Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 Blue Ridge Parkway Ride

On October 10-12, 2012, I enjoyed another trip to the North Carolina mountains with my regular riding buddies, and fellow club members, Ed O'Neil and Dick Williams, to enjoy the Fall colors.  This trip came on the heels of a four-day trip to attend the Fall Appalachian Riding Tour (FART) Rally in Maggie Valley on October 4-7, 2012.

Prior to the trip, at our October club meeting, Bob Thomson mentioned that he had a back road route for riding from Wilmington to the Meadows of Dan area in Virginia, which was close to our destination for the first day of the trip.  Bob shared a GPS file with me, and it turned to be a great route for the ride.  We used U.S. 421, along with some back roads, to ride to Greensboro.  There, we stopped at Carolina BMW to say hello to the owner, Jason Emmert.

Afterwards, we headed northwestward on Highways 68, 65, 89, and 8, stopping along the way at Hanging Rock State Park to collect a photo for the club's NC State Park Challenge Ride.

As we closed in on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we passed a field that full of ripe pumpkins.  We had to stop for a couple of photos.

Our final destination for the day was Grassy Creek Cabooses.  Grassy Creek Cabooses is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway about five miles north of Fancy Gap, Virginia.  The owner has set up three railroad cabooses as cabins.  

The accommodations were cute and comfortable.  

We made a quick trip down the Parkway to eat dinner at the Lakeview Restaurant at Fancy Gap, and then headed back to the cabooses for the night.

The second day started out as brisk 34 degree morning.  We stopped for breakfast at the Lakeview Restaurant at Fancy Gap, before continuing our ride along the Parkway.

The Fall colors were amazing, especially in the area around Boone and the Lynn Cove viaduct.

We stopped for lunch at the Little Switzerland Café .

Afterwards, we took a quick detour to ride "The Diamondback," a triangle formed by Highways 226A, 226, and the Parkway.  Highway 226A, in particular, is an especially twisty series of switchbacks.  It's a road worthy of a side trip, if you are in the area.

Of course, there were more stops along the parkway, to enjoy the Fall scenery.

We continued our ride along the Parkway, stopping at BMW Asheville late in the afternoon.  This dealership opened about one and half years ago, and the showroom looks outstanding.

Afterwards, we returned to the Parkway, riding down to Highway 276 and our staying the second evening in Brevard, NC.

On the morning of the third and final day of our trip, we rode Highway 276 through Caesars Head State Park in South Carolina, on our way to visit Touring Sport BMW in Greenville, SC.  The section of Highway 276 through Caesars Head State Park is another fine series of twisting switchbacks that is worth a visit (the park is beautiful too).

Touring Sport BMW is another motorcycling enthusiast's destination that is worth stopping for a visit.

After visiting Touring Sport BMW, we made our way back to Wilmington, mainly using Highway 9 across South Carolina.  It was a great 950 mile trip with Ed O'Neil and Dick Williams.

Additional pictures from our trip, and maps showing our ride route, can be viewed in my Picasa web album.

1 comment:

  1. Bill,

    Thanks for the report & pics. In enjoyed it all.

    Bob Thomson