As every mile of the Blue Ridge Parkway winds along the ridgeline of the mountains, it’s remarkable to realize that nobody has ruined it.  How un-American of us. Every twist in the road is beautiful if perhaps carsickness-inducing and the views of lush valleys and nearby mountains are stunning as long as you don’t forget to keep your eyes on the road now and then. The lack of concessions and convenience mile after mile is awesome. No plastic or vinyl or neon for hours at a time. It’s as if someone wants you to pay attention to where you are and doesn’t expect you to buy anything. Weird. 

Back when both of us could amble, we moseyed on and stopped at Mabry Mill at mile marker 176.2, and ambled along the trail there to live in the past just a bit–another of the parkway’s charm is it encourages you to pay attention to what where you are used to be, too–mills and log flumes and railroads and farms and such.


 I am not the brightest bulb,so this was the first time I actually sort of understood what purpose a log flume actually had in the real world. You mean it’s not just an old-timey roller coaster that gets people wet?

no fake log canoes in sight

Did I think those country log flume builders in days of yore were just ahead of their time, waiting for Disney World and Kings Dominion to come up with a ticketing and photo-taking system that would make the flumes economically viable? I’m a simplistic sort–I just like getting splashed at the bottom of the chute. I did behave myself at Mabry Mill and did not jump into the flume on a makeshift raft to see what would happen–my cause-effect sensor was operating that day so I had a pretty good idea of the potential fall-out, so to speak.