RWR Day 11 – Memorial Weekend Cookout

Today's run/walk started near Fancy Gap at Milepost 200 and ended in North Carolina at Milepost 221. The route took Rhonda and me through "old stomping grounds" since her family lived in Galax when we met in 1976 and I spent the summer of 1977 in Galax. In addition to the "old" sites, the Blue Ridge Music Center was along the way.

Day 11 Run

The best part of today's run was having Joel McCutchen running along the way. He has taken up marathon and ultra running in the past year. He could not have been a better running partner. I surely hope to see him again.

Heat crushed this run. Temperatures reached the lower 80. Florida readers think that's chilly but it's a killer for guys that are accustomed to 50s and 60s. Sun was unrelenting. My criteria for running (instead of walking) after mile 15 was: 1) relatively flat, 2) shaded, 3) no significant slope in the road. I bet only about .5 miles fit that criteria. The climb up Cumberland Knob made little difference; I would have walked regardless. Then Rhonda was a little late getting to me; so, I went an extra mile. It was a long day. Here's the details...

Church where Rhonda's Dad Preached in 1978.
Church where Rhonda's Dad Preached in 1978.

A little nostalgia... Rhonda and I started dating in 1976. Her dad was a minister at a church in Galax, and SOMEHOW, I got the job of Summer Youth Minister there in 1977. We dated along this section of the Parkway including picnics at Cumberland Knob. Galax will always be a special place--and it's still a neat town. Here's the church where her father preached, just 4 miles from the Parkway on Route 89.

Photos and Video

The App Ortho Photo of the Day

Panoramic View from Fox Hunter's Paradise
Panoramic View from Fox Hunter's Paradise

We placed today's photos on From BRPWeather.Com, zoom into the map to see our photos between the NC/VA line and Fancy Gap. By the way, you can upload your photos to also; just click on the Photo link and follow the process--it's quick and easy!

The Blue Ridge Music Center was in full operation with bands unloading and ready to begin a weekend of music. Here are a couple of photos.

musiccenter1  musiccenter2

We made 3 videos: The Start, The Entry into North Carolina, and The End at Milepost 221

Location Information

Glade Valley Bed and Breakfast
Glade Valley Bed and Breakfast
 We rest tonight in a wonderful spot--Glade Valley Bed and Breakfast. In fact, as I type, I'm sitting on the huge front porch of this beautiful log house. Jim and Margaret Connor are gracious hosts. Quiet, cool air awaits. Within walking distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway and less than 7 miles from Sparta, North Carolina, the Inn is nestled on 29 acres of beautiful mountainside featuring tall pines, walking trails, and great mountain views.

As we entered North Carolina, we arrived in Alleghany County. Sparta, as the county seat has a number of event coming this summer and fall:

  • - The annual Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention is July 15 & 16 at the county fairgrounds
  • - The annual Blue Ridge Mountain Arts & Crafts Fair is July 22 & 23 at Crouse Park, Sparta
  • - The annual Historic US 21 Road Market is July 29, 30, & 31 (originated in Sparta)  
  • - The annual Mountain Heritage Festival is September 17

Congressman Bob Doughton was instrumental in bringing the Blue Ridge Parkway to Alleghany County. Doughton Hall (former home of the congressman) has been restored and now serves as a Bed & Breakfast in Laurel Springs, just 2 miles from the Parkway.

On September 11, 1935, construction first began on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Low Gap, NC, in Alleghany County.


Speaking of Congressman Doughton, the Day 12 run ends in the park named in his honor. It will be relatively difficult day with 2653 feet of climbing...

4 Comments on “RWR Day 11 – Memorial Weekend Cookout

  1. Been watching for your post this evening. Interesting area all around you today. Lots of memories in that section.

  2. We are enjoying following your journey each day. The pictures are awesome of the mountains. Wishing you a safe journey.

  3. Thanks Ray and Ronda, you guys are wonderful people, enjoyed meeting you both. Enjoy the journey.

  4. Really enjoy following along online- good luck! I can chip in a few miles through Blowing Rock (Tuesday?) if you’re not accompanied- let me know…

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