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Blue Ridge Parkway - Pg. 5
July 1, 2007


One of the scenes I kept seeing when I was planning my Parkway tour was the picture below. I had seen pictures others had taken through bushes of rhododendron in the spring and surrounded by brilliant leaves in the fall and wanted to see it for myself.

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What's a viaduct anyway? Here's the official info from the visitor's center:

"A viaduct is a long bridge with a series of spans supported on piers. The Linn Cove Viaduct is 1243 feet long and 35 feet wide. The "S" curve roadbed rests upon seven vertical piers that are spaced about 180 feet apart. The roadbed is made up of 153 precast concrete sections held in place with wire cables and epoxy glue. No two sections are exactly the same and only one section (#93) is straight and square. Each section weighs nearly 100,000 pounds. Linn Cove Viaduct is the first in this country to incorporate progressive placement of sections. What this means is that the bridge is built upon itself. Workmen, materials and machines move back and forth on the completed bridge to place each successive section. Little or no damage is caused to the landscape over which the viaduct is being constructed."

So the bridge was engineered to wrap around the mountain instead of cutting into it to have the least impact on the fragile environment here. Very cool...

When I stopped at the Linn Cove visitor's center I asked the ranger exactly where I could get that shot and she said it wasn't easy to locate, but gave me directions to find it.
You have to drive across the viaduct and stop at the Yonahlossee Overlook pulloff. Then you walk back down this little path that's about 1/2 mile long. After crossing the road, there's a barely noticeable tiny rocky path that's a pretty good climb up onto some boulders that overlook the scene. My mom is too afraid of heights to get on the path, but she walked a ways along the guard rail for the sake of the views.
Here's an example of what she was looking at. The views of the road awaiting are pretty incredible, too, especially framed by the beautiful flowers.
Doesn't my mom look so happy to be here among the Mountain Laurel? She's about the only other person I know to love flowers and trees as much as I do. She taught me to be a tree hugger and the sight of these kind of flowery bushes can bring us both to tears of joy.
Back to getting to the Viaduct view - when I first got to the end and crossed the road, I took the wrong path that led underneath the Viaduct. Interesting, but not what I was looking for. I heard some people above and asked them how they got up there. They were nice enough to come down to road level to help me up to the boulder across from this one that had the view I wanted. Here they are laughing at me when I said getting up there was one thing but I was now too scared to get down. They were so sweet - the daughter came and held my camera and stuff while the father helped me off the boulder and back down the path. Just more examples of angels I've met along my journey...
When I got back to the pulloff, mom told me about her own brush with angels. Whenever there were things I wanted to do that she couldn't manage, she was happy to stay in the RV and read or sit outside enjoying the views. But when she wanted to get something out of the car, she used the key to unlock it instead of the remote which is the way I lock it. This makes the car think someone is trying to break in, so it starts sounding the horn alarm. She didn't know how to stop it and when a couple pulled over, she explained the dilemma. He asked if I had taken the remote and at first she didn't even know what he was talking about, but when she showed him what she had, he took the remote and pressed the button to stop the horn. She told him "I feel like a perfect idiot - I don't know what I would have done if I would have had to listen to that noise until she came back!" She profusely thanked him while he reached in his pocket and handed her a dime. He replied, "It's our pleasure - I want to give you this for letting us help you." My mom was flabbergasted and said "Why are you paying me for your helping me???" He replied, "It's just a little thing to help you remember to pass it along." I think this just blew her mind, but when they later returned from their walk, she thanked him again and laughingly said, "I've never heard of anyone doing what you did, but you're not getting your dime back - I'm going to keep it to remember your kindness." He laughed and said that was OK and that he wouldn't have taken it back anyway, but he did hope she would pass along the kindness. She was so excited when she told me this story and she made sure she kept that dime separate so she'd never forget. Isn't that just great?
Parkway - Page 6 (Mabry Mill)
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