Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 33

get "The Bluffs" renamed for him, also
counter to parkway policy.
With the buildings at the heart of the
park closed, and no one around, Doughton Park felt abandoned, though I found
a few visitors making their way down to
Brinegar cabin. Buckwheat bloomed and a
bright patch of flax claimed pride of place
in the little demonstration garden.
From the cabin, it was another 20 miles
to Cumberland Knob, where parkway
construction began in September 1935,
and where, 50 years later, I'd covered the
50th anniversary celebration. That event
occurred on a shining fall day, and attracted a sizable crowd liberally sprinkled
with politicians and parkway luminaries,
past and present. A son of President Franklin Roosevelt, who had devised the makework project that linked Shenandoah and
Great Smoky Mountains national parks,
had been in attendance. Today, parkway
presence is limited to interpretive signage.
Restrooms are open during the season, but
sills in the shuttered visitor center are rotting; asphalt walkways are flaked and pit-

Inevitably, the parkway is part
of the beast they're starving.
ted; grass grows between flagstones. This
kind of problem now plagues even heavily
used parkway areas. A day or two before
my trip, a story appeared in the Asheville
Citizen headlined "Is Craggy Gardens
Picnic Area Falling Apart?" An accompanying photograph showed a toppled
concrete picnic table. Text mentioned rotted benches and moldy bathrooms. It's
not just the parkway that's suffering. The
maintenance backlog for the entire park
system exceeds $11 billion.
This is what Gary Johnson was talking
about, I thought, when he said our love
for our national parks doesn't extend to
paying for them. I thought about politicians who pride themselves on "starving

the beast." Inevitably, the parkway is part
of the beast they're starving. Why would
anyone bandy about an ugly metaphor
like that-as a positive-talking about our
government? To starve an actual beast is
against the law, and an act of cruelty.
At Cumberland Knob and Craggy
Gardens, in Doughton Park's picnic area,
where fences and stiles through which the
Mountains-to-Sea Trail passes are falling
apart, and in countless other places, this
museum of the American countryside
now includes displays of our unwillingness to pay to protect our national legacy.
Will we be content to let this park, created
in times far more dire than our own, by
men with foresight and vision, deteriorate

TAKE A HIKE IN

Madison County!

Don't waste your vacation days behind a desk!
Come Crush Friday in Madison and hike, fish, go for
a wine or beer tasting, learn some history, take an
art class and enjoy the weekend at a
festival or listen to a band.
Stay in a B&B, cabin,
camper, RV Lodge,
vacation rental
house, tent or even
a luxurious yurt!

MADISONVA.COM

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

33


http://taubmanmuseum.org/Drive http://www.MADISONVA.COM

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
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 29
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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
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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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