The previous year I had driven the Blue Ridge Parkway (all 469 miles of it) in the summer time. The gently winding road offers spectacular mountain scenery as it threads its way from the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. I wanted to see what it would be like to drive it in the dead of winter, in February. However, I did not realize that the Blue Ridge Parkway is not maintained in winter and we had to settle for crisscrossing it at various points.
|One of the first stops on the way back to Dallas was at Skyline Caverns. Located at Front Royal, Virginia, Skyline Caverns is the closest natural wonder to the Nation's Capital. It is one of the only places on Earth where rare Anthodites are displayed|
|Beautiful scenery around the Blue Ridge|
Rock Park is a scenic attraction
located 25 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina,
with spectacular 75-mile views,
numerous hiking trails, a 404-foot waterfall,
Nature Center, picnicking and more.
|In Asheville, we visited the Biltmore Estate,
which has been the location of several movies, including Hannibal.
George Vanderbilt created Biltmore Estate in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains more than a century ago as a retreat for family and friends; a place to rediscover gracious hospitality and revel in nature’s beauty. His vision holds true today. Biltmore House is a magnificent 250-room château filled with priceless art and antiques.
|Blue Ridge Parkway ends into the Smokey Mountain Park, which leads into Tennessee.|
|I think both Chessie and Brownie found the gingerbread house interesting.|
|The first town coming out of the Smokey Mountains is Gatlinburg, which has an aerial tramway with a beautiful view.|
|Continuing south through Tennessee got us to Chattanooga, the Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls is the world's highest (145-foot) underground waterfall located in a cavern inside Lookout Mountain. It was discovered in 1923 by Leo Lambert and named after his wife Ruby.|
|We stayed overnight in Hot Springs, Arkansas.|
|Finally back in Texas|
|I had to take a photo for the sign of a town called Nash, which is in Texas, near the Arkansas border.|