Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 28

The parkway's iconic fencing
is in various states of repair.

Story and photos by ELIZABETH HUNTER

The road
is superbly
engineered so
that, despite its
curves and ups
and downs, by
adhering to its 45
mph speed limit,
you fall into its
rhythm.
28

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

M

id-June, mid-week, onto
the Blue Ridge Parkway at
8:45 a.m., from its intersection with U.S. 421 near
Boone, North Carolina,
headed north. My plan: to
travel the 100 or so miles
between two bridges I wrote articles about
for this magazine, whose construction
was necessitated by the four-laning of U.S.
highways in North Carolina and Virginia.
The Blue Ridge Parkway's stone bridges are
one of the iconic features that distinguish
travel along its 469 miles from your ordinary driving experience. These bridges,
though recent, retained the stone facing.
The trip would also take me past miles of
split rail fencing, distinctive stone guardwalls, and places of particular historical
and cultural significance.
It wasn't, by any means, a return after a
long absence to the most visited national
park in the system. I live within a half hour
of the parkway, and take it whenever time

allows me, on trips to Asheville or Boone,
and, several times a year, to visit friends
who live near Rockfish Gap at its northern
terminus, in Virginia. Occasionally I make
a long day trip in the other direction, to
its end near Cherokee, to enjoy its most
spectacular scenery. But on this particular
June day I wanted to think about the parkway in the concentrated way I had during
the years I was writing about it for books,
newspapers and for this magazine.
A week or so before my sojourn I lunched
with Gary Johnson, its chief planner and
landscape architect before he retired in
2011. During the years I was writing about
the parkway, he was my go-to parkway
contact. He had led me to rich sources in
parkway archives of information about
landscape architect Stan Abbott, hired at
age 25, a few years out of Cornell University, to oversee the parkway's creation.
During the winter of 1934, Abbott,
who became the parkway's first super-


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover4
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