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Monday, June 2, 2003

My first stop was at Caesar's Indiana Casino
on the Ohio River just outside New Albany, Indiana.

I stayed less than an hour and lost $80.00.

The I-64 bridge crossing the Ohio River in New Albany, Indiana.

2 minute video of New Albany, Indiana along the Ohio River.

This is the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.

This was my last stop before ending the day in Lexington, Kentucky.

1 minute video of Frankfurt, Kentucky and the State Capitol.

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

This day was a complete wash-out as it rained all day.
I made a brief stop in Huntington, West Virginia.
This is the Ohio River from a downtown park.
I ended the day in Beckley, West Virginia.

1 minute video of Huntington, West Virginia along the Ohio River.

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

The weather was better this day, but not much.
This is The New River Gorge National River, Grand View.

This is Sandstone Falls.

The New River plunges 25 feet over scenic Sandstone Falls
in the New River Gorge National River.

The New River is the oldest river in North America.

Pretty farm scene near Hinton, West Virginia.

Bluestone Dam, 165 ft. high and 2,048 ft. long,
spans the New River at Hinton, West Virginia.

Bluestone Lake is the third largest lake in West Virginia.

Pipestem Resort Park boasts beautiful
scenic overlooks of the Bluestone Gorge.

The aerial tramway is one of the highlights at Pipestem.
The enclosed cars carried me on a six minute ride of
3600 feet along some outstanding scenery
to the Bluestone River Gorge below.

The New River Gorge Bridge is the world's largest steel span
and the second highest bridge in the United States.

A rugged, white water river, flowing northward through deep canyons,
the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent.
Located in southern West Virginia,
New River Gorge National River was established in 1978.

I rode the aerial tramway from Hawks Nest Lodge to
the marina at the bottom of the New River Gorge.

I climbed on board "Miss M Rocks" and took a jetboat ride
upstream on the world's second oldest river to the
New River Gorge Bridge, towering 876 feet above me.

The ride got a bit bumpy in the rapids under the bridge.
I ended the day in Weston, West Virginia.

11 minute video of West Virginia's scenic New River Gorge National River.

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Blackwater Falls is named for the falls of the Blackwater
River whose amber-colored waters plunge five stories.

2 minute video of West Virginia's Blackwater Falls.

Seneca Rocks is one of the best-known landmarks in West Virginia.
These rocks have long been popular with rock climbers.
The rocks are a magnificent formation rising
nearly 900 feet above the North Fork River.

Eastern West Virginia contains many such formations
of the white/gray Tuscarora quartzite.

1 minute video of West Virginia's Seneca Rocks.

It was then a long ride on
West Virginia country roads to Front Royal, Virginia.

This is the gazebo in downtown Front Royal, Virginia.

This is Main Street. I spent the night here in Front Royal.

Friday, June 6, 2003

This is the first of many vistas of the
spectacular landscape to east and west.

Beautiful farm scene of the Shenandoah Valley.

Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that winds along the
crest of the mountains through the length of the park.

Shenandoah National Park lies astride a
beautiful section of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This is me standing in front of the Franklin Cliffs Overlook.

It was a long steep hike reaching Dark Hallow Falls
which cascade 70 feet over greenstone.

The rolling Piedmont country lies to the east of the park.

Many animals, including deer, black bears, and wild turkeys,
flourish among the rich growth of an oak-hickory forest.

9 minute video of Virginia's Shenandoah National Park.

Natural Bridge of Virginia is a limestone arch
215 feet high, 90 feet long.

Cedar Creek flows under the bridge,
this is Cascade Falls just prior to the bridge.

This is Lace Falls which lies at the end of Cedar Creek Trail.

I really enjoyed my visit to Natural Bridge of Virginia,
one of the seven wonders of the world.

6 minute video of Virginia's Natural Bridge.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469 mile road that connects
Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains Parks.

I ended my day in Roanoke, Virginia.
This is the Star Overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

2 minute video of Roanoke, Virginia from the Star Overlook.

Saturday, June 7, 2003

This was by far the worst day of the trip.
I drove from Roanoke, Virginia to Winston-Salem,
North Carolina in heavy rain and fog.
When I went to a movie to kill the afternoon it took over
an hour to go one mile in the heavy mall traffic.

1 minute video of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Sunday, June 8, 2003

The highlight of my trip was Grandfather Mountain,
the highest point in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The drive to the top is incredibly steep and winding.

Near the beginning of the climb to the top I passed Split Rock.

Clouds quickly roll in and out along the series of switchbacks.

The steep climb ends over one mile up.

Grandfather Mountain is located just off the
Blue Ridge Parkway near Linville, North Carolina.

This is the Mile High Swinging Bridge
at an elevation of 5305 feet.

On the highest swinging footbridge in America, I was surrounded
by the great peaks of the southern Appalachians.

Crossing this famous bridge suspends visitors
actually more than a mile above sea level.

Every vista, in every direction you turn,
brings a sense of wonder.

Grandfather Mountain is one of the most environmentally
significant mountains in the world.

The red rhododendrons in bloom make the
landscape even more breathtaking.

The clouds quickly move in and out atop the mountain.

Granfather Mountain is recognized by the U.N.
as an International Biosphere Reserve.

Visitors can walk a few steps to a cliffside overlook.

11 minute video of North Carolina's Grandfather Mountain.

It was back on the parkway after leaving Grandfather Mountain.
This is the famous Linn Cove Viaduct.

Not far from Grandfather Mountain is Linville Falls.
This is the first of three overlooks.

The steep walls of the Gorge enclose
the Linville River for 12 miles.

The Chimney Overlook provides
sweeping views of the canyon.

The area is often referred to as
the Grand Canyon of North Carolina.

I hiked over 1.5 miles visiting the falls three overlooks.

4 minute video of North Carolina's Linville Falls.

Here you can see one of the parkway's many tunnels,
this one at the Craggy Gardens overlook.

Still at Craggy Gardens you can see rain clouds on the horizon.

The Rhododendron are everywhere along the parkway.
I ended my day in Asheville.

Monday, June 9, 2003

This is George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate.

Photography is not allowed inside the 250-room French chãteau.

This is the walled garden,
a small part of the 250 acres of landscaped gardens.

Dewy roses perfume the breezes.

Fredrick Law Olmsted, designer of New York's Central Park,
created the setting for Vanderbilt's chãteau.

The grounds, planned for year-round enjoyment,
are as splendid as Biltmore House itself.

A gorgeous lily!

The hot houses are full of beautiful plants.

This magnificent residence contains 33 bedrooms,
43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.

George Vanderbilt was the youngest son of an
American family famous for its wealth.

5 minute video of North Carolina's Biltmore Estate.

After leaving Biltmore House I drove the remaining
75 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I did a little gambling at Harrah's Cherokee Casino.
I won $87.50!

I spent the last night of my trip in the tourist-trap
of Cherokee, North Carolina.

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