Autumn Scenic Drive on Asheville’s Blue Ridge Parkway
I’ve passed this sign off Hendersonville Road in Asheville, near Biltmore Village dozens of times: “Parkway”. One crisp September morning, I finally turned on it. What a great turn! In thirty seconds I felt transported into the heart of Mother Nature and I hadn’t even left my car. This canopy of trees went on for miles and miles —469 miles to be exact. Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park and runs through 29 counties from North Carolina to Virginia. It was so gorgeous and I thought more than once how silly it was that in all these years I hadn’t done this until now. I was curious to see if any of the leaves had started to surrender to autumn and let go of the summer I wasn’t ready to say good bye to. And indeed I saw some specks of red swooshing by so I stopped to take pictures and document: September 20, on the eve of the first day of Autumn 2014. I made a mental note to come back in one month’s time to document.
Fast forward, October 22. On a flight from Charlotte back to Asheville I had a chat with a woman that had grown up in the Smokey Mountains and she remembers her mother telling her what makes leaves turn those brilliant deep oranges and reds: a good frost. She went on to explain that this is the main reason why the foliage this 2014 Fall Season has more subdued red tones and a lot of yellow- no frost. As we both gazed out of the airplane window of the mountains this seemed to be true. The next day I drove the same stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway that I had taken a month earlier and despite what appears to be signs of global warming, the changing of the leaves is still breath-taking. Come stay with us at Asia Bed and Breakfast Spa and you can hop onto the Blue Ridge Parkway in less than fiifteen minutes. Speed limit is 45 mph and you can park on the shoulder. Here’s a great article from Romantic Asheville that gives great picnic spots and points of interest like the Folk Art Museum and Craggy Gardens Hiking Trail.