Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 32

Wooden siding panels are
rotting on the closed visitor
center at Cumberland Knob.
Signage has replaced people
presence where parkway
construction began in 1935.

Elizabeth Hunter
on the Parkway:
There's Much
More to Read
Over her many years of serving as
columnist and contributing editor to
Blue Ridge Country, Elizabeth Hunter
contributed dozens of articles on
the parkway. Here is a list of a few of
them, most with connections to the
accompanying piece. You can read
them at BlueRidgeCountry.com/
ElizabethParkway
 "Of Chestnut Orchards and the
Comforts of Home," J/F 2003 column
about the housekeeping cabins.
 "Protecting a Vision and a Fine
Planning Hand," J/A 2003 article
about Stan Abbott, and a sidebar. "A
Tale of Two Bridges."
 "A Meditation on Doughton
Park," S/O 2003 article.
 "The Mabrys of Mabry Mill," J/A
2004 article.
 "Agricultural Leases: Preserving
the Blue Ridge Parkway's Farming
Scene," N/D 2004 article with a sidebar on the fencing.
 "Parkway Stone Bridges and
Guide Walls: Will They Survive?" N/D
2005 article.
 "Mending Fences," J/A 2008
article about using pressure-treated
poplar to replace the original chestnut rails.
 "Not Just Another
Road," M/A 2010 article
about parkway design.
 "Something There is
That Doesn't Love a Wall,"
M/J 2010 article about the
guard wall restoration.
 "The Times They Are AChangin'," N/D 2010 article
about parkway amenities-
campgrounds, picnic areas:
old facilities/new realities.

32

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

countryside." The day of my trip, the museum's seasonal exhibit involved haying-
in its modern guise. Long gone are the
picturesque haystacks of historic parkway
photographs. Tall grass grown heavy with
seed still drooped in some fields, but elsewhere every step of the harvesting process
was evident. Grass dried where it had fallen; was coaxed into windrows; rolled into
bales; and hoisted onto flatbeds for hauling and storage. Mowers were at work on
the parkway right-of-ways; my car filled
with the rich fragrance of just-cut grass every time I passed them. I kept an eagle eye
out for cyclists; for fawns not quite able to
keep up with their bounding mothers; for
bunnies, groundhogs and slow-moving
turtles. I readied myself to hit the brakes
to make way, if not for ducklings, for hen
turkeys leading their excitable chicks toward greener pastures.
And to avoid teeth-rattling drops
into potholes. For there are potholes,
and they're devilishly hard to see in
dappled light, of which the parkway has

aplenty. Though parts of the roadway
are resurfaced every year, budgetary constraints-it would take nearly a half-billion dollars to eliminate the parkway's
maintenance backlog-assure potholes'
continued presence.
I reached Doughton Park by mid-morning, and was surprised to find the visitor center closed, less so to see that the
sandwich shop, where I used to stop for
a hamburger or fried chicken after hiking the park's network of trails, was padlocked. Efforts are underway to reopen
the sandwich shop, built in 1949 and in
operation for more than 60 years. The
Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is trying
to raise a quarter million dollars to add
to $350,000 appropriated last year by
the North Carolina general assembly for
building repairs, and $300,000 from the
Appalachian Regional Commission for
equipment and furniture.
A sign told me that restrooms in the
picnic area were open "after hours." (I
subsequently learned that "after hours"
includes Tuesdays and Wednesdays until the season ends on Oct. 28.) There
wasn't a soul in the picnic area. For old
time's sake I drove out past the longclosed lodge, where I'd stayed a few
times. It's beautifully situated among the
park's airy upland pastures. No one was
out at Wildcat Rocks where I stopped at
the plaque that friends of Congressman
Doughton erected in his honor, though
parkway policy discouraged such efforts.
Those friends must have been as mulish
as Farmer Bob, because they managed to


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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
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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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