And then another for "descending radius curves"...apparently those are curves where you need to keep adjusting the steering. I felt as though some of the curves were so tight and so long I must have been making a loop back around! Though I only stayed on the Parkway for 48 miles and 9 tunnels, the whole stretch of 469 miles includes 26 tunnels, 168 bridges, and 6 viaducts! The speed allowed is never higher than 45 mph, and no commercial vehicles allowed ... it is perfect for a summer drive with the windows down. The average elevation is around 3000 feet. I almost went up to Mt Mitchell which is around 6ooo feet above sea level. My ears popped.
Which I did. I hiked to Craggy Garden, a grassy bald, and then also along a trail below the Mt. Pisgah Inn, on property that once belonged to Vanderbilt's Biltmore estate.
This is Cherokee Indian territory. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt put people to work by building this parkway. Afterwards, the work was finished using the labor of WWII conscientious objectors. The Eastern Band of Cherokee protested, as their land was taken (again) and the mountains and streams and gaps all renamed.
|Windy up on Craggy Gardens Bald|