Skip to main content

The Blue Ridge Parkway

For over 60 years, the Blue Ridge Parkway has combined modern travel with the splendid of nature.  Unlike the thousands of miles of superhighways that grace this nation, the 469 mile parkway purposely avoids altering the landscape allowing visitors to enjoy the majestic beauty of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina and Virginia.  Linking two popular national parks, Shenandoah and Great Smokey Mountains, the route goes from foothills and farmlands to heights of over 5000 feet.  No matter how high or low the elevation, the Parkway is full of endless and spectacular views, hiking trails, and an infinite number of natural possibilities.

In 2003, I began a Blue Ridge Parkway travelogue on my old All Things NC! website.  When we shutdown Gribblenation in 2016, I began to transfer the old pages to the blog as well as adding new stops along the way.  This gateway page will continue to be updated as new stops are added from future excursions on this wonderful road.

Site Navigation: 
Virginia: 
North Carolina:
Just off the Parkway:
Parkway Related Roadtrips:
Learn more about the roadtrips behind the features
For all photo or story inquiries - or if you have information to share - please feel free to comment or reach me directly at aprince27@gmail.com.

Blue Ridge Parkway shield courtesy of Bruce Cridlebaugh.
   
 
 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Abandoned Interstate 95 - Newburyport, Massachusetts

What is now a popular recreational trail in the northeastern Massachusetts city of Newburyport was once a northbound alignment of Interstate 95, and before that, part of a relocated US 1. A trip down this 1.1 mile long abandoned section of highway shows a road that was left mostly intact, complete with the original pavement, curb cuts and pavement markings. But there is a story about how this highway became a trail...

Originally conceived to be part of a relocated US 1, the stretch of road that is now the abandoned section of I-95 in Newburyport was part of a highway that was constructed between 1951 and 1954 from modern day US 1 in Danvers, Massachusetts and ended just south of the state border between Massachusetts and New Hampshire in Salisbury, Massachusetts. The highway was originally constructed with three 12-foot wide lanes in each direction, although the rightmost lane eventually became a hard shoulder for the road. The highway was not Relocated US 1 for long, as it became I…

Interstate 5; the West Side Freeway

The past four years I've frequently driven the entirety of Interstate 5 in San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley.  I-5 from Wheeler Ridge north to a segment near of Woodland is known as the "West Side Freeway."


The West Side Freeway segment of I-5 refers to an approximately 330 mile portion of the highway from the split with CA 99 at Wheeler Ridge north to the convergence with I-505 near Woodland.







Part 1; the history of the West Side Freeway and the split of I-5W/I-5E

In the 1947 Interstate plan I-5 was to be routed up US 99 where it would have split into I-5W and I-5E in Modesto.  I-5W was to planned to use the following current state highways: 

-  Modern CA 132 west to I-580.
-  Modern I-580 west to I-80.
-  Modern I-80 east to I-505.
-  Modern I-505 to I-5.

As the second Interstate System was being drafted the path of I-5 was shifted to the western part of San Joaquin Valley which was planned as Legislative Route 238.  I-5W was planned to split from I-5 at the p…

Old Stage Road; the "real" El Camino Real and predecessor route to US Route 101 on the San Juan Grade

This past month I stopped in San Juan Bautista to hike the Juan Bautista De Anza Trail on the closed Old Stage Road.  Old Stage Road as part of the Spanish El Camino Real to cross the Gabilan Range between San Juan Bautista and Salinas Valley.



Part 1; the history of El Camino Real and Old Stage Road

The Gabilan Range between what is now San Juan Bautista and Salinas Valley was first explored during the second Juan Bautista De Anza Expedition of Las Californias.  While the De Anza expedition likely crossed very close to the present alignment of Old Stage Route their exact path isn't clear.  Juan Bautista De Anza noted the following in his journal while passing near present day San Juan Bautista on March 24, 1776:

"In the valley we saw many antelopes and white grey geese.  In the same valley we found an arroyo...and then came to a village in which I counted about twenty tule huts.  But the only two people we saw were two Indians who came out to the road and presented us with thr…