Welcome to my blog!

This is blog is about me dabbling with a little bit of everything, and not being particularly good at anything. And about the places I've been either on vacation or SAG:ing my husbands bicycle trips.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blue Ridge Parkway Trip - Day 5

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Traveled from milepost 248.1 to 279.1

Still have that swollen eye. Took some Benadryl last night, but I don't think it really helped. It doesn't itch, just hurts a bit, but I guess the fluids just pooled right in my eye overnight since it looked as bad this morning as it did yesterday, if not worse.
Anyway, the day started rainy. We had breakfast at BJ's Pizza and Subs just next to the hotel. Soon after that we headed towards the parkway again. Due to the construction we had to skip about 20 miles. They guys started riding from milepost 248.1. Karen and I went back to route 18 to take a picture of a jail/wedding chapel, I thought it looked a bit funny. Then we headed down the parkway and stopped at the Northwest Trading Post. It was a nice little store with clean facilities. I bought some fudge and pecan tarts. Jeff, Joe and Mark caught up with us at the Trading Post also.

At front entrance of BJ's Pizza & Subs, Sparta

Starting point of Day 5

At the starting point. This is how Joe, Mark & Jeff feel about the rain

Off they go again in the pouring rain

Jail & Wedding chapel on N.C. Rt. 18 near BRP

We decided to stop at mile marker 279.9 at Cascades parking overlook and see what the cyclists wanted to do. The weather hadn't gotten any better, cold rain and wind and lots of fog. Visibility was pretty bad. The guys arrived there and Jeff and Mark decided that they've had enough. Joe still wanted to keep going till the end of today's planned ride destination, at milepost 293.5. So Jeff and Mark and I drove to Boone NC and found a very nice hotel for us for the next 2 nights. We are staying at the Comfort Suites. After settling in and a warm shower for the guys, Jeff, Mark and I went and had lunch at Troy's Diner , which is more like a 50's style burger place.

Our hotel room at Comfort Suites, Boone, N.C.

Front lobby, Comfort Suites, Boone, N.C.

Troy's Diner, Boone, N.C.

Soon after Joe and Karen arrived. After some rest we met for drinks at the hotel. They have a complimentary cocktail hour every afternoon. Then we went and had dinner at the Coyote Kitchen  in Boone. Some weird looking paintings on the walls, and they were on sale too. Dinner was good and I think everybody was quite full, except Jeff, Joe and Mark who went back to Troy's for milkshakes.Tomorrow is a rest day, we have to see what we are going to do since we haven't decided yet.

The three musketeers; Joe, Jeff and Mark, and what they thought about today

Paintings for sale @ the Coyote Kitchen

my dinner @ Coyote Kitchen, soup, sandwich & salad

Blue Ridge Parkway Trip - Day 4

Monday, May 7, 2012

Traveled from milepost 174.1 - 217.5

I woke up this morning with a swollen left eye. Yesterday some bug bit me on the outside corner of my left eyebrow. I didn't see the bug, nor feel the bite. But this morning my eye was all swollen. I look like an ogre now with bad hair days and a swollen eye. I have been putting ice on it and it has gone down but you can still see it since it is turning a bit red.

Otherwise the day started overcast and in the 60's again, but it started to drizzle later in the day. Luckily it was just a little bit towards the end of the ride. After the guys left Karen and I did a quick tour of the cemetery which is right next to the Inn. After that we went to the Mabry Mill. The mill is the most photographed sight on the Parkway. This place has the mill and a museum with all kinds of farm equipment etc. After our little tour Karen and I had lunch at the attached restaurant. It was a bit slow, had to wait for a table and then wait for the food. It was all because there was a group tour that had just arrived. Wonder what it would be like during the peak season. Food was very good though.

Mabry Mill

Mabry Mill

Mabry Mill, farm equipment

Mabry Mill, Blacksmith shop

Mabry Mill, mill stones

Mabry Mill, Appalachian house

Mabry Mill, Whiskey Still

Mabry Mill, Sorghum making equipment

Red Neck Martini Glass. . . .

Puckett Cabin

After we left the mill we went straight to the Cumberland Gap where we were meeting the guys. Just before the Gap we crossed the state line from Virginia to North Carolina., around milepost 216.9. The parkway is closed right at the Gap due to construction along the parkway. We had to get off the road and ended up in Sparta at the Alleghany Inn for the night. Joe and Karen went to visit Joe's mom for dinner, so only Jeff, Mark and I went to the Pines Restaurant in Sparta. Seemed to be a very popular spot and food was pretty good too. Not much going on in Sparta otherwise.
Virginia/North Carolina border

Parkway is closed for the next 20 miles

Rolling Yoohoo cans down the hill

Alleghany Inn, Sparta NC, Joe crossing the parking lot