Journey Through North Carolina – Part 4

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

~ USA Through Our Eyes ~ Stories Told Through Words, Photographs, Videos and Sound

127 thoughts on “Journey Through North Carolina – Part 4

  1. Thank you Peter. God gets all the credit but its definitely a “both” thing. We are a team and both write, comment, photograph, read every post together, and overall maintain the site together. The fun of it is we are getting to know everyone’s names and who they are as people of God.

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Thank you so kindly for the generous thought. We humbly decline though because there are so many more sites out there more deserving. We hope you understand. Your following and that of others is the best award there is.

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  6. 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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  7. She comes back with some great stories and it always seems she has a ball pushing the edge of the envelope. Its not really funny but the poor woman returns home with bug bites on her bug bites. I guess the bugs in those hills are quite hardy, lol.

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  8. Yes 30 pounds is a load when you’re climbing them thar hills. Her strength is incredible. I so enjoy hearing of her tales when she returns. There is seldom a good signal where they go so I’m pretty much in the dark as to how she is fairing. Just gotta trust God has her in His sight. Yes, she smiles each time she reads one of Gabe’s post about the trail and she too attest to the wonderful folks on the trail.

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  9. Ah – her annual bonding ritual. And what a GREAT activity to share. Under 30 pounds sounds like quite the challenge – especially when you have to figure in pack weight, food, liquids, etc. – and balancing heft with pack-space. No wonder Gabe so reveres the Trail Angels.

    Will you be in contact as she hikes or will you have to wait to hear all about it only once she returns?
    xx,
    mgh

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  10. Hiking is one of our top pleasures in life and we are regularly on one trail or another. There is something about being in the outdoors that is so relaxing and exhilarating. The Appalachian Trail journey is Audrey’s annual bonding time in the wilds with her sister and brother. They have been doing it for a few years now and each year set the bar a bit higher. Its exciting to watch her preparing for the expedition and trying to keep the pack weight under 30 pounds.

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  11. There sure was that momentary… oh oh but we’ve been there a few other times in life so we stepped back, laughed and went about figuring it out. Emma was cute because as the water was streaming out she ran the other way. Yes, Audrey left this a.m. on her annual Appalachian trail walk. She’ll be grazing on nuts and berries but seeing wonderful scenes that I can’t wait to hear about.

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  12. So true. Pictures, video, etc cannot capture the true essence of being there. Its like driving by that BBQ place and the smells are wafting through the air. You can mentally taste it but until you place that fork full in your mouth it ain’t real.

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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. When you get there you’ll see the beauty our pictures are unable to capture. Yes the passing is always anxiety producing. We’re sure Ray is an excellent driver and don’t forget the real pilot has got ya covered.

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  17. 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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  18. “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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  19. 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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  20. It will be exciting when that day comes and you’ll see them in their splendor. Thank you for sharing with us how the photos, videos and words are coming through on your end. Emma is a cutie isn’t she.

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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. Isn’t this the truth Margaret. We get all twisted up with worry and its usually for nothing, thank God. Yes, wasn’t that neat how the butterfly bunched up like that. You know the beauty of that region having toured it a few times don’t you.

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  27. “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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. When we were looking we just wanted simple and one that could get us everywhere. This one fits on a main street or narrow back roads. They are out there but we found that people hang on to them once they get em.

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  31. 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

  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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.

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  35. Thank you for being with us on our journey through NC. What a state with so much eye candy. This is our 2012 RoadTrek. Its basically a travel van on steroids. Has all the creature comforts we need and allows us to venture off the main roads to see the inner workings of America. The best-est part is having folks like you with us and being able to learn by viewing their blog sites. Your recent series of photos on the egrets was phenomenal.

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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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 😂

    Liked by 4 people

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