Sadly, I don’t live at the northern entrance to Skyline Drive and the southern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway isn’t my final stop on this trip, so I need to get to and from both of those points. The shorter of the two ‘bookend’ days of the four day ride is the beginning; a five hour highway ride from NYC out west on Rt 78 until it meets Rt 81 south. Hop off for a 11 mile ride back east into Front Royal and sleep about a half mile from the entrance of Skyline Drive. I’ll stay in a cheepo motorcyclist chain. Since this is a simple 300 mile slab run, I’ll make one gas/rest stop at 150 miles and top up in Front Royal.
Fun Day One is all 105 miles of Skyline Drive southbound and then the northernmost 195 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A nice 300 mile day and it should take about 9-10 hours with stops for pictures, rests, and a refueling somewhere.
I’m staying in a rented cabin that was formerly a chicken house. It has a kitchenette since there are no services for miles. Can you guess what I’ll make for dinner?
Fun Day 2 is the final 276 miles of the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, which ends in a foreign country. Cherokee, NC is within the sovereign nation of the Cherokee Reservation. It also should be about 9 hours of riding and stops. Of course, I am staying at the casino.
To break the spell of two bucolic days of slow riding I will take the long mountain road down from Cherokee and grab the slabs to Tallahassee, my next stopping point, about 7 hours south. The total of the three and a half days should be about 1,300 miles.
As far as gear, I have the top box and panniers for a combined 98 liters as well as a tank bag, tail bag on the pillion seat, and a pair of engine-guard bags with bungies, zip-ties, etc.