Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Linn Cove Viaduct & Blowing Rock

Hehehehe.........Linn Cove Viaduct & Blowing Rock.........sounds like the name of one of the bands that plays at the 8x10 club...............but it aint.

Even if you have never driven the Blue Ridge Parkway, you most likely have seen the Linn Viaduct without knowing where it is. The Linn Cove Viaduct has been featured on countless car and truck commercials..........looks very familiar now, doesn't it?

This award winning architectural wonder is a must see. Sure, I could give you all the details here, but that would be alot of typing......hehehe......Instead, you can click on this link to learn more about it.

You never know what is ahead.

The only real town that actually sits adjacent to the Parkway is Blowing Rock, NC. We decided to stop there and have a look.

Blowing Rock is a nice looking place. A small town not unlike something from a Norman Rockwell painting...........but.....uh-oh........parking signs that lead us to a "municipal parking lot"? To me, that could spell trouble. No, not the kind of trouble you would encounter in Downtown Baltimore, but the kind of trouble that spells "tourist trap". That's a shame, I mentioned before, the snooty blue-bloods seem to have taken over the historic towns and turned them into habitats for over-priced restaurants and art galleries. Fortunately, we found a few places of interest to us here. Kirwin's Ice Cream Shop...............that's what we ice cream cone. We got us one and sat on the bench in front of the establishment and watched as people walked by. It was odd to me that on a Monday at 5 p.m., just about every business here was closed up. Luckily, Kirwin's was open for business. Fudge, assorted candies, and ice cream.........and they have a long history here.
There is also a smaller version of the Mast General Store here. They were open and we bought a few things there. We could use some stores like this in Maryland. Old fashioned candies, nostalgic toys and odd items can be found here. A much larger Mast store was in Hendersonville.

Take notice of the sign here at the Sunset Tees & Hattery shop. You can tell what most visitors to Blowing Rock have in their hands while walking along the main drag. Obviously, the Mast and the Kirwin's shops get most of the business..................1. they are open after 5.......and 2. they actually have something that people want. Supernurse went into this shop with the huge flip-flop by the door. She went in.......and came out without a purchase.......oh well....they were at least open after 5...hehehe.

Plenty of benches and a large amount of trash never know when the busloads of Asian tourists will unload.

I liked this reminded me of a town in Florida called Mount Dora.

We strolled along the shopping district.....up one side and down the other. There is that Kirwin's place.......if you ever go here....stop there.

There were some places I would have liked to explore.....unfortunately, they roll up the sidewalks at five. Oh well........their loss.

So we headed down this path to the parking lot.....jumped into the car......and got back on the Parkway. Surely, you realize that I haven't written anything about the "blowing rock" itself. After all......that is the main attraction here.............why should I?......they have a website that explains everything. can check out the official town website as well @

I absolutely love to look straight ahead and actually have something which really expresses perspective and depth. The only complaint I have about this visit to the Parkway is that a large percentage of the overlooks are overgrown. That's a problem because there no longer is the view that once is obstructed. I don't know if they go around and trim the overgrowth back but it looks like they had not been doing that lately. Because of that, I did not take as many pictures as I wanted to.

You can see the trees have risen at this overlook up to the point where in about two years, you will pull up and just see the trees.

If you do find yourself on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you might want to make a point of stopping at the Brinegar Cabin. You cannot tell from this photo.....but it was right before dark when we were there. Late evening adds a little taste of eerieness as if you were in a strange world a long time ago.

More tomorrow.......stay tuned.

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