map0007We could not have had a more beautiful morning for driving this section of the Parkway.

This was the view from the Basin Cove Overlook.  

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I loved this huge old evergreen.

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As we got closer to the North Carolina/Virginia state line, the countryside became more open with rolling meadows interspersed with the trees.

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It would be a long time before I would tire of scenes like this one (if I ever did).

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This next spot, looking down from Wildcat Rocks fascinated us.  Check the two photos following this one to see why.

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Looking closer into the bottom center of the photo.  Down in the middle of nowhere, that’s a homestead clearing.

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You can still see the roof of the  Caudill cabin through a zoom lens.  Amazing!  Can you imagine living in that wilderness?  When the cabin was built in the late 1800’s the nearest town was Absher which was 8 miles away. The only way in today is by hiking down into the cove.  The family still maintains a website here:  Caudill Family Cabin Homestead.

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It was such a scenic place, we couldn’t resist taking a picture of each other, and “photoshopping”  it into one.  Without carrying a tripod, when no one is around, this is the way we manage to get pictures of us as a couple.

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Not far down the road, we came to the Brinegar homestead. 

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The Brinegar Cabin was settled by Martin Brinegar in 1885 and occupied until the land was purchased for construction of the Parkway in 1935.

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A vegetable and herb garden is well maintained at the homesite.

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The cabin has an over one century old loom that is still used in craft demonstrations in the summer months.  The cabin was locked when we were there, but we could glimpse the interior through the window.

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There is an outhouse and spring house as well.

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From an overlook not far away, you could spot quite a community below.  Wonder what the Caudills and Brinegars would think of the area now?

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Standing out from the endless rolling green mountains of the Blue Ridge is Stone Mountain.  The 600 foot dome of exposed granite is a result of millions of years of changes to the landscape revealing what we see today.  Even though the granite outcropping was extremely attractive to area miners, the area’s terrain proved to difficult to access. 

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As a result, the land was donated to the State of North Carolina and would become part of Stone Mountain State Park in 1969.

One of my favorite stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway was just across the state line in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Music Center.

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As we approached the building, strains of music floated outward.  A couple of  musicians was performing.  A performance is daily at the center, featuring different musicians from the area.

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We sat and listened for a while then entered the building to tour the museum.  The Roots of American Music museum is fantastic, covering county music’s evolution from the days of the slave spirituals forward.  A multi media museum, it features displays of instruments, audio renderings of songs and videos of such icons as Mother Maybelle.

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The following photos are but a sampling of all the museum has on display.

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What a wonderful tribute to American music this facility is, and what a great way to end another day on the Parkway!

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