Today's blog written by Paul!
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of America's premier scenic highways. We began our ride near the southern end of the parkway south west of Asheville, NC.
One of the nice things about the parkway is the abundance of pull-outs that allow one to take pictures and it allows slower drivers the opportunity to allow traffic to pass.
As you can see from the pictures there is a good reason that they call these the "Great Smoky Mountains" The haze that you see is almost always present.
Shear cliffs and rock walls with tickleing water falls line the parkway.
The pull-out signs tell stories of the rich history of the area.
Occasionally you have problems with motorcyclists getting in the way of a perfectly good scenic picture.
Even with the haze the views are spectacular.
There was less flora than I expected. These flowers were among the few blooming along the parkway.
As the road wound higher into the mountains you got an idea of why it is such a popular place.
Some afternoon rain clouds appeared but we never got any rain.
This is a very typical picture along the parkway. Narrow and tree lined most of the time.
Carving its way along the mountain, the parkway continues its way to the summit.
At over six thousand feet the mountains of NC are the highest east of the Rockies.
Peter was comparing the rock wall to the skull of Paul. I see what he was trying to say.
Having heard that there was a BMWRA rally in Asheville we decided to stop by and see it. The rally was being held at the Biltmore Estate. Peter had not seen the estate so we decided to stop by and check it out.
It was the first day of the rally so many of the vendors were not fully set up yet. People were arriving and setting up their tents.
One of the positive side benefits of going to the rally was that Peter got to speak with the people from "Helen2Wheels". He had purchased new "rain proff" bags from them before he left on the trip. Well they were not rain proof. He poured water out of one of the the day we finished our 7 hours in the rain.
Helen2Wheels did the right thing. They told him that they had had a problem with one of the material runs that they had purchased. They asked him to bring his bags to their booth and they gave him brand new bags. Definitely the sign of a well run company.
The estate has its own vineard and winery on the grounds.
Part of the cost of admission to the rally included either a tour of the winery or a tour of the estate house. Since we did not have time for the house we took the winery tour.
They not only offer tours but classes on cooking and wine pairing also.
Of course the wine tour ended in the gift shop.
Next we were off to see the rest of the estate grounds.
The estate has a large flower which provides all of the flowers needed for the main house and winery.
Many small lakes and pools dot the estate grounds.
There was a steady flow of bikes coming into the estate the entire time we were there.