An October 2005 trip
to Blue Ridge Parkway by Ehlena99
Quote: We spent a weekend in Virginia for the fall leaves and drove Skyline Drive and a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The campground appeared to be very nice, but they also offer cabin rentals. My family and I stayed in the Pioneer Cabin. It appeared to be a restored original log cabin that had a kitchen and bathroom added on. The kitchen was very homey and had all the things you would need, including a gas range, oven, microwave, coffee pot, dishes, silverware, sink/water, and a refrigerator. There was also some spices and sugar there. Right off of the kitchen was the bathroom, with a shower.
Through the next door was was the true cabin. It had a fireplace and an old piano, plus a couch and some comfy old wooden rocking chairs. The queen size bed was also part of the large open room. Upstairs there was a loft with two other beds. The cabin is heated by small gas heaters on the wall, or the fireplace. I was chilly on the bottom floor, but upstairs in the loft was very warm.
Just up the road from the cabin is the Montebello Store. The store offers souvenirs with the Montebello name on them but is also a small grocery store. They offer goods from milk, eggs, and sausage to candy and pancake mix. If you forget something, check there first, because it is a 25-mile drive to get anywhere else.
Montebello is a great way to get away from it all. It is located right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but is quite a windy road to get anywhere. We first attempted the road at night, and to me even being from out in the country it felt like the woods were closing in around me. It was beautiful the next day though, as the sun came up over the trees. It may be a little farther off the beaten path, but it is definitely worth staying in.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 9, 2005
Montebello Camping and Fishing Resort
15072 Crabtree Falls Hwy
Blue Ridge Parkway National Park, Virginia 24464
The Blue Ridge Parkway truly does seem to ride along the tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains as it picks up where Skyline Drive finishes. I didn't get to see much of it, but I do know that what I saw was very much worth the drive. My family and I had hiked the Spy Rock trail earlier that morning, and figured we would go eat lunch and then drive back the Parkway. We did ahve to travel quite a ways to get to anywhere for lunch, as it is a small back woods area with very little town presence. We did find a Ruby Tuesday restaurant open for lunch and so we pulled in, ate, and then took off for the parkway. On the way there, we saw the natural bridge park area, and although we did not stop, other people we talked to said it was worth the people and the hike. We finally got onto the parkway at about 4pm and started driving north. I loved it because there were not tons of people. There were several times that we stopped and got out by ourselves.
Granted, this fall was not spectacular in the mountains of Virginia--it was just brown--but the views are still spectacular. You can see for miles and miles and miles, and I think perhaps what I liked more than anything was the interaction between the national park and the towns just out of the park. Blue Ridge Parkway feels much different than the Great Smoky Mountains because of the fact that Blue Ridge and SHenandoah National Park are build around the road, or the civilization interacting with nature instead of just the nature of the Great Smokies. We stopped at one particular pullout and waited for sunset. Again, the colors were not spectacular, but the sunset turned the mountains in the distance pink. It was a very relaxing end to a day.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
I have always heard about the beauty of Skyline Drive and have always wanted to see it for myself. I have had trouble finding people to go with me, because there are just so many other places to go. I finally convinced my family to go just a couple weekends ago, and although it was fun, it was simply overrun with tourists. Don't get me wrong; the drive was totally worth it. The scenery was beautiful, and at just about every turn you could see deer off in the woods. We drove the entire 105 miles in one day and at one point even ran into what we think was a "bear jam," where the entire road turned into four lanes of parking. People were pulled off on both sides of the road, and others just left their car running in the middle of the road and got out to see what was going on. I still have no idea, but I can't imagine anything besides a bear that could cause such a commotion.
The highlight of my trip on Skyline Drive was fairly early in the morning, as we were driving north and stopping at a majority of pull-offs. I didn't have my camera out and was just enjoying the scene. My family was clicking away, taking pictures of the valley, below when I heard what I thought sounded an awful lot like a wolf howl. I dismissed it as just a dog, until I heard it get answered by many others across the valley. The four of us looked at each other in bewilderment, all of us asking the same question. Did we just hear what I think we just heard? We sat and listened to the wolves heralding the new day for a bit before we moved on. To me, even though I didn't get to see a wolf in the wild, I did get to hear them, and that was truly the highlight of my trip.
East Liverpool, Ohio