Boone and beyond


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We’ll pick up where we left off. Boone NC is an awesome place. There's a lot of riding to be done with Rt.221 and 421 being what’s called the snake. If you get off the Parkway at Boone and head west on 421 about 10 miles west of Boone is the Snake. It goes up and over a grand mountain and has many switchbacks and fun curves. As you come down the mountain on the other side there’s a store that sells Snake memorabilia as well as snacks. It’s a “must do” as you travel. Ride back towards Boone to get back on the Parkway going south. Be cautious because every time I’ve ridden the Snake I’ve seen bike accidents. It’s deceptive with decreasing radius turns. But it is fun, fun, fun. Back on the Parkway the next marvel is Lin Cove Viaduct. This engineering marvel is built in to the side of Grandfather Mountain and is a self-suspending bridge built so as to not disturb the flora and fauna. When you come up on it you’ll be surprised because it is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Worth the trip. If you plan to stay in Boone, be aware there are good hotels and bad hotels. The Marriot, Comfort Suites, and Holiday Inn Express are the best.
Just past the Viaduct is the exit for 221 and Grandfather Mountain. Do yourself a favor and experience this. It’s $18. to go up to the peak but it is worth it. Once at the top there’s a suspension bridge to and outcropping of rocks that is 5,280 ft. You can see tomorrow from that bridge. Spend some time here.
Once back on the road and heading south on BRP the scenery gets more intense as the elevations are higher. Stop at the overlook that is the highest point on the BRP. Great picture spot. There’s a lot to take in in the next 100 miles. All kinds of great trails and sights. Ashville is coming up and is a must do city. You won’t believe the talent of some of the street musicians. Stop and give a listen. Eclectic and bohemian it has a bustling downtown and has America’s house, the Biltmore Estate. Every American should visit. The history of this place reminds us of the haves and the have nots. Not much has changed, but I digress.
Past Ashville you come in to the Mt. Pisgah area and my favorite Inn and Restaurant, The Pisgah Inn. Rooms with picturesque views and the restaurant has my kind of food. My fav would have to be the Chipotle Pork Chop. Yum. The views from the all glass side is breathtaking. This is well worth the time you spend hear. Cell service is sparse but they have cable in the rooms. I love this place.
Just a few miles down from here is Water Rock Knob. There’s a ranger store and restrooms. The views from here are awesome and it is almost a 360 degree knob. From here you can see 80 miles or so. Take the time to hike up the trail here. There’s an exit nearby for Waynesville which has the Wheels thru Time museum. I haven’t been but have been told it something every biker should visit. Maybe this year. As you travel south from here the road turns downward as you come to the Parkway’s end at Cherokee and mile marker 469. There’s gas and restaurants, gambling and good hotels. To the west is Smokey Mountain National Park. To the east is Rt. 74 to 28 which takes you to the Dragon. Next time we’ll go across 441 to Gatlinburg and beyond.
Until then,

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