As it is, we completed all of the Skyline Drive and 200 miles of the BRP. We learned a lot about ourselves, each other and bike touring. This was a tour of extremes. One night we were stealth camping a stones throw from the Parkway and bathing in a bathroom sink, the next we were enjoying dinner theater at a mountain top lodge. One day we were basking in sunshine, the next we were in fog so thick we could not see more than a few yards. We toiled for hours gaining thousands of feet of altitude only to lose it in mere minutes on fast descents.
The trip was great despite the rain and fog, which had us hemmed in at Tuggle’s Gap for two days and sitting by the side of the road for some time atop a few of the higher peaks. We reluctantly decided to cut the trip short at Fancy Gap, rent a U-Haul in Mount Airy and truck ourselves back home. We had thoughts of pushing on in the thick fog and frequent heavy downpours and getting a bit farther south, but we realized we would be missing the very thing we came for, the views. We also had a sick puppy waiting for us at the vet. The kennel called to tell us our beloved 15 year old basset hound Indio had emergency surgery. She is doing fine now.
Fancy Gap is only a four hour drive from home so it will make for a good starting point for a second tour to complete the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Special thanks to Paige for the ride north and the offer to “come rescue” us if anything went awry. Luckily, all went well (okay, not the weather, but all else) and we can hardly wait to accrue more vacation time to finish the Parkway. We feel very fortunate to live next to such a beautiful scenic byway that lends itself so well to touring by bicycle.
Here’s a link to the album: http://picasaweb.google.com/jdmoore63/SDBRPTOUR2009#
Jack and Raquel