Roanoke to Blowing Rock

Today's ride was shorter than yesterday's, according to my decision to take it easy coming home. After the big, impressive rocks north of Roanoke, the Parkway levels off near the city where I spent last night. It then resumes a climb to the crest of the Blue Ridge, but the climb is steady and gentle and the ridge is wide enough that you might not think you were in the mountains at all for a long time. Several tiny towns, and a few pretty churches, bestride the route.

I spent some of today talking with other bikers returning, or going further out from, Rolling Thunder. One of the vets I met asked after the knife I was wearing, and then showed me the dagger he was carrying on a neck chain. I advised him of the local laws on the subject, so that he could avoid police trouble. His was a lot shorter than mine, but NC is an open-carry state with one of those stupid knife laws that bans concealed knives by name: dirk, dagger, Bowie, etc. I'm working on rationalizing the laws, but I think it will be a difficult process. My first attempt got good responses from legislators, but didn't go anywhere practically.

There's a lodge at Peaks of Otter that looks like it might be fun for a future trip. There's also a "Northwestern Trading Post" where I bought my wife a scarf woven with skulls and roses. She'll love it, I don't doubt, and she's never read this blog so it's safe to tell you.

At one point a hawk flew over my head. Otherwise, unlike the rampant and frequent deer yesterday, there was little wildlife besides songbirds in evidence. The country grows wilder and more mountainous as you approach the North Carolina border, just south of Fancy Gap. Most of the day I had the Parkway entirely to myself, no other traveler in sight in either direction.

I'm spending the night in Blowing Rock, my favorite little mountain town in the north of North Carolina. The picture above is of the countryside from an overlook nearby. It's beginning to get nice, but the very best country lies on tomorrow's ride.


Anonymous said...

Have you ever stayed at the Pisgah Inn?

Grim said...

I have not. Typically I either camp or use points gained in work-related travel to stay for free at the local chain hotel. But I have been wanting to stay at the Blowing Rock Ale House & Inn, which has the wonderful (and very traditional) concept of combining a brewery and rooms for rent -- very much like a medieval inn.