“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S Elliot
Adventures with Pepper: Days 37
It was a cold morning in Ashville but it warmed up quickly. This last day’s drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway was the steepest, the road traveling up to 6,047 feet, just slightly less than half the altitude of the highest point of 12,183 feet on Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park, which I drove near the start of this meandering journey to Texas.
In addition to being the steepest, today’s colors were among the most brilliant, meeting all my expectations of catching Miss Appalachian in her finest autumn dress.I stopped for lunch at the 3,570 Stony Bald Overlook at the 402 mile marker, and looked out at layer upon layer of color and mountain ridges.
“Wow!” I said to Pepper as she chewed her pork-skin bone while I ate a peanut butter and orange marmalade sandwich.
Thirty-point-four miles, half a dozen stops and two hours later, Pepper and I were standing at the Richard Balsam overlook at that 6,047 feet for a zillionth replay of beauty and color.
“Where in Texas you from?” I heard a voice say from behind me. Because of my Texas license plates I heard those same words at least once a day on the parkway. Many of the speakers were Texans themselves.
I suspected the speaker probably wasn’t really interested in the answer. The question was just the icebreaker for sharing a few minutes of conversation with a stranger. It’s one of the rituals of traveling – a ritual I love.
Book Report: I wanted to skip reporting about Travels with Maggie today. I’m sure you know why. And today, after posting this, I have a 300-mile road trip to make, from Dallas to the Texas Gulf Coast via Interstate 45. I think I’ll be listening to an audible book as I hate freeways, but I have loved ones waiting for me at the end of the trip so the drive will be worth it.
Beans Pat: http://tinyurl.com/bzttg42 This one just seemed appropriate for today. My wish is that this time around the losers will help the winners do what is in the best interests of the country, and that the winners will put the interests of the country above personal ambitions or gain. OK. I’m a dreamer.