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Author Topic: Blue Ridge Parkway October 2013  (Read 1248 times)
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« on: October 14, 2013, 05:26:28 pm »

Here we are enjoying the mostly empty Blue Ridge Parkway. Gorgeous color. No traffic.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 05:29:41 pm by 2 Frazzled » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 05:35:43 pm »

Holly is the parkway open during the goverment shut down?

Great pictures by the way.
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 09:16:10 pm »

Awesome pictures,indeed!   ThumbsUp Love this time of year.  Only about two weeks till our delivery! Excited, to say the least.
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 06:43:14 am »

Pic with reflection in the pond is great!Last time we did the Blue Ridge Parkway we had our 38'Mobile Suites.We had to use the tow vehicle to traverse the parkway as we couldn't make it through the tunnels and bridges.
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 06:55:22 am »

Yes Tom, the Blue Ridge Parkway is open during shutdown HOWEVER the facilities are not. Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park has only a few road access points so they gated those and you cannot drive in. Blue Ridge has far too many access points so it is open. We saw one ranger in 200 miles and probably fewer than 200 other vehicles. There are concessionaires that have successfully lobbied the government to be allowed to reopen. So far we passed a trading post (gift shop) right on the parkway and the Mabry Mill restaurant/gift shop which just re-opened two days ago. I read that an Inn and Restaurant in NC (Pisgah Inn I think) defied the shutdown since they lease the property but the rangers blocked access to their parking lot and they had to shut down. The owner filed suit and was open again before long. We plan to eat there as a show of support. All campgrounds are shut down so we are camping nearby. So far only one campground was full. Most are pretty empty. It's a slow, twisty, up and down, sometimes foggy, and BEAUTIFUL drive.
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 07:41:39 am »

I forgot, there is a visitor center outside of Roanoke that is open and has a really nice, really big, three-dimensional map of the Blue Ridge Parkway as well as other exhibits, travel brochures and a gift shop. It is down a spur road so even the few people on the parkway don't realize it's open. It's privately operated so somehow they got the park service to leave the access road open. All the park operated historical buildings and the restaurant at the site are closed. We are now in Boone, NC and will be playing around here for a bit before rolling south so I don't know what else is open below Mile Marker 220. Note that all the park operated pull offs that have a gate are closed. This includes picnic areas, loop roads (like the one up Roanoke Mountain), etc. Most of the visitor center parking is just open drive in lots so people are pulling in those and walking the trails and grounds. I saw orange cones set to the side at one visitor center and figure the rangers were told to set them out and then someone came along and moved them out of the driveway. With the Phoenix, we don't need the restrooms and restaurants (though we would have happily given our money to the park in exchange for food and camping) so we are quite content on our journey.
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 10:06:41 am »

Thanks Holly, I had heard that skyline drive was closed. So much for the fact that the national parks belong to the people of America. NPS seems to think they own them, not just protect them.
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 01:09:54 pm »

   nice shots Holly, wish we were along.
   Safe trip.
,
    Frank
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 06:00:42 pm »

I tried to access Skyline Drive at Front Royal last week and the gates were closed. I assumed the whole thing was shut down. Guess not!
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 07:29:53 am »

I tried to access Skyline Drive at Front Royal last week and the gates were closed. I assumed the whole thing was shut down. Guess not!

Shenandoah National Park, which Skyline Drive runs through, is closed. Any roads in the park with a gate have been locked off. People are still accessing hiking trails and areas that cannot be easily blocked off.

Blue Ridge Parkway, the road only, is open. If you are in the area and want to see beautiful colors, I recommend heading out because most of the other people stayed home. I've NEVER been on it with so little traffic and that includes times of extreme fog. You can get in and out of the overlooks with ease and most of the time you are the only one there. It is now hitting peak color on many areas of the parkway so it is a great time to go. Most of the parkway runs through National Forests. Their campgrounds and facilities are also closed but the forest roads and hiking trail access points are open and in use. I would advise caution due to hunting season. We carry dorky blaze orange vests (Walmart) to wear in ANY woods during hunting season. They fold up small and live in our hiking pack ALL the time. Just because hunting is not allowed where you are, does not mean a hunter's bullet stops at the property line.

I feel sorry for the rangers. They are under orders to block access to the places they have spent their whole careers caring for and sharing with the public. If you see one, please be kind. We've heard of some nastiness directed toward the rangers that are just doing their jobs. And think how much it must aggravate to be that one guy we saw working. There he is getting hated by the public, not allowed to do what he loves to do AND all his coworkers get extra free, paid vacation.
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 08:22:00 am »

Amen, Holly exactly!

It's Love A Ranger Day Heart Shower
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 05:28:32 pm »

 Heart Shower The gates are open! We just hopped up onto the parkway to check and the gates to picnic areas and campgrounds are open. We move up into the park tomorrow. We spoke to a very happy, very helpful ranger and watched as campers started pulling in. YEE HA!
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2013, 10:29:12 am »

very nice,,,  do you  think it was not crowded due to the shut down??  how are the temps,,, nice and cool?   were planning this trip next fall  going to do a civil war memorial trip and hit the parkway on the way back,,, I only travel in the fall and spring,,, like cool weather and like crowds less...haha
sparky
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2013, 11:29:34 am »

Was at the southern end of the parkway just a week ago after the govern. opened up again, and traffic was real bad.  In a MH it was not the right place to be. Only spend one day driving from Cherokee to Marysville and stayed overnite  there..
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2013, 07:32:30 pm »

The weekends have been crazy busy on the parkway since the government reopened, and that includes Friday all day (a lot of people playing hooky). The other days have been great. It was empty the entire week due to the shutdown but traffic is still light mid-week with everything open again. Remember that this is October - FALL COLOR season so it is the busiest month of the year for the Blue Ridge and people leave their common sense at home. We've seen people stop dead in the road, get out and take pictures with 20 cars lined up behind them. There are also a lot of close calls pulling in and out of the overlooks and just plain stupid parking maneuvers. We decided to work on the weekends or play at local towns and festivals and travel the parkway Monday-Thursday. That has worked well for us.
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