Of Mice and Men

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



Cheoah exploring the possibility of jumping on Kodiak’s back

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.


  1. Steve & Kat on May 31, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I really want to know if Kiska got to play in the mud and if Cheoah jumped on top of Kodiak! You left me hanging. Maybe that’s the story for tomorrow.


  2. NCmountainwoman on May 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    We haven’t been up since Craggy re-opened. I think we will wait ’til the tourist season is over now. Loved the dogs on the rocks.

  3. Mochi on May 25, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Too bad about the parking. You guys always go to such cool places! 🙂


  4. Huffle Mawson on May 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Sometimes the things we want to do are not the things we are allowed to do. That happens a lot to me! I want a lot of ham but I’m not allowed to have a lot of ham. Hmpf.

    Huffle Mawson

  5. princess eva on May 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I see that all of the girls were brave and wanted to walk on the rock wall. But be careful, you might hurt the boys if you fall on them.

    Princess Eva

  6. brownie on May 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    WOW! That is such a bootiful view. 🙂 Too bad the weather and the parking weren’t cooperating.

  7. Woodrow, Sweetie & MJ Campanella on May 25, 2009 at 11:28 am

    wow gorgeous scenery – that must make for beautiful walkies – we live in the city so we walk in the park but it isnt as pretty

    Woodrow Sweetie MJ

  8. Denns the Vizsla on May 25, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Oh, it’s gorgeous out there! We very nearly moved to Asheville before we moved to San Diego instead, and our 1997 Shenandoah vacation is still our favorite. Bummer about the parking — definitely something that should have been mentioned!

  9. Khyra on May 25, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I THOUGHT I smell wet fur from the south!


  10. maxx on May 25, 2009 at 10:31 am

    cool trails!

  11. the Army of Four on May 25, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Jumping on Kodiak’s back sounds great to me! It’s an all-weather activity!
    Play bows,

  12. Storm Glory on May 25, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Aw that bites about the parking. Hopefully the weather will cooperate today and you can all go have lots of fun.

  13. Ozzie on May 25, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I wanna come! You guys always look like you take the best outings. I’m hoping that I’ll get to go to the dog park today! It’s been raining a lot in Georgia, too. So everything is kind of yucky. Perfect for rolling around and getting dirty, though 🙂


  14. The OP Pack on May 25, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Very brave indeed. That looks very scary to us. We hope Cheoah changed his mind about that jump.

    Woos, the OP Pack

  15. Biloxi and Siber-sibs on May 25, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Woo are furry brave climbing dem rocks. I might be a wittle scared on dem.
    Happy tails, I mean trails.

    Husky kisses,

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