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A Blue Ridge Parkway Adventure in 10 Amazing Views

first_imgThe Blue Ridge Parkway is a paradox that every American should experience at least once in their lives. This iconic and historic thoroughfare tours the heart of Appalachia, offering a welcomed respite to those looking to escape the trappings of modern American life. For 469 molasses-slow miles you’ll find no fast food or amusement parks. Cell phone service is spotty, and if you drive it in the fall you’ll forgo two days of televised football. When you reach the end there is nothing there, just the beginning of another long, windy road called Skyline Drive. My wife and I reveled in this kind of escapism and planned a south-to-north tour of the entire parkway. For two days we twisted and turned up the Blue Ridge Mountains, hunting for epic Autumn foliage. Here is our trip in 10 spectacular views.p7429447602_74811ca35c_oTanbark Ridge Overlook Technically we did not drive the entire parkway. We entered just south of Asheville, skipping about 60 miles of Nantahala National Forest. Regrettably, we missed a couple noteworthy viewpoints, like Devil’s Courthouse and Richland Balsam, the highest point on the parkway. About ten miles north of Asheville, near the Folk Art Center, we found Tanbark Ridge. Apparently a tannery use to occupy the site. Today an incredible view is all that remains.pBlack Mountain Gap Thick fog made for a challenging drive through Craggy Gardens. The descent from these misty heights revealed one the most magnificent panoramas of the entire trip. img_7039From mile marker 360 to Black Mountain Gap, we were stunned by the easterly view, where late afternoon sun, vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves, evergreens, wispy clouds, and a shimmering Lake Burnett all played their part in a natural orchestra.   Mount Mitchell State Park At Black Mountain Gap, a quick left turn takes you up 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. The contrast of the pines and maples at the entrance of the state park are breathtaking.img_6815Thanks to its elevation the southern end of the parkway actually displayed more change in foliage than in northern Virginia. That very night a layer of ice covered Mount Mitchell. We, meanwhile, sojourned north in search of fall, not winter.     Linn Cove Viaduct As we pushed on toward Grandfather Mountain, we were beset by blustery, fall weather. Leaves danced along the pavement, the skies darkened, and a cold, driving wind jostled my Ford F-250. Near Linville Falls we were surprised to discover two unfortunate souls standing along the roadside thumbing passing vehicles. A flurry of cars splashed by without so much as a momentary brake check of consideration. img_8658-editWe offered them a ride, and they climbed in the truck bed. College kids from Boone, they had given up after hiking 14 miles south out of Julian Price Memorial Park. Together we crossed the Linn Cove Viaduct, one of the most iconic and exhilarating views of the entire parkway. After dropping off the hitchhikers, we made for Blowing Rock, where we strolled quaint streets and spent a cozy night wrapped in sleeping bags in the back of the truck. 60-mph winds rocked us to sleep.       Northwest Trading Post and Doughton State Park The next morning we sipped coffee and ogled over old pioneer cabins dotting the parkway between the Northwest Trading Post and Doughton State Park. nw-to-doughtonSome were mysterious and history-less, while others included exhibits complete with park rangers working old looms and crocheting. The Brinegar Cabin was especially picturesque. The morning sun poured through the canopy and the spirit of harvest time wafted on a swirling breeze.Blue Ridge Music CenterThe views at the Blue Ridge Music Center were not nearly as stunning as any one of dozens of high-reaching overlooks, but when you’re eyeballing bright red sourwoods in the comfort of a rocking chair and you can hear the twang of mountain music, the museum’s porch is indeed special and worth a nice long tarry before crossing the state line into Virginia.    music-centerMabry, Virginia “Welcome ta Mabry County and Mabry Country Store. Where you folks from? Make sure you sign the guest book. There’s a lady sellin’ cornbread and homemade pinto beans out back.”mabry-storeThe Mabry Country Store is the best cultural viewpoint on the parkway. When everything else turned into a museum, Mabry Country Store kept on selling canned goods, apple pie, and postcards with FDR on them. In the yard behind the store, a few vendors purveyed homespun goodies. Here we met Karen J. Hall, author of several books about North Carolina quarries and the Blue Ridge Parkway. She told us about a quarry near Mount Airy that can be seen from outer space and how her favorite views were just up the road. “It’s just a sea of gold from Peaks of Otter up to Otter Creek.”    Peaks of Otter At the Peaks of Otter Lodge we ambled around Abbott Lake before slinking up to lodge bar, where we inquired about the drive time to Charlottesville. “Well it’s about four hours to Virginia Beach,” the bartender told us. Fearing waylay at the lodge and realizing our bartender would be no help in negotiating the road ahead, we abandoned our beers and headed back out – and just in time. The late afternoon sun slanted in and burst yellow through maples, sassafras, and birch trees – sea of gold indeed, Karen J. Hall.        james-riverJames River The James River is the lowest point on the parkway. At 649 feet the color change was still minuscule in mid October. Nonetheless, the bridge over this storied waterway proffered a remarkable view. It was plain to see that in two weeks, the James River’s rocky banks would be ablaze with color. Before departing, a park ranger, ironically named James, gave us a fascinating lesson on early 19th-century river barrages. When I played with his model barge I accidentally broke the little wooden boat master. A bad omen, I would later discover.    Humpback Rocks Fearing we would miss sunset, we sped through a long series of switchbacks toward Humpback Rocks. We pulled into the overlook just as the sun was falling behind the Great North Mountains. screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-12-02-50-pmIn a frenzy of excitement, I unwittingly parked in about 10 vehicles. As I raced about the rocks snapping photos a small riot nearly broke out, and with that we were back in modern America. We drove on to Charlottesville in just 30 minutes, where we forgot about the melee at Humpback Rocks and slept soundly in the truck bed to visions of oak and blackgum leaves. Two long, Autumn days on the parkway does funny things to a person. Nowhere to go, nowhere to be. Just another bend in the road.     Related:last_img read more

House ransacked in Inishowen burglary

first_imgA home was ransacked during a burglary in the Gleneely area of Inishowen last week.Gardaí are investigating the incident at Foxwood, which is thought to have occurred between the 18th (Thursday) at 11am and the 20th (Saturday) at midday.The burglar(s) forced open the rear PVC door to enter the house. “The house was ransacked,” a garda spokesperson said.“Nothing was taken from the property but whoever was involved seemed to have carried out quite a search of the property before leaving.”Gardaí are urging anyone who saw anything untoward in the Foxwood area over the course of those few days to contact Buncrana Garda Station on 074-9320540.House ransacked in Inishowen burglary was last modified: July 24th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Kevon Looney fielding strong interest ahead of free agency

first_imgThe Warriors do not need to worry just about Kevin Durant speaking with other teams with free agency. They have to worry about Kevon Looney doing the same thing.Looney plans to speak with the Warriors, Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls after free agency begins on Sunday at 3 pm PT, league sources told Bay Area News Group. Looney has been spending time in his hometown in Milwaukee, but he planned to be in Los Angeles on Sunday when free agency begins.Looney hardly matches Durant’s stature, …last_img

20 days agoBrighton boss Potter delighted with Alzate deal

first_imgBrighton boss Potter delighted with Alzate dealby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton boss Graham Potter is delighted with Steven Alzate’s new deal.Alzate signed a new four-year deal with the Seagulls yesterday.Potter said, “He’s been with us from the start and has done very well since he came into the group.“He’s not looked out of place at all; sometimes youngsters can come into the group and have a session or two where you might notice a difference in levels, but that hasn’t happened with Steven.“The others can see his quality every day he’s with us, that naturally grows his confidence. It’s never straightforward, but he performed well against Newcastle and I think he can continue to develop and improve.“Against Chelsea he showed his adaptability in terms of starting in one role and then ending the game in midfield, so I’ve been really pleased with him. We have to make sure he’s playing to his strengths as often as we can – he can take the ball in tight situations and is good physically too, as well as being dynamic in his movement.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

13 days agoLiverpool hero Heskey: Klopp shouldn’t rest Salah and Mane

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool hero Heskey: Klopp shouldn’t rest Salah and Maneby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool hero Emile Heskey says Jurgen Klopp shouldn’t rest star pair Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. Heskey is adamant that Klopp should not be worried too much about the health of Salah and Mane, insisting that the duo will want to play as many games as they can.“Salah and Mane won’t want a rest and Liverpool shouldn’t give them one,” Heskey told bwin.“They’ve played a lot of football over the past few seasons, but as a player, you want to be playing as much as possible. When you look at the pair of them, they just love being out on the pitch and playing football – they’re a manager’s dream.“In the modern game, players are complete athletes. Although they’ve played a lot of games it won’t be the physical side that catches up with them, it will be the mental side.”It can sometimes be draining playing so many games without a break, so they may want to take a break for those reasons. However, they’ll both physically be as fit and ready to go as any other player.” last_img read more

Does Rich Rodriguez need a signature win

When Rich Rodriguez first arrived on campus in December 2007, the Michigan football program had plenty of reason for optimism. The Wolverines were coming off a bowl win over the Florida Gators and welcoming in a coach who had amassed a 60-26 record in his seven years at West Virginia. In the last two-plus years, that optimism has turned to impatience. Expectations are high in Ann Arbor, Mich. In 13 years under Rodriguez’s predecessor, Lloyd Carr, the Wolverines were 122-40, never missing a bowl game. Their worst season under Carr was 7-5, and they never won fewer than five conference games in a season. In his third year, Rodriguez has yet to reach the five-win plateau. He has a 15-20 record heading into Saturday’s season finale, committed NCAA violations and failed to guide his team to a winning record until this season. “When I took the job, I thought about building the best program in America,” Rodriguez said Monday during his weekly press conference. The Wolverines have taken a step in the right direction in 2010. At 7-4, Michigan is bowl-eligible for the first time in Rodriguez’s tenure. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said he has been impressed by Rodriguez’s work. “I think, just from a universal standpoint, there’s always unrest if you don’t win every game at this level,” Tressel said. “Secondly, the thing that is impressive to me is that I’ve watched them for three years and I haven’t seen them blink. I mean, they have gone out and they’ve played every game to the end, and that means something good is going on.” Nonetheless, at just 6-17 in Big Ten play, Wolverine fans are becoming weary. Some see Saturday’s contest as a litmus test for the Michigan headman, but Wolverine players don’t see it that way. “I don’t think about that really,” senior offensive lineman Stephen Schilling said. “I think we’ve shown progression the last three years under coach Rod and no, I don’t think that way.” OSU captain Bryant Browning said the Buckeyes will not look at the game like that from the opposite sideline either. “That’s not something that we try to think about. We know that he is going to have his team ready to go and try to get his first win in the rivalry,” Browning said. “That is something that he has on his team’s mind to stay focused on, and I know the players and their seniors and everyone at the university is going to be fired up for it.” Although Michigan sophomore defensive end Craig Roh said they are not playing as if their coach’s job is on the line, he did say, “It would be a great win for Rich Rod.” Amid the uncertainty, Rodriguez remains for now, and his players wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love Rich Rod as a coach,” Roh said. “He’s just a tough-working guy and through all that he’s been in he’s kept such a positive attitude. He’s really affected me and a lot of other guys with the way he comes in and just kind of emits positivity.” But the players aren’t the ones who sign his paycheck. With a big test ahead for the Wolverines and his job security in limbo, Rodriguez might be undergoing an employee performance evaluation Saturday in the Horseshoe. read more

Ohio State golfers sweep Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors

Never in the history of Ohio State has the university had the distinction of having both the men’s and women’s golf teams have a freshman win Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors in the same season. Until now. The Big Ten handed out their annual golf awards May 1, and among them were Kendall Prince and Grant Weaver, winning for women’s and men’s golf, respectively. Weaver is only the second freshman men’s golfer in OSU history to win the award, the first time going to Chris Smith in 1988. Prince shares the honor with six other Buckeyes, the last being teammate Vicky Villanueva, who won in 2009. “It’s a pretty big honor,” Prince said. Making it even more special, she said, was getting the award despite the “up-and-down roller coaster of health issues” she’s had this year. Prince found out she has an autoimmune disorder affecting her liver that at least once led to her being rushed to the hospital. But with consultation from her doctors, she was able to recover and again focus on golf. “She’s a real tough kid, no doubt about it,” said women’s coach Therese Hession. “She’s very driven … so there’s not going to be too much that gets in her way. She’ll come back as quick as possible from all these illnesses and injuries … more than most kids because she’s very committed to making her goals.” Compounded on top of her autoimmune disorder, she had emergency surgery on her appendix the day before the Big Ten Championship. That came two weeks ago after finishing a career-best third overall in the field in the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. Due to missing the Big Ten Championship, Hession said it dropped her one-tenth of a point from making first-team All-Big Ten. The appendectomy is also keeping her from playing in the first three rounds of the NCAA Central Regionals taking place Thursday through Saturday in Columbus. Despite all of the setbacks, Prince still made second-team All-Big Ten along with being named Freshman of the Year. She was the top finisher on the team three times, tying junior Amy Meier a fourth time. She averaged a 75 (per 18 holes) for the year, was under par four times and shot in the 60’s twice, including a career-best 67. That score came on her second set of 18 holes, where she played a total of 36 holes in one day during the Lady Northern Invitational in French Lick, Ind. She said it’s hard to imagine that at one point, she preferred soccer over golf. “I was huge into other sports,” Prince said. “I always thought I was going to play soccer (in college) until my sophomore year (in high school), and I switched my focus (to golf).” And when she committed to OSU, there was one thing on her mind. “Once I came in here, I was like, ‘That’s my goal, to be Big Ten Freshman of the Year,” she said. Although feeling honored for his achievement, Weaver said he didn’t even know the award existed until men’s coach Donnie Darr told him on the day the awards were announced. “I never really thought about it. It came as a complete surprise,” Weaver said. That might sound flippant, but it’s quite the opposite for the true freshman from Waynedale High School in Wooster, Ohio. He said his focus is more about teamwork rather than concentrating on how well he performs individually, attributing his humble attitude to his parents. “They always told me not to be conceited,” Weaver said. “Also, I played team golf in high school, so I’ve had the joys of winning as a team and it’s something that I want to continue and experience again. It’s a lot more fun when you’re playing as a team.” Weaver’s humility comes as no surprise to Darr. “He’s very, very mature for his age (and) controls his emotions very well, which is a huge asset for a college player, because a lot of college guys struggle with that part of their game,” Darr said. Weaver has helped the men’s team to a 67-49-2 record this year and an appearance in the NCAA regionals May 17-19 in Ann Arbor, Mich. He averaged a score of 75 (per 18 holes) for the season, including a career-best 69 on the first day of the FAU Spring Break Championship on March 23 in Lake Worth, Fla. Despite playing in junior golf tournaments since he was nine years old, Weaver said he never had a full-time instructor, just occasional lessons “here and there.” And he still wouldn’t give himself full credit for what he’s achieved this year. “I think that if he just continues to do what he has done and continues to work on the fundamental things … then he’s going to have great success,” Darr said. read more

Mens Hockey No 2 Ohio States sevengame win streak snapped with 43

Ohio State senior forward Dakota Joshua (8) takes a shot against Minnesota on Feb. 15. Ohio State lost 4-3. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternThe No. 2 Ohio State men’s hockey team (19-6-4, 12-4-3 Big Ten) saw its seven-game winning streak ended after Minnesota (12-14-4, 9-9-3 Big Ten) pulled out the 4-3 victory.Minnesota was consistently ahead of Ohio State throughout the match: every time Ohio State came within striking distance, the Golden Gophers countered to maintain the lead.The Buckeyes had a rough time going up against Minnesota in the beginning, but eventually found their stride in the third period where almost all of the action of the night took place. Junior forward Ronnie Hein said the team struggled to find momentum after going down early.“We know we’re a great hockey team and we’ve come from behind before,” Hein said. “Even when we were down one we weren’t worried about it. I thought we were actually playing pretty well before they had that first goal and then we shut down after that.”This weekend matchup against Minnesota was particularly special with it being Military Appreciation Weekend. To honor this, the Buckeyes wore jackets honoring United States troops and an induction ceremony for new Air Force members occurred in between the first and second period.“I think it’s pretty obvious,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “We’re pretty thankful to be able to do what we do because of what they do.”Both teams began to pour on the points during the third period. It began when Minnesota junior defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf scored Minnesota’s third point midway through the period. Ohio State responded with a goal of their own only minutes later when junior forward Sam McCormick scored his first goal of the season, making the score 3-2. This was followed by a quick retaliation from Minnesota when sophomore forward Scott Reedy netted the Golden Gophers their fourth goal of the night. With only 3:35 left on the clock, freshman forward Quinn Preston cut the deficit to one when he sent a puck straight into the Golden Gophers’ net, bringing the game to 4-3.The Buckeyes pulled their goalie in the last remaining 30 seconds of the game but were unable to even the score, ending their seven-game win streak.Both teams played more aggressively in the second period than in the first. Midway through the period, Minnesota’s freshman forward Nathan Burke managed to advance its lead to 2-0. With 15.5 seconds left on the clock, Ohio State shortened the Golden Gophers’ lead when senior forward John Wiitala, assisted by junior defenseman Gordi Myer and junior forward Carson Meyer shot a puck straight past their defense, netting the Buckeyes their first point of the game.Ohio State only managed three shots on goal in the second period.The first period was relatively uneventful, with the only major highlight being Minnesota’s senior defenseman Jack Sadek putting the first goal on the scoreboard with 3:16 to go in the period. While Ohio State led in shots 7-5, Minnesota ended the period leading in points 1-0.“Probably playing our worst first two periods of the year,” Rohlik said. “That’s a start. We got our second shot-on-net in the second period right at the end when we scored the goal with 15 seconds to go.”No. 2 Ohio State plays Minnesota for a rematch in the Schottenstein Center at 6 p.m. Saturday. read more