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Blue Ridge Parkway Fall Colors

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Last weekend I left my condo in the urban jungle that is Charlotte and headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway in the NC mountains. It was the peak weekend for the annual fall color and it was just plain stunning. This is a very easy day trip from Charlotte and most other cities in the Piedmont. It took me just under 2 hours of driving to reach the Parkway. If you havn't been to the Parkway then you are really missing on North Carolina's best gem.






Grandfather Mountain


Sugar Mountain Condos (barf)







Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain


Linn Cove Viaduct




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Whew I miss living up there - those pics are from the Grandfather Mountain area; I lived in Boone, and also in Foscoe (other side of G'father Mtn, in the Watauga River valley below Seven Devils). The lack of a job market beyond retail and table-waiting ultimately drove me away, and I like the diversity of the Triangle, but I still think NW NC is one of the greatest places to live if you can. The areas along the Pkwy from Blowing Rock down to Asheville I know like the back of my hand, and as nice as the Pkwy is, there are plenty of other great side trips to take in the area. If you get up there when the weather is warm, the trails at Price Park (between Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mtn) are spectacular, with a big series of rapids along the trail about 2 miles in...

The winters are brutal, but there is a sort of "we're all in this together" sensibility about it as well, and some areas - the valley occupied by Banner Elk - are as beautiful as it comes when the leaves are turning, of when there's plenty of snow.

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BRP is so pretty. I wish I had time to go up there and see the fall colors

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The Sugartop Condos are the reason there are ridgetop development laws (not allowed anymore) in Western NC now. That project was utterly reviled by absolutely everyone but the tourists within it, and the developer who put it up.

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