Despite spending a couple days in Charleston for Christmas just one week ago, I still had the itch to travel, and Blowing Rock seemed like the perfect destination. Not quite 3 hours from Radford, Blowing Rock is located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s a small community only 3 square miles in size and visitors can easily walk to shops, restaurants, galleries, and opportunities for recreation.
Knowing that my only time constraint was the start of the VT / UCLA Sun Bowl Game, I took to the back roads. Old Rt 221 provided pretty views and incredibly curvy roads that really made me miss my bike.
I tuned the radio to the 740 AM station, WPAQ out of Mt Airy, and in addition to hearing some good old time music, I soon found myself listening to a man reading the obituaries. Sure enough, it was just as if I was reading them from the paper. It somehow seemed fitting as I drove those back roads and I imagined what it would have been like to have lived there during a time when local AM radio might have been the only real connection to life off the farm.
The town of Blowing Rock takes its name from an unusual rock formation which juts over 1,500 feet (460 m) above the Johns River gorge. Due to the rock’s shape and size, wind currents from the gorge often blow vertically, causing light objects to float upwards into the sky.
Upon arriving in Blowing Rock, I checked into the recently reopened Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn, before heading out to find a place to watch the game.
The Town Tavern offered a comfortable seat at the bar, right in front of a TV showing my game. The food and microbrews were great … too bad the Hokies weren’t. Sigh. Even still, I enjoyed practicing photography and chatting up the folks coming and going at the bar.
In the next couple days I’ll be sharing more of Blowing Rock with you, but for now I’ll leave you with a few pictures taken during my walk back to the Ale House.
Once back at the Inn and while sitting in front of the fire with new found friends, I enjoyed a delicious Grilled Flatbread with Wild Mushrooms, Grilled Vidalia Onions, Smoked Mozzarella, Basil Pesto and Porter-Balsamic Reduction accompanied by a lovely glass of cabernet.
Not a bad way to spend the last day of 2013.