on the road

the gadlfy in...

north carolina

gadfly homepage on the road home notes on places last visited: 6/25/2009 first contact: 3/2005

NC Trip Stats (6/09):


Counties visited: 9

Last visited: 6/25/2009


Best county: Transylvania Co.

Town visited most: Asheville

Most impressive town: Maggie Valley

Least impressive town: Asheville

Biggest town: Charlotte

Most scenic area: Pisgah Mountains

Most scenic spot: Cold Mountain overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Highest Elevation: Richland Balsam Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway is at  6053'

Three words: mountains, forests, boiled peanuts

Best Food: Cracker Barrel in Hendersonville.

Road Trips: Appalachia Trip (3/2005), Honeymoon (7/2006), Florida Tour (6/2009)


Neighboring States: TN, SC, VA, GA


Future Plans: When I first visited the Blue Ridge Parkway, large portions of it had experienced devastating landslides and were completely washed out. I will one day drive the entire length of the national scenic highway. Maybe a visit to the outer islands by the ocean would be fun.



First Contact: I first made landfall in North Carolina while exploring the Newfoundland Gap atop the Great Smoky Mountains NP. There were state line markings on the sidewalk leading to the overlook where I was met with rows and rows of beautiful blue, tree covered ridges. I continued down to the Blue Ridge Highway where my car broke down.

Swain Co. (3/2005)

Great Smoky Mts. NP. Drove the famous Newfoundland Gap Road through the park, stopping at the less crowded Oconaluftee Visitor Center before heading back up the mountains along the Blue Ridge Pkwy. Cherokee Res. Drove through tribal lands along Blue Ridge Pkwy where we spotted wild cherries and the most beautiful views. I was happy here until my car broke down in the middle of nowhere. Cherokee.

Jackson Co. (3/2005)

Sylva. Blue Ridge Parkway.

Haywood Co. (3/2005)

Maggie Valley. My car broke down on the Blue Ridge Pkwy near this town. The huge valley is lined with a few struggling tourist traps. Many had signs offering "boiled peanuts" (pronounced "bald peanuts.") The watery brown soup of nuts and shells did not look so appealing so I settled for grilled cheese. There are spectacular views along US-19 as it comes to rest at the bottom of the valley where the tiny town lies. Dellwood.

Buncombe Co. (3/2005)

Asheville. A decent sized city that appeared quite clean. Home of one of the largest homes in America, the Biltmore Estate. Drove along Blue Ridge nearby, but the road was washed out from recent floods.

.Madison Co. (3/2005)

Walnut. A very small mountain town, clearly off the beaten path. Rode through as we entered the Pisgah NF in an attempt to cross the Bald Mts. Pisgah NF. This is where I drove past a wild stream for several miles as it made its way down the heavily wooded slopes. There were old squatters' huts and mobile homes tucked away various places in the thick woods. Most mountain roads ride along the natural valleys and "gaps" created by rivers.

Henderson Co. (7/2006)

Hendersonville. Small city that must love its local Cracker Barrel because it was packed when I passed through town. Saw several of the furniture businesses that made North Carolina famous in this town.

Polk Co. (7/2006)

Passed through along I-26 twice. The approach to the county is daunting since you face a blue wall of rocks and trees at the foot of the Appalachians.

Mecklenburg Co. (7/2007)

Charlotte. Only here for a few hours in the airport while changing planes on a trip from Charlottesville, VA, back home. The airport was one of the most pleasant ones ever mainly due to the rocking chairs in the terminal. Flew over a huge lake, probably Lk Norman.

Transylvania Co. (6/25/2009)

Penrose. Pisgah NF. Drove through the shady forests along the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway.



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A cherry tree along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Cherokee Reservation. (2005)

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Here I am filling up a water jug to fix my radiator in a wild mountain stream in the middle of Pisgah  NF. (2005)

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A scene along the Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Cherokee. (2005)


All photos (c) 2005-06 J. Bezold. All rights reserved.