well here we are again and I am ready to go. Since I have no plans and need to burn some vacation time up I thought I just drive east on st Rt 52. This will take me to the appliation mountains and I plan on hitting the blue ridge parkway. Rt 52 will intersect the parkway around the 200 mile marker. As of yet I haven’t decided to go both or south. the time has came and went. i ended up going south on the parkway for there seems to be more of a site seeing drive then then going north. i had stopped off many cemeteries and took some pics. at first i planned on stopping at every site i came across but since most of them are kind of new and don’t have anything special like fountains, statues, morgues , etc i only toke the time and pictures of sites that caught my eye for one reason or another. besides the grave yards i have made stops at meldhal dam, chilio lock #34, and Greenup lock and dam. nice to lock at once in a while but no ships or barges where going thru to make it interesting. over at the Greenup dam they had a drudger operating getting all the extra silt out of the lock. just saw a barge with a big pipe shooting water and silt into another area. went thru Ironton Ohio and came across 4 old churches. the neat kind that they had some masters create the stone work. like the old gothic churches. now those where cool. the roads were nice and very little traffic thru the hills. only time i didn’t like is when 52 hooked up to another expressway and you then had same traffic. i tried to shy away from those and only used the expressways when i had no other choice. like when it is already 8:00 pm and i was still another 100 miles from the parkway. i ended up taking the express way to shave off 2 hrs of driveling so i could find a campsite. when i came to the parkway i headed south looking for the state run campsites (cheaper) and 40 miles later found it. this was now around 9-10 pm at night . pulled into the camp ground and not a soul was there. it was so dark for there was no light pollution you could not see your hand in front of your face. so instead of wrestling with my tent i just slept in my trunk. the next morning i got up and started to drive the blue ridge parkway. what a beautiful site. no pictures can justify the first hand view of the land. drove for hours and enjoyed the sites. stopped at some picnic grounds to eat launch. drove thru the old tunnels and drove across the famous Linn viaduct in North Carolina . that was neat . hiked a little trail and came up underneath the viaduct and so the way it was built to keep nature intact as is instead of destroying it with construction. after that i headed down the parkway and came to Linville water falls. took a trail hiked a mile to the top of the falls. two 20 foot drop falls raged in front of you and disappeared down a set of steps. you then took another trail a half a mile and you came around to see the front of the falls. up top are the two 20 foot falls and below them where they disappeared down the steps it fell into another 40 foot falls. you are on a lookout some 60 feet in the are and see these falls dump into the valley below. very beautiful site. after that i drove some more ate another meal the hit interstate 40 and took the express way home. i set the speed control to 61 mph all the way to see what kind of highway mileage i could get. very impress with my new ford explorer. i got 18.9 mpg with 420 miles on one tank of gas. nice. that’s it for this small update have fun.