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Published: October 6th 2021
Our drive to Apex on 10/1/21 was only half a day, so we decided to take a scenic drive to get there. We left the hotel at 8:45 and 67 degrees and pointed the car NE. We drove through more of the heartland of America…Old Fort, North Cove, Crossnore, Linville, Grandfather, and Boone.
One of several Ethan Allen factories is located in Old Fort. The yard was stacked high with fresh lumber and the building was quite large and probably a major employer in this general area.
The drive took us through the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the Applanation Mountain Range. The roads were good, and the scenery great as we circled around mountain ridges, up in elevation and down, then up again. Based on the many businesses we saw for rentals of skis and snowboards, it appears that this area is very active in the winter as well as the summer.
Someone’s grandfather must have been a really grand man, as they named a town after him. Grandfather, NC. But that wasn’t enough. They also have a Grandfather Lake, Grandfather Mountain, Grandfather Mountain State Park, Grandfather Golf and Country Club, and the
list goes on and on. Everything around here is named Grandfather, including many of the businesses. I wonder who Grandfather was. Interestingly, they seemed to run out of names in Linville, too. Because we saw Linville Mt, Linville River, Linville Falls, Linville Cove, Linville Ridge and on and on.
We landed in Boone a little before noon. Boone was named after…Daniel Boone. It only has a population of about 20K, but it seems a lot larger. There was lots of traffic, a large downtown area, and it seemed to sprawl over a wide area. It is the home of the Appalation State University.
At this point we headed for the highways and made our way east to Apex, NC.
So this road trip is complete. This was a shorter trip than we usually do. Just 14 days. But we filled it with scenic roads. And we have come to understand that “scenic” does not necessarily mean great vistas. It really means that you will see a lot of interesting things you won’t see on the interstates. The interstate system is great for getting from point A to point B. But if you really want to experience America,
drive the scenic highways and experience the real America. See where and how people live and work. See where your food comes from and what it looks like when it is growing and when it is being harvested. Visit the small towns and their craftsmen. Get lost a few times on one lane dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. And have some fun.
We drove 8,950 miles and visited 16 states, including a few state capitals.. We followed the Mississippi River and several others, viewed three great lakes and visited one national park. Frankly we have run out of interesting places to visit. Most of the places on this list are places we have visited before, but this time our trip was almost entirely on scenic roads, so you could say that we saw them differently. And there is no question that the back roads of America are infinitely more interesting than the Interstate System.
Thanks again for following us. Until next time, hit the road and see it all for yourself. You will not be sorry.
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