Posts Tagged With: jefferson national forest

OTTER CREEK ON THE BLUE RIDGE

From Mary’s desk:
After a peaceful night at a Moose Club in Vinton, a small town near Roanoke, VA. we got back on the parkway. A morning haze covered  the peaceful mountain, heavy with leafy trees.

As we rose in elevation the trees changed to more stunted growth; trees are yet to gain full leaf, here. The forecast was for rain, but the day was mostly overcast as we drove along.

Many vistas. So far in the Blue Ridge we have seen deer, turkeys aplenty, squirrels, many birds and butterflies which seem to drift in front of the motor home. Two turtles in the road where we hoped other motorists would miss them as we did. This area backs up to Jefferson National Forest with treed hillsides as far as the eye can see.
The first wild rhododendrons in bloom, not that my through-the-window pictures do them justice. Rocks vary the landscape.

Another beautiful stone bridge, of many.

The park design was deliberately zig-zagged to take advantage of the view, always the views were the foremost consideration. As below, the James River.


At Otter Lake we realized we were at the lowest elevation on the parkway at 649 feet. We stopped to have a bit of lunch and play. Rock climbing and photographing the little plants and flowers about the creek. Noticing a beaver chewed tree.

At Otter Creek Camp Ground, which was unexpectedly open, we found a drive through spot right along the burbling Otter Creek.

We explored, walked, read a bit. No sooner finished, Jim brought in the chairs and boom. The thunder commenced and a heavy downpour enveloped us as we sat safe inside with our dinner cooking on the stove. (Glad we were not in a tent.)
Finally the rain ceased. Neighbors Frank and Diane Wilson came by to chat. They were driving in the downpour and got caught about a quarter mile before the campground by a downed tree. A new ranger, without a chainsaw had just come from a class on learning to use a chainsaw. We had a laugh over that. The tree was cut with a handsaw, with the help of travelers, and all turned out well.

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Blue Ridge Parkway – Day 3

Jim says:

We drove 52 miles yesterday. Here’s 10 photos…

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The day started sunny but hazy.
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The stonework on the bridges is beautiful.
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35 miles of today’s journey went through the Jefferson National Forest.
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Above 3,500 feet, the trees have fewer leaves.
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The James River as seen through my driver’s window screen. At 649 feet elevation, it’s the lowest point of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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About one mile beyond the James River is Otter Lake.
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Mary holds a small delicate flower.
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The small delicate flower tree. Neither Mary nor I know the name. Do You?
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About one mile beyond Otter Lake, the Otter Creek Campground was open.
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Mary relaxing (snoozing) at our campsite. It’s nice to see here at ease as opposed to her hectic life when she’s at home in California. The afternoon was overcast with a temperature of 70 degrees with relatively low humidity.

About 3:30 PM the skies opened up and it rained HARD for about an hour. Later in the evening we enjoyed a nice two-hour conversation with our neighbors, Diane and Frank Wilson from Florida. They recently completed a couple of months RVing in Mexico. They bought a copy of my Panama or Bust book from me.

Today we have another 60 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway left to drive. Once completed, we will have driven 305 of the 469 mile parkway. Road repairs/closures prevented us from driving the entire length.

The roadway then continues on for another 105 miles as Skyline drive as part of the Shenandoah National Park.

Here’s the official government website link…
http://www.nps.gov/blri/index.htm

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ridge_Parkway

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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