Journey Through North Carolina – Part 4 ~ By Tom and Audrey ~

Hello and welcome to part 4 of our journey through North Carolina.

There is such beauty waking to a sunrise over the Appalachian Mountains as you sip your coffee.  Then it was off to find our entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy the views through the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks.  When we first mapped out our journey the goal was put ourselves near one of the first entrances to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Much to our surprise or God’s hand we were at Steeles Tavern and one of the few initial entrances to the Parkway in Virginia. 

The entrance ramp was a steady twisting labyrinth before giving way to a view that took our breath away.  If only you could have seen our heads pivoting side to side as the ooh’s and ah’s continued involuntarily.  There is reason they are called the Blue Ridge Mountains and it’s because when the light reflects off them they are the most beautiful shade of blue only God and nature could create.  Those of you having seen them can perhaps help with their description?  There was an ocean of mountains that seemingly extended to infinity. 

The speed limit on the parkway ranged from 45 mph (72 kph) to 25 mph (16kph) and for good reason.  Not just because the roadway is full of hairpin turns but there are many spots where you are literally on the edge of cliffs and the roads have no shoulders.  We are pretty good at maneuvering our 6 feet 7-inch-wide Daisy on narrow roads but there were spots that had us a little nervous.  Like on many roads there are always those drivers that feel the speed limits are too slow for them and as they passed we would hold our breaths wondering if they would make it.  We were glad they did not go off the edge because there was no cell phone signal for us to call for help or places to pull over to lend a hand. 

From here we settled in at Cool Breeze campground  in Galax, Virginia .  This was a great little place and community.  The owner, Robert, and his mom were so friendly as they shared with us the events around the area.  It was also exciting because remember it was our first time hooking up to a main water supply to use our indoor plumbing. 

We’ll never forget the experience as we connected to the water supply and turned it on only to see water gushing out from behind a little panel on the side of the van.  As we looked with amazement we knew something wasn’t right.  We turned off the water main and upon examination realized the repair shop hadn’t closed the relief valve.  We tried again and out from the faucet flowed hot and cold water.  You would have laughed watching us standing there flushing the toilet knowing we wouldn’t be having to make any more late-night potty runs, lol.

Well this is it for today. We hope you come back and see how the trip unfolds as we share more of the USA Through Our Eyes. Until then be safe. 

 

usathroughoureyes
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  1. Peter Adewumi

    What I love in this post is the speed at which you move, it is safe, and thank God you have a little of plumbing knowledge, if not, that night would have been awful. Best Journey wishes! I’m seeing Daisy and Emma for the first time. Should I give the credit to Audrey or both Tom & Audrey?

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  2. deborahanndykeman

    The Blue Ridge Mountains…such beauty! You described it well. My husband and I did not have oohs and aahs on our trip through there. We were too busy biting our nails and trying to breathe! We had an older wagon, and the brakes were hot. We kept in constant prayer that we would make it to the bottom, on the road, and not down a hillside! lol We were passed by a couple tour buses. I think it would be something I would enjoy walking at a nice, slow pace. I love the stories of those that lived in those mountains back at the turn of the century. Hardy souls!

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you Deborah for you encouraging words of our travels along the BRP. It sure was a nail biter for us too. As we described there was either great shoulders along the road or shear cliffs. We too were in constant prayer which is most likely why you survived and we did too. In spite of it all we were in awe of Gods master landscaping plan in that region. There was a lot of history of the first settlers and it made us realize how fortunate we are to have running water, vehicles, heat and everything else. Glad you are along with us.

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  3. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

    I can imagine your emotions as your very first connection to the water looked like trouble – and your elation when it turned out to be a simple fix (including your glee as you turned water on and off and flushed the toilet). 🙂 Running water is one of the biggest blessings on earth, isn’t it? So glad to read that you are rich in water blessings.

    Emma looks grand indeed overlooking the vista. Wouldn’t you love to read her thoughts? Best wishes to Audrey on her upcoming trek. I’m sure she will take some way to photograph and I’m looking forward to reading and seeing her impressions of the experience.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

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  4. Always a Foreigner

    There really is nothing like the blue mountains. Endless rolling forests that stretch and stretch and stretch….words can’t desribe them. You have to see them for yourselves.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      This is so true. When we entered the BRH our heads were spinning. From sunrise to sunset and trail to trail the beauty was breath taking. Its great because you know because you saw it too in person.

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  5. Lingyun

    America is such a beautiful country. One day I hope to do a road trip across it! Gorgeous views, but those mountain roads can be terrifying.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Hi Lingyun. It is nice meeting you. Yes, America is beautiful and it will be exciting when you come. Your story sounds interesting too, going from Canada to China and back to Canada again. So happy having you with us.

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  6. Light Ministry Blog

    “There is such beauty waking to a sunrise over the Appalachian Mountains as you sip your coffee…” I’ll bet this was a spectacular experience! And it was well worth all the hairpin turns to get to the views! Such beautiful work which our Lord has done!

    Steve

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    • usathroughoureyes

      It was so beautiful Steve. There were so many constant moments when we could not see anything else but His hand. As we travel the roads we know it’s Him driving. So glad having a brother along with us on the journey, thank you.

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      • Light Ministry Blog

        It is my pleasure. I’m glad that you give God His due as you ponder the evidences of His handiwork…

        Steve

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      • usathroughoureyes

        We sure do. Without Him we wouldn’t be doing our travels. It is so great because everywhere we travel we are meeting Christians and having the blessing of praying with them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Light Ministry Blog

        It is very good that your share your faith so openly. May God bless and keep you safe in your travels!

        Steve

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        Thank you Steve. Yes we are open with it because its part of who we are. We have and continue to be a work in process and some days are great then there are those days that well…. lets just say His grace is awesome, lol.

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      • Light Ministry Blog

        We have all had several of those kind of days if we’ve attempted to share the Lord with others…

        Steve

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  7. Dippy-Dotty Girl

    The day I set my eyes on the Blue Ridge Mountains, I shall be a happy cookie. I have heard so much about them and they come across beautifully in your photographs and words. Smoky and dreamy. I only wish we had such a cute four-legged friend to take along with us 😉 xx

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  8. Tobias Mann

    Awesome adventure. I’ve heard about the Blue Ridge Parkway. I hope we get a chance to take it one day. I’d put an action camera on the front of the Jeep and record to experience. Great photos too. I was really blown away by the butterflies.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      You and Niecie would love it in the Blue Ridge area. Plenty of off road places the van just wouldn’t fit. We have thought of the go-pro idea to record some of the views on the roads we do go on. Glad you are with us.

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      • Tobias Mann

        You should invest in some kind of action camera if you don’t have one. I like Yi Action Cameras because they are so inexpensive and perform much better than the Amazon Special cheapies. I’d love to see some video!

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      • usathroughoureyes

        Thank you for recommending Yi Action. We know we need to make the addition to our camera family just to capture what we encounter. We’re glad you are along with us Tobias and Niecie.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you for your words of encouragement to us. There was so much to see and by the end of the day we couldn’t wait to rest and process it all. It seemed everywhere we went there was someone new to say hi to and learn about. Sounds like you are doing this too by meeting new acquaintances that may become good friends.

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  9. Gabe Burkhardt

    Loved the Blueridge Parkway! I lost count of the number of times the Trail crossed but loved every chance to pop out on the many vista overlooks (many with helpful signage) to admire the gorgeous views.

    Thanks for the virtual revisit.

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  10. Margaret from soulfood101blog

    Isn’t it beautiful! Glad you got the water figured out, and it was a simple thing, thanking God. Isn’t it amazing about the butterfly clusters. We got a couple of pictures of this ourselves when we were in the mountains.

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  11. robbiesinspiration

    That picture of the mountain is absolutely lovely. I would love to visit the US and we hope to do so next year. You really seem to find friendly people on your travels as well.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      This is exciting Robbie that you may be coming this way. There truly is much beauty to behold and contrary to news there are incredibly wonderful people willing to help in selfless ways.

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  12. TheresaBarker

    “no cell phone signal” – wow. This made me feel more optimistic about our land not be completely “settled” yet.

    “There is reason they are called the Blue Ridge Mountains and it’s because when the light reflects off them they are the most beautiful shade of blue only God and nature could create. ” <- This is perfect. I could completely imagine the view there, though I have not seen it yet.

    Thanks, Tom and Audrey!

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  13. Heide

    What a beautiful place! And what wonderful news that you eventually did get the water situation sorted. (It’s the little things, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. Laina Eartharcher

    Wow, I love your pictures!! Especially the localized downpour. We have a lot of that in TX, too 😁. The Blue Ridge Mountains look a lot like our TX Hill Country, without the desert aspect 👍🏼. So beautiful! I totally need to visit there. 💜💜

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  15. Ann McDunn

    This is great to reed and to see Tom and Audrey, but what I love the most of all is de photo with te beatiful butterflies, and ofcorse the Blue Ridge Mountain. Almost I forget the photo with Emma when see is looking out. With Louis Armstrong I say “It’s a wonderful world”, see you again.

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    • usathroughoureyes

      We are glad you are along with us Ann. It is always a joy reading your thoughts. There sure was some wonderful scenes on this journey. Yes, Louie Armstrong said it well…. “its a wonderful world”!

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      • Wandering Dawgs

        I’m so glad you are receiving inspiration from my posts. Blondie is our fourth lab and first yellow lab. We had a chocolate lab before her. We got her when she was 8 weeks old and she has been with us on all our RV travels. She’s 12 now and has slowed down quite a bit but she is always eager to go in the truck! She’s a great traveler.

        Liked by 1 person

      • usathroughoureyes

        You sure are an inspiration. Its always great following in the path that others have blazed. Labs are so versatile and the best part is they do travel well. Emma is 8 and we are just now noticing she is slowing down a bit. We hope Blondie sticks around a bunch more years, she’s a good mascot.

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  16. houstonphotojourney

    What sort of rv is this? Wow, your journey so far has been amazing! I’d love to see the mountains too! So stunning! Gosh, indoor plumbing must feel so much a treat! I love reading what y’all are up to!!

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  17. Bel

    The pictures of Blue Ridge Mountain looks so dreamy. I could stare at it forever! Wish I could see it in real life😊 The butterfly picture is pretty cool! Congratulations on being able to hookup water for the first time to your RV. I would be super excited as well! Those late night potty runs when camping kills me 😂

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    • usathroughoureyes

      Thank you Bel for your warm words of encouragement. Yes, when we got our first clear view of the BRM’s we were in awe. We’ve seen a lot of mountain views but this has got to be one of our favorites. We didn’t know what the butterfly’s were doing by the creek bed but they were intent on staying in place. They even fought off bees. And it was awesome not having to do that late night potty trip. Its the simple things in life we love, lol. It is nice having you with us on our journey to share it with.

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