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The Big Road Trip — Day 3: Blue Ridge Parkway

First overlook on the Blue Ridge ParkwaySaturday, June 13th — We packed the car and headed for the Wegmans in Fairfax to load the cooler with food to save some money on the trip.

Back in the car, we headed South toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was a little hesitant to do this because the parkway is nearly 500 miles long and winds down through the mountains, but Emma’s guidebook said it was absolutely gorgeous…and it certainly was.

Rock Point Overlook on the Blue Ridge ParkwayI couldn’t believe how beautiful it was to drive through the mountains at over 4,000 feet at times.

The mountains are long and skinny, and the parkway takes you up and down over the crest many, many times for some of the best views I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe it.

Emma at Rock Point Overlook on the Blue Ridge ParkwayAfter 100 miles on the 45 mph parkway, we cut west back to I-81 by driving down the western side of the mountains on a roller-coaster ride of a road—scary, but fun. I swear we ended up going in circles a few times. The “Not Recommended for RVs” sign was put there for a reason.

Phil at the first overlook of the Blue Ridge ParkwayOn I-81 we drove South toward Nashville, which cuts through Virginia diagonally. Didn’t think we’d ever get out of that state—it went on forever.

By about 9pm I figured we’d try to just make it over the Tennessee border and find a hotel for the night. About 30 minutes into the state we found a hotel halfway before hitting Knoxvile.

We couldn’t decide whether to hit both Nashville and Memphis on the next leg of our journey, but we were too tired to think about it. Sleeping was more important…

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