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... https://connect.
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
We placed today's photos on http://www.BRPWeather.com/. 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 BRPWeather.com 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.
We made 3 videos: The Start, The Entry into North Carolina, and The End at Milepost 221
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.