The Blue Ridge Mountains

Mark Ainscow
3 min readAug 22, 2018

Just south of Floyd, Virginia, there’s a street just as you leave the town. It’s fantastically named Storker’s Knob Road. It’s right opposite Belcher Lane. This is true, I’m not making this up. I burst out laughing when I saw it. My eight-year-old asked what was going on. I told him I heard something on the radio, and, because it was listening to politics, he rolled his eyes and didn’t ask.

Anyway, we joined the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of Floyd and headed south. It’s 45 mph all the way. The first stop was Mabry Mill, apparently one of the most photographed areas of interest in the US. I added one below.

Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway

We stopped a few times at the scenic overlooks. They are breathtaking, they really are.

The boy poses
A very cooperative sky

Then further south to the Blue Ridge Music Center to see free mountain music. It was quite good. I think Des liked it too.

Food called and so we left the Parkway for Galax, VA — home of the Old Fiddler’s Convention, which has nothing to do with the catholic church.

We jumped back on US89 and across the state line into North Carolina where we got lost for a little while. I wandered into a supermarket to buy veggies and fruit and someone actually said to me “I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.”

We continued down 89 until we hooked back up with I-77 and came back to Virginia.

He enjoyed the music, he really did.

Couple of thoughts. Don’t throw away your real non-phone GPS, not just yet anyway. For most of the time we had no cell reception whatsoever — (at least with AT&T). In Galax, I saw people using phones when we stopped to eat, but alas, I had no service. Don’t expect the Blue Ridge Parkway to be scenic all the way. We covered about 100 miles and for most of the time it felt like we were in forest with undulating hills. Occasionally you’d get a glimpse of something special. A lot of scenery lurks behind those trees. So be patient, it will happen.

Mark Ainscow

Dad/Husband/UXer/Photographer/Brit/Yank/BWFC/Red Sox — Taker of photos and writer of a few words to surround them.