My Tips for The Parkway
BY MACY GRYMES | SWAY INTERN
I was in Boone earlier this month, but was I really there if I didn’t Instagram it? Nope. I wanted to do something a little different than a crowded pumpkin patch so I loaded up and decided to go for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The views are stunning any time of year but patience is not one of my attributes so we went slightly ahead of peak leaf season, which is happening now. Now, the leaves will be bright and colorful shades of orange, red and brown— a very nice change for someone from a town with mostly pine trees. It’s a nice change for a lot of other folks, too, which is why traffic on The Parkway can be challenging during peak season.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile road located in the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. If you aren’t feeling a six hour road trip, no worries — there are plenty of spots to turn around. There are also tons of outlooks for people to take pictures. For those of you who haven’t been on The Parkway, it’s an adventure.
I had been many times before (once for 3 hours), and it’s never the same. The leaves change depending on what season you visit, different plants bloom, and an endless amount of different paths to take. Most of the time, I’ll go with my roommate and some of our other friends. I’m a little scared to go by myself because there is no cell service. Safety first!
One of the best parts of driving on The Parkway is the people you see. I’ve seen a wild Santa marching up the road on multiple occasions. We don’t know what he’s doing, or where he’s marching too, but he looks like he’s having a great time.
Even though we didn’t get the pleasure of seeing Santa this time, we did see a couple getting married, which was also exciting.
We were hoping to see a sunset, but Mother Nature had other foggy plans — which is typical. Weather along the Parkway, and in higher elevations in general, is very unpredictable and can change from clear and sunny to cool and rainy or foggy in a few short minutes. During this trip couldn’t see as far out as we usually would be able to, but as always, it was still worth the trek.
If you’re planning on going up this season, just know The Parkway gets super backed up. There will be people who forgot it is in fact a working road and will be leisurely standing in the middle of it, so cut out a good chunk of time to see it. That being said, see you all on the ‘Gram.
Macy Grymes is a longtime Moore County resident who is now a student at Appalachian State University.