When I was growing up, the phrase “Blue Ridge Mountains” somehow sounded magical to me. Now that I’ve wandered up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Blue Ridge Mountains, it still makes me smile to see that phrase on a sign. Maybe it’s my personal version of the Magic Kingdom.
Today’s post, then, features images I’ve taken this summer that didn’t make it into any earlier post.
This type of fence is all over the mountains and I haven’t met one yet that I didn’t want to take a picture of. The more weathered the wood, the better. And the lushness of the hillside, even in late August, is definitely magical to someone like me, who grew up with dried brown hillsides and desert landscapes.
I sent this photo to my horse-loving friend, Sue, and then felt it deserved a wider audience. Those horses sure have the life, out in the warm sun on a beautiful day.
When I pulled off the Parkway to visit friends in southern Virginia a few weeks ago, it was haying season. I had fun taking way too many photos of hay bales in the late afternoon sun. In the end this tractor sitting in the field was the one I liked best.
Across from the small post office in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, this old store building stands. Long deserted, it has much lonely company in small towns up and down the parkway. The pandemic has hit those towns hard. I worry what will survive.
One of the places closing down is the old hardware store in Floyd, Virginia. We checked out the remaining goods on offer, but it was this rack of rakes and shovels outside that caught my eye.
Small towns and two-lane roads are the heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I’ve been lucky to have spent the last three years driving and exploring it. Despite the economic challenges this area faces, I still think it’s a magical stretch of America.
It is probably a pity that every citizen of each state cannot visit all the others, to see the differences, to learn what we have in common, and come back with a richer, fuller understanding of America – in all its beauty, in all its dignity, in all its strength, in support of moral principles.
Dwight D. Eisenhower