Friday, July 15, 2011

A beautiful mountain ride ended with reality.......

At 5,729 feet, Mt. Rogers is the highest point in Virginia. Yesterday, it was our mission to get there, or as close as possible. There is no road, to the summit, so close meant "visually close". We left Hillsville, headed west on Hwy. 58, and soon saw a sign stating that Bristol,  VA was only 107 miles.  We discussed that this might be a new route (in our RV) when we started back home. After many miles of highway as "crooked as a dog's hind leg", with speed limit warnings of 15 mph, there were no more discussions of trying to navigate this road in a Motorhome!

Christmas Tree farms, with acres and acres of trees that seem to cling to the mountainside, dotted the landscape.

Looking east from Sugarland Overlook
in Grayson Highlands State Park, the
valley and, in the distance, the Blue
Ridge Mountains.

We stopped at Grayson Highlands State Park which borders Mount Rogers National Recreation Area on the south. There are 9 hiking trails in Grayson as well as access to almost 3 miles of the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine. 78 miles of the Appalachian Trail lies within the Mount Rogers NRA and is only 1/2 mile from the summit of the mountain.


The Virginia Creeper Trail,  a 34 mile hiking - biking trail converted from the Norfolk and Western Railway roadbed also traverses the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The trail starts in Abingdon, Virginia and ends near the North Carolina state line.

Ever so often, an old settler's cabin .....from days long past......would appear.

From the beauty of the mountains, the church steeples with the mountains as their backdrops, the creek beside the highway rushing over the rocks.......we were suddenly back to reality. The tornadoes that struck our towns in Mississippi and Alabama, in April, had made their way to the mountains of Virginia. Trees had been splintered, as if they were match sticks. Houses had been blown apart and leveled. Semi-trailers had been crumpled, as if they were toys in the hands of a child.

On one side of the, and on the other.......tragedy


  1. Boy if that doesn't remind you what life is all about. Part magic, part mess. In 1977, we went across country in a station wagon towing a 22 foot trailer. I can't recall which mountain it was, but we "climbed" a big one and when we got to the top, the ranger that worked there was astonished that my parents' car could tow a trailer up there and I don't think he'd ever seen one make it before. (Dad beefed up a "74 Country Squire that already had a 460 engine in it)
    We did have some break burning on the way back down that windy road though and my mom was sliding down in her seat trying to obscure her view over the side of the guardrails, which did not seem adequate when seeing those huge drops. Life has its scary, windy roads, doesn't it.

  2. Denise: Guess that's what makes it all worth living.....especially when one is on this "scary" journey that we've been forced to take.