RWR Day 13 – Thank You Bonnie

First, tomorrow's Memorial Day run will be dedicated our son-in-law, 1Lt Jonathan Edds, who was killed in action in Baghdad, August 17, 2007. More about that tomorrow.

Today's run was was relatively easy by Blue Ridge Parkway standards (for my Florida running friends however, translate to horrendously steep!). Tropical Storm Bonnie was our friend providing overcast skies and cooler temperatures, but no rain during the run. The best part was having company, at the beginning and end.

Day 13 Run

Cloudy skies, cooler temperatures and less severe terrain made a less difficult run than may of our days. I had a 3-mile stretch of just relaxed running with a gentle 1% downhill grade--ahhh! But I took today's run a little farther so it would be easier to finish at Grandview Overlook near Parkway School. We started near Milepost 240 in Doughton Park and ended at Milepost 261.3 at the intersection of Hwy 16 and the Parkway. Here are the details. In case you are wondering, the left leg still hurts.

I started the day with Donny McCall. Donny and his wife own Perrycraft, Inc. in Sparta. Perrycraft manufacturers automobile luggage racks, roof rails, and truck bed rails among other products. Donny also invented Invis-A-Rack. I had no idea how famous he was--he was on Sharktank in Season 3. Here's a video about his product. But in addition to all that, Donny is a great guy, I was privileged to run with him for the first 5 miles. I don't have pictures but you can meet Donny in the Starting Video.

Sonny Church, helped me at the end. Sonny owns Brushy Mountain Water in Wilkesboro, NC. He was nice enough to come up to run the last mile and then take me back to my car, 21 miles to the north. You ask, "why didn't you just run back?" Yeah right! Sonny even brought me the "awesomest" brownie ever to put some carbs back into the system.

Photos and Video

The App Ortho Photo of the Day

"Ice Rocks" where ice formations in the winter are amazing.
"Ice Rocks" where ice formations in the winter are amazing.

We placed today's photos on Click on the link, then zoom the Google Map into the area between Doughton Park and Hwy 16 to see our photos. 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!

By the way, BRPWeather.Com has two weather stations along today's route: at Doughton Park (called the Bluffs Station) and at the Laurel Ridge Station located at beautiful Laurel Ridge Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center. Initially our plans were to stay at Laurel Ridge Saturday night; however, we needed to be in Boone Saturday night. We thank them for their willingness to let us stay, and it is a beautiful spot.

Laurel Ridge Conference Center
Laurel Ridge Conference Center

Here are the starting and ending videos...

 Parkway Attractions and History

Doughton Park is a beautiful area with scenic overlooks, the Brinegar Cabin with demonstration of local crafts, hiking trails, and so much more. Locals mourn the closing of the restaurant and the lodge. Hopefully someday, they can be reopened.
After the descent from Bluff Mountain, a pleasant valley run was enjoyed. South of Hwy 21, there's a climb up to Sheets Gap, which also provides great overlooks. The Mountain to Sea Trail paralleled most of my route today. Just before Hwy 16, at the end of today's run, Northwest Trading Post has crafts and gifts, and Jumpinoff Rocks Overlook provides more great views (where mountains are so inspiring, you want to jump off the rocks and into the mountains).
Northwest Trading Post
Northwest Trading Post
Tomorrow, I'll have photos from Glendale Springs and the attractions there.


Many of you know that we lost our son-in-law, 1LT Jonathan Edds on August 17, 2007 in Baghdad. My Memorial Day run will be in his memory. The run will be more difficult than today with 3098 feet of climbing and a max elevation over 4000'. We start at Hwy 16, cross Deep Gap, and end at Grandview Overlook near Parkway School. Here are the details of the plan... We'll start at 9 AM for the potential for some surprise visitors at the end.

2 Comments on “RWR Day 13 – Thank You Bonnie

  1. Ray, Alvin and I have watched you as you run …………….some in rain…………others otherwise. We are watching you from Happy, Texas and think you are going great. We are having 20 people in tomorrow for a cookout after we have an Memorial meeting here. Stay strong! Blessings!

  2. We hope your day started off well, Ray! We are excited to see how today’s run ends! 🙂 From – Mrs. Lacy’s Fourth Grade at Parkway School

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