Riding The Blue Ridge Parkway

I spent last week at the 3D Systems headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Normally I wrap up all my work in the week so that I can use the week ends to travel from and to India. However, due to the way my meetings were scheduled this time I was forced to spend the weekend here. I decided that I wasn’t going to spend it in my hotel room.

So I rented a Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic from the dealer in nearby Charlotte and decided to ride, now knowing exactly where. I had a general direction in mind which seemed to point towards the Blue Ridge Parkway, known as “America’s Favorite Drive”. It’s a 750 km long road atop the mountains connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Its a rider’s paradise. Long winding roads with breathtaking views going on and on and on.

My GPS decided that the best place for me to hit the parkway was at a village called Blowing Rock, 170 kms away from the Charlotte Harley-Davidson dealership from where I rented the Heritage Classic. So I rode to Blowing Rock, hopped on to the parkway and headed north. Here are some pictures.

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The parkway has no commercial activity on it whatsoever. No coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, nothing. You need to get off the parkway to get into a village and hope to find something. I was running low on fuel and took an exit at a village called Glendale Springs. The place was pretty much deserted. I was lucky to find a gas station and topped up the tank of my bike.

By this time it became apparent to me that I couldn’t make it back to the Harley dealership to return the bike. It would take me at least two hours to get there and they would be closed by then. So I decided to turn around and head back to Blowing Rock and spend the night there. I remember seeing hotels and restaurants at Blowing Rock.

Earlier in the day, as I was riding from Carlotte to Blowing Rock, I caught a couple of thunderstorms along the way and was drenched from head to toe.

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After riding a total of around 270 kms and braving thunderstorms I badly needed a hot bath. So I checked into the Holiday Inn at Blowing Rock and did exactly that. I wandered around the sleepy village and had dinner which comprised of frog legs and trout.

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I woke up next morning, had a quick breakfast and hit the Blue Ridge Parkway again, this time riding south. Here are some more pictures.

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After I had my fill of the Blue Ridge Parkway I decided to head back to Charlotte. I’m now back in my hotel in Rock Hill reliving the ride as I type this blog post.

In all I rode around 600 kms between yesterday and today. In one of my posts on Facebook I mentioned that as I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway I was as happy as a dog sticking out his head from a car window. I truly felt that way. 😉

  • holmes sigerson

    Awesome ride!!! See you in India!!!