We had a free weekend. Finally! Obviously we had to make the best of it. On our wall we have a map of all the states that we have traveled to together and there was a nice little hole right in the middle of our coast states! We had been to every state on all sides of Tennessee but never stepped foot in the state together. I had been with my family previously (Memphis is my favorite) but Rose had never been at all. Well we live in North Carolina now so we don't have any excuse not to go!
We had always wanted to drive the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway. We pass the exit every time we head up North but have never taken it. Well this was the weekend!
There wasn't a cheap hotel available in Pigeon Forge, which neither of us had ever been to, so we decided to head to Cherokee, NC for a cheaper stay and then cross the state line the next day. You'd think the fact that all the hotels were booked up would have clued us in that this trip wasn't going to be the secluded mountain trip we had expected... Saturday morning, we headed out.
About two hours in we saw a sign that said "Downtown Historical Saluda" and decided to stop. I'm not really sure why we decided to stop but I'm really glad we did! Saluda was a cute little town nestled right into the mountains. We parked right off the main street and walked to all the shops. Saluda had the oldest grocery store in North Carolina which was still in operation! I really loved Saluda. Maybe Charlotte Motor Speedway will relocate!?
For those of you that don't know, we have nicknamed the GPS in my car "dummy," and believe me, it has earned the name. It always gets us where we want to go, just maybe not in the most efficient or painless way. This time it decided not to vocally tell us about an exit until we passed it. There I was, rocking out to the radio, when I hear the lovely word "recalculating." Love it... Anyways we had to take the next exit. On the map I could see the time left in the trip went up by a good bit and the road ahead looked very windy. Dummy was pulling another dummy move; or so I thought...
We took the next exit and saw the sign "Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway Ahead." Wooo! Dummy accidentally took us exactly where we wanted to go. Sometimes even dummies get lucky.
The drive was incredible. We took this trip at the perfect time of year. All the trees were changing colors and multicolored leaves were falling like snow. You could see for miles around. Mountains in every direction! The pictures can't nearly do it justice.
There were plenty of signs telling us to watch out for elk but, much to our dismay, we didn't see any.
He likes pizza.