70s with plenty of sunshine.

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A country drive in a red MG. Someone is doing this very right.

Moreover, this is the first mountain parkway.

DSC00683-1edited 123In 1906, Joseph Hyde Pratt has a hunch that the automobile industry would grow rapidly and had the potential to bring new visitors to the Appalachian mountains. And so, construction began on the “Crest of the Blue Ridge Highway” creating a road which runs from Marion, Virginia to Talulah, Georgia. Construction was halted at the start of World War I and remerged for completion in 1935 by the National Park Service.

While en route, check out The Blowing Rock.