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Four Corners - Day 17

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Start Location: Roanoke, VA
Ending Location: Asheville, NC
Miles Today: 289
Trip Miles: 5059
States Visited: 20
Provinces Visited: 3
Low Temp: 62 degrees
High Temp: 76 degrees
Min Elevation: 932'
Max Elevation: 5679'

Route Map:

Today should be a great ride. We will be spending the wholeday on the Blue Ridge Parkway, 265 miles. Our motel is only about 7 miles from an entrance, and we are off. It is dificult to decide where to stop and how often. There are lookouts every few miles and each has a completely different view. Within the first 10 miles, we see several wild turkeys. Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera out yet. It is a good thing that turkeys can fly as otherwise we would have had one spattered on the bike. Then I could have gotten a picture -- of a smashed bike!

Our first stop is Mabry Mill. There are many buildings besides the mill that depict the lifestyle of his day. People are dressed in period costumes and explain what life was like back then. Eventually, we will get all the pictures in another folder for anyone who is interested.

The road is incredible, one sweeping turn after the next. Yesterday, the turns were much tighter and required lots of braking. Today we are able to average about 45 mph and enjoy the scenery. It is much more varied than yesterday. There are houses, bridges, tunnels, ponds, open fields of crops, wildflowers, vistas, and more.

The whole parkway is very well maintained. The grass along the side of the road looks nicer than many lawns I've seen. The grass along the edge of the road is cared for the entire 469 miles. We only see one lawnmower. Sorry about the quality of the picture. As an aside, have any of you noticed that cameras are designed for right handed people? You probably haven't unless you are left handed. Something else we notice is the absence of garbage. None in 265 miles. Are we really in the United States?

The other stop we make is the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Moses and his brother Ceasar fashioned a textile empire becoming the largest producer of denim in the world. His house has been turned into a craft center that sells lots of overpriced, beautiful items. A woman was weaving on a loom and I could have watched her for hours. It would have been most interesting to see the house (all 23 rooms) as it was when he lived there. Only the first floor is now accessible. The grounds are as incredible as the house.

Continuing on, we climb once again and the temperature drops somewhat, but it is still comfortable. As we reach the higher elevations, we are in the clouds. It reminds me of Hurricane Ridge without the snow. As we descend the opposite side of the mountain, the sun reappears sort of. The whole day was mostly cloudy, but very pleasant. Another great day of riding.