This Brown Thrasher should have been included in the previous post because it was near the end of our driving day on April 16, when we found him singing happily from the top of a dead tree at the Pine Tree Overlook. Brown Thrashers are a type of mockingbird, belting out the calls of a wide variety of other birds. This one had a wonderful repertoire and was giving us a excellent concert. He was startled away by the arrival of a large crow, but he returned to his spot in the dead tree as soon as the crow had left the area, picking right up with his mimicry of virtually every bird in the area.
There weren't many special features to enjoy on our second day's drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, on April 17th, other than the scenic overlooks. The attractions that we had on our list to visit were all closed, not having opened yet for the season.
Although the facilities at Mabry Mill were closed, we we were still able to walk through the area and view the old buildings and equipment. The mill itself is very picturesque, situated as it is next to a small pond and reflecting in the water.
Since so many of the facilities along the Parkway were closed, we couldn't find restrooms. We wound up turning aside at Fancy Gap, NC. After using the restrooms at a gas station there, we went in search of a restaurant. Just past the bridge that led back onto the Parkway, there was an antique shop and a little deli. I think it was called Treasure Potts. Anyway, the daily special at the deli was a Monte Cristo sandwich, with chips and a pickle; and it was delicious. We may never be back in that area; but, if we were, we'd put that stop on our agenda.
The Parkway was closed between Mileposts 217 and 245, so we exited at Sparta, North Carolina. It was a little early in the afternoon to stop for the day, so we decided to drive on to Boone and spend the night there.
During the night, there were thunderstorms and heavy rains. As a result, there was fog on the Parkway the next morning, April 18th. Signs on the Parkway warn against traveling that road during fog, ice, or snow conditions; but we told ourselves that the fog would most likely clear up shortly. (We sometimes deceive ourselves.)
We entered the Parkway that morning at Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Initially, the fog wasn't too bad, so we kept going. The heavy rains of the night before had created waterfalls where there probably hadn't been waterfalls before.
|Cascade at Rough Ridge Overlook|
|Roadside waterfall near Linville, NC|
But then the fog became pretty thick, making driving the winding road more difficult and the signs at the overlooks the only things to be photographed.
|Glassmine Falls Overlook|
|This was the view as we exited a tunnel.|
|This was shot through the rain-spotted windshield, in an area where the fog had lifted a bit.|
|A wet wild turky scurrying off the roadway into the shelter of the woods|
We decided to end our drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway at Asheville, North Carolina, even though it meant that we would miss the last 75-100 miles of its famous scenery. We left the Parkway at Asheville and headed for our rented cabin in the Smoky Mountains. Someday, we hope to cover those last miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, from the other end.