Carolina on My Mind

We are still parked at the Mayberry Campground outside of Mount Airy, NC.  The area is very beautiful and presents many opportunities for motorcycle rides and other visits.

On Saturday (10/16) we drove about 30 miles south to Winston-Salem to visit our son, Kevin’s alma mater, Wake Forest University.  Wake has a beautiful campus just north of the city and, since we haven’t visited since his graduation in 2000, we wanted to see the campus and visit the Demon Deacon Shop to update some of our wardrobe.   The day before was “fall break” so the campus was fairly empty, which made our visit easier.

Grove Stadium

Wait Chapel - Wake Forest Campus

Sunday we spent washing the motorhome, inside and out, and watching sports on TV.  On Monday we unloaded the motorcycle and headed north about 20 miles to one of the entrances to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The Parkway runs for 469 miles along the high ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina.  Just north of the North Carolina line in southern Virginia we came upon the Blue Ridge Music Center, a series of buildings that celebrate the mountain music of the area.  In one of the connecting areas between buildings there was a small group playing mountain music.

We sat in rocking chairs with a group of old people (retired we guessed) and enjoyed the music.  The dog must be use to it, as he never moved!

The next day we sat outside in the morning sunshine thinking of things to do when we decided to ride the motorcycle to Boone, NC, a college town (Appalachian State) about 90 miles to the southwest along the southern part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We had been through the town a few years ago on a motorcycle trip and had “toured” the campus, so that was not our destination, sights along the Blue Ridge were our goal.  And once on the parkway we found the scenery to be the most beautiful that we had seen so far.  Instead of riding on top of small hills, the road winded its way along the side of much higher peaks and provided beautiful vistas.

One of the neatest sites along the parkway is the Linn Cove Viaduct, a 1243′ concrete segmental bridge that snakes around the slopes of Grandfather Mountain.  It was completed in 1983 for $10 million and was the last section of the parkway to be finished.  It is said to be the most complicated concrete bridge ever built.

The viaduct was needed because of the damage that a traditional cut-and-fill bridge would have caused to Grandfather Mountain.  The bridges 153 segments each weigh 50 tones and were pre-cast at an indoor facility south of th parkway.  After being transported to the bridge site, each section was lowered into place by a custom crane placed on either edge of the existing structure.  The only work done at ground level was drilling for the seven footings that support the viaduct.  The bridge was literally built from the top down.  Pretty cool ! ! !

We did get a Facebook posting from some nephew outside Philadelphia asking us if, since we like to visit colleges so much, we would be visiting Surry Community College near Mount Airy.  So guess where we went on the way back to the motorhome?

How’s that, Jamie ? ? ?  It’s actually a fairly large school with a nice campus.

Who know’s what’s next in this journey.  We’re looking at moving next week to a site between Charlotte and Raleigh for a few days and then on to the Myrtle Beach area.  Boy, this retirement is hard work ! ! ! (no snide comments from you working stiffs are necessary)

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2 Responses to Carolina on My Mind

  1. Deb Dominick says:

    Who are those people that are always sitting around in all your pictures?

  2. Thanks you two for the very nice comments you left about our blog. Glad you included your link. Paul and I both read many of your blogs. Your pictures are wonderful!! We miss the changing of the colors this year. You two sound so much like us. If you get to visit New Mexico, especially the Southwest, stay at the park we are at now…Elephant Butte S.P. It is beautiful here. Enjoy the ride. We will be following you. Hope we can meet up one day!

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