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“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” – John Steinbeck
In August 2008, a slide near Craggy Pinnacle closed a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Unlike slides that bury a road in debris, this slide occurred under the road and weakened the roadbed, a much more difficult issue to fix. You can see the damage in this picture we took last September from Craggy Pinnacle.
So we were very excited when the National Park Service announced that they were reopening one lane of the road. Even the Asheville Citizen-Times ran an article about some of the trails which would be accessible again. So we took off Sunday morning to enjoy one of the trails.
Just one technical problem. Due to a repaving project, every single parking area – except Craggy Pinnacle and Craggy Visitors Center – is closed through the area for storage of equipment and supplies for a 15 mile long repaving project. And this area of the parkway is also a part of a restricted watershed that does not allow for parking except in designated areas. Yep, the trails are open but you can’t park anywhere to access them. Hrmph!
Understand, we have tremendous respect for the National Park Service, particularly the men and women of the Blue Ridge Parkway. They are woefully underfunded and stretched very, very thin. And this repaving project is desperately needed because of the tremendous number of potholes on this stretch of the road (most of which runs at 4000-6000 foot elevations, so is constantly covered in snow and ice). But we really wish we had known that we could not park before making the long drive over.
And to make things even more fun, Mother Nature was not cooperating. The rain was pouring down and the fog settled in. We did go to the top of Craggy Pinnacle, mainly because the dogs were going stir crazy and needed some sort of exercise.
Natasha exploring the rock wall at the pinnacle
Kiska exploring the mud to play in
After that, we drove back to Waynesville and walked around the city park trail, but more pictures on that later this week. The weather is not promising to cooperate today, but we are still headed for a good challenging trail this morning.
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