Friday, August 12, 2011

Snake bite doesn't hurt a bit

Started out today on "The Snake" - Hwy 421 between Boone NC & Bristol TN.  A sweet 22 mile stretch that goes up and down the mountains, with a stop in the valley at "The Store" in Shady Valley.

On through Bristol - last year we were here for the Bristol Nascar race - sure looks different without every available space gobbled up by cars/trucks/rv's by the thousands!  Hwy 70 between Hot Springs and Newport was very nice.  Gatlinburg was stinking hot and very busy - no surprise.  Driving through the Great Smokey Mountain National Park (Hwy 441) was amazing - from 35 degrees in Gatlinburg to 22 at the top at just over 5,000 ft elevation.  The shaded drive was such a relief - and the road was wonderful!  Lots of bikes, some hot rods, some dune buggies.

The photo below shows one fine little spiral curve - which also includes a tunnel!



 From Hwy 441 at Cherokee back to the Blue Ridge Parkway to get to Maggie Valley - only a few vehicles on the BRP and it goes back up over 5,000 ft.  So I think we now have travelled the BRP from end to end!!  Well, not all this trip, but this trip we did get some of the areas we missed on previous travels.

To finish the day, a healthy marguerita and Mexican in Maggie Valley.

Did make a pitstop at the ABC store in Maggie Valley before we checked in to our room - why is Canadian whiskey so cheap here, just infuriating.  And there's a very nice sign at the entrance - 'No firearms allowed' with a nice handgun and a red slash through it.  Also, a poster offering a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest of the villain who shot a juvenile bald eagle this spring in the Valley.


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