Monday, August 31, 2015

Blue Ridge Parkway in August

After a lovely day exploring the quietness and tranquility at the bottom of a canyon at Natural Bridge, we enjoyed a leisurely quiet and tranquil drive home in the mountaintops via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Quiet and tranquility are rarely synonymous with driving, but it is possible in the Blue Ridge.

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Although the original vision of the parkway began in 1906, it took President Roosevelt becoming inspired after seeing Skyline Drive which had begun in 1931 for action to begin.  Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia suggested building a road to the Great Smoky Mountains to which President Roosevelt agreed. Under the 1930's New Deal programs, including the PWA, WPA, and the CCC work began. Initially men were paid 30 cents an hour for a 6 day work week.  The stone walls seen below were part of their heavy labor.
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Eventually 469 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway was built, extending from the southern end of Skyline Drive at Waynesboro, Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains. We have driven the Skyline Drive a few times but this was our first drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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The blue haze of the mountains are attributed to the lush vegetation. However for a more scientific answer, be sure to read this!


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Resources:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/75-years-of-the-blue-ridge-parkway-61889786/?no-ist=&page=2

http://docsouth.unc.edu/blueridgeparkway/about/about_parkway/parkway/

http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/upload/BLRImap1-1.pdf

http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/magazine/august-2004/why-is-the-blue-ridge-blue/


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