Blue Ridge Parkway – Day 3: Peaks of Otter

 

We traveled the entirety of the Blue Ridge Parkway, also known as America’s Highway that run from Virginia to Cherokee, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles that highlights some of the state’s most scenic views, with the highest mountain ranges being in North Carolina.

Day 1: Hitting the Road!

Day 2: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

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Day 3: Peaks of Otter

Day 4: Mabry Mill  and Mount Airy, Birthplace of Andy Griffith

Lots more of our Blue Ridge Parkway travel destinations here!

We survived the night camping in the tent! It actually didn’t get “that” cold. Don’t get me wrong, yes it was cold, but not freezing to the point of using the heater (well, ok, the heater would have been nice in the middle of the night once the temperature really dropped, but that’s ok! We’re a tough bunch!)

This was Peaks of Otter Campground, mile marker 86 in Virginia along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

While Lover Boy made breakfast the kids and I kept busy by…

letting Laughing Coyote drive! 🙂 (Only when parked!) Once we were all packed up and ready to go we hit the road, we had a lot of miles to cover. It was a beautiful day!! 

We drove down the Parkway to Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant. 

The service at this place was beyond horrible. I typically feel really bad for saying stuff like this, but honestly our waitress was so bad! From her attitude, to us having to ask for menus, to our food being brought when we were in the bathroom (making it freezing cold when we finally go to it), to her never coming back to check on us during the meal, to us having to ask another waitress to bring us what we needed, etc. We were just really disappointed. Oh and we weren’t able to order breakfast because we were like 5 minutes too late. Ugh! BUT…the view was great so I would still recommend going there, just make sure you get there in time for breakfast!

When Lover Boy was 8 years old he and his family traveled (by motorcycle and sidecar of course) to this Lodge and stayed. He remembers staying at the Lodge and having the breakfast buffet at the Restaurant. I tell ya, this guy remembers everything!

This is the Peaks of Otter Restaurant where those pictures of Lover Boy and the kids were taken.

We would never have any family photos if it wasn’t for my tripod! The dogs were a little busy…scheming ways to jump into the lake I’m sure.

The colors were just gorgeous! So vibrant and bright. It was really hard to even imagine these trees ever being green.

We got back onto the Parkway and continued our drive south. These are some of my favorite shots at various outlooks that day.

The blue hue is just amazing! Honestly, it was unreal. All four of us have been to the Appalachian mountains several times but we have never seen the colors like this. The colors on this trip were just out of this world. 

There are not many houses along the Parkway, and if you do happen to run into one it is typically a historical landmark. But…along the way we spotted this beautiful church in the distance. Of course I had Lover Boy pull over so I could hop out and snag a few photos of it.

I love the way the sun was hitting the building. It really reminded me of our Alma Mater, University of Toledo (cough cough, it was ranked in the top 25 most beautiful schools in the nation…yeah I’m kind of proud of this fact…p.s. the clock tower on campus is the logo for Mead notebooks!) 

Another pit stop on the road to grab this shot of the deer!

I snapped this one while driving down the road, I just couldn’t help myself. I mean, honestly, look how vibrant the colors were from the setting sun. Crazy!

We made it to our stopping point, Rocky Knob, mile marker 174. We had planned on staying at one of the National Parks cabins due to the time we arrived but…the charges for 3 dogs made it the same cost as the cabin up the road that had Wi-Fi AND TV…I mean really how do you pass that up?

The NPS cabin had a kitchen unlike our little cabin/hotel room so we had to bust out our camping stove. (Don’t worry all of you fire fighters who read this, he didn’t cook inside the room…he just set it up!)

Here was our meal. This was a day of horrible food. At a last minute grocery shopping trip before leaving I ended up buying a Velveeta hamburger helper box meal (I have no idea, why?!? I think my intent was just to have a total backup meal). Oh.my.gosh…nasty!!! I could hardly eat it. The kids refused. They ended up eating a gagillion mandarin oranges. We ended up throwing away most of it. Lover Boy used the rest of the ground beef to make hamburgers…don’t they look so appealing? (yeah, I didn’t eat those either!)

After a wonderful (ha) dinner, we finally got the kids to bed, Lover Boy passed out and I stayed up til 2am repacking all of our stuff so we could hit the road again early in the morning!
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