Greetings from the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 29, 2009 in Randomness

Nothing law-related for the next few days — I’m taking a couple days to travel the state in my role as President of the UNC Association of Student Governments.

After class yesterday I headed out to the N.C. State Student Senate meeting where my successors hosted Senator Tony Rand (one of the 4 most powerful politicians in North Carolina), then drove out to Winston-Salem to meet with Student Body President Daryl Wade at the UNC School of the Arts before heading deep into the mountains of Appalachia to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.  Then this afternoon I backtracked to UNC Asheville to meet with some of their SG folks, and now currently heading back to Cullowhee for some Homecoming festivities (concert tonight featuring Lyfe Jennings and Fabolous).

One of the rock slides that shut down the Parkway

One of the rock slides that shut down the Parkway

So I decided to take the scenic route through the Blue Ridge Parkway :D

I’ve only been on the Parkway once in my life before now, last October when the UNC Board of Governors had its monthly meeting at Western Carolina. Some UNCASG folks and I took the Parkway from Cullowhee to Asheville, but the experience was a little spoiled by rainy, cold weather. It did make for some awesome video when I was parked at the Graveyard Fields and watched a cloud roll in, but I wanted to get back in the dry warmth of the car.

Today is absolutely gorgeous by contrast — sunny weather and in the mid-70s.

Rock slides have been a problem in the past week though because of all the rain out west (e.g. rock slide shuts down Interstate 40 this past Sunday), and the Parkway is shut down about 6 miles in because of rock slides there as well.  Take a look at the yellow pavement markings in the photo I took; this one slide alone shut down an entire lane of traffic.

The fun part though is that since the Parkway is closed to cars, I can walk around on foot and it’s absolutely surreal / beautiful / amazing.  No sound but rustling tree leaves. No lights but the sun. No humans more than a mile up from where it’s closed to cars. It’s great :)

BB9630 camera shot of the Wash Creek Valley Overlook

BB9630 camera shot of the Wash Creek Valley Overlook

The crazy thing is that I also have 4 of 5 bars of cell phone reception and full EV-DO capability on Verizon — enabling me to tether my BlackBerry and post this entry from my laptop despite being nowhere near any civilization of any kind. (I’m guessing VZW convinced the Department of the Interior to let them install a cell tower higher up the mountain?)

Wish I had some other folks here to enjoy this experience with me… and also wish I had a higher resolution camera :beatup:

But it’s still an amazing experience.  If you’ve never made it out to the mountains, definitely add it to your life’s To Do list :D

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