Perfect 2-Hour Mountain Ride in the Spring

Spring View From Mountain Home in Hendersonville

I left early for a two-hour ride from my home in Hendersonville, NC, to Saluda and Chimney Rock, NC, and back home. It was a little hazy, but the view was still pretty nice from our neighborhood. I beat the hustle and bustle in downtown Hendersonville…

Spring Morning in Hendersonville North Carolina

There were lots of empty parking spaces, even in front of the Old Courthouse…

The Old Courthouse in Hendersonville is now a Museum

On my way to Saluda I stopped at a bridge on Rt. 176 and took a picture of the gorge…

View of Gorge Near Saluda, NC

In Saluda I had breakfast at Ward’s Grill on Main Street. If you’re hungry don’t miss it…

Outside Ward's Grill in Saluda, NC

It was still pretty early so I got the sidewalk all to myself…

Early Morning Outside Ward's Grill

And I beat the crowds inside, too…

Nostalgic Look Inside Ward's Grill in Saluda, NC

I ordered a healthy (no pancakes or grits) bacon-and-eggs breakfast and enjoyed every single bite…

Delicious Bacon and Eggs Breakfast at Ward's Grill in Saluda, NC

When I started out of town I drove by the popular Green River Adventures headquarters. They were already loading up for a fun time on the river…

Picture Outside the Green River Adventures Headquarters in Saluda, NC

Then I stopped in front of one of our favorite Saluda inns, where we’ve enjoyed some great dining experiences

Newman's Restaurant at the Orchard Inn, Saluda, NC

From Saluda I headed to Pearson’s Falls, and on the way stopped to smell the honeysuckle and enjoy the view…

Beautiful Views Near Saluda, NC

I got to Pearson’s Falls too early, so I snapped a quick picture and continued on…

Pearson's Falls Near Saluda and Tryon, NC

On my way to Lake Lure and Chimney Rock I rode down the mountain into the gorge via Green River Cove Road. It has over a dozen switchbacks that are much tighter than anything on the Tail of the Dragon. Here’s what it looks like on Google Maps…

Map of Switchbacks on Green River Cove Road near Saluda, NC

The Green River doesn’t look too rough so when it warms up I’m going to get an inner-tube and take a ride…

Views of the Green River Near Saluda, NC

There are several spots along the river to rent tubes…

Tube Rentals on the Green River Near Saluda, NC

There are some very nice views in this part of the country. You can even capture a nice amateur shot out the car window…

Nice View Near Saluda, NC

The beautiful views of Lake Lure never get old…

Beautiful View of Lake Lure

When I could see Chimney Rock Park in the distance I took a picture. I’ve outlined the actual “chimney” in red below…

The Chimney at Chimney Rock park from a distance

Here’s a close-up picture of the “chimney” and Lake Lure from inside the park…

The 'Chimney' at Chimney Rock Park From Above

Here’s another shot of the “chimney” from the entrance at Chimney Rock Park…

The entrance to Chimney Rock Park

Harley riders who visit Chimney Rock might find this interesting: the Asheville Harley Davidson dealer is opening up a new clothing and accessories store… right next door to the infamous “Heavenly Hoggs” on Main Street…

New Harley Davidson Store Next to Heavenly Hoggs in Chimney Rock, NC

You could easily turn my two-hour ride into a two-day ride (or even a two-week ride) if you have time, and enjoy the many activities and attractions along the way. Here’s an interactive Google map of the roads I took…

Interactive Google Map of 2-Hour Loop

Here are some links you might find helpful along your way: Hendersonville B&B’s, Hendersonville Hotels, Hendersonville Dining, and Hendersonville and Saluda Attractions; Saluda Lodging, Saluda Dining; Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Lodging, Dining, and Attractions.

And if you’re looking for some other great places to ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains, check out our Best Mountain Roads page.

Winter Has Arrived on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Snow on the Craggy Gardens Hiking Trail

It’s winter time on the Blue Ridge Parkway, especially at altitudes above 4,000 ft., like the Craggy Gardens hiking trail pictured above, where snow doesn’t melt very fast. Fall weather hung around for one more day yesterday, so I took a nice ride up to Craggy Gardens…

Late Fall 2015 Visit at Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The views from Craggy Gardens are spectacular, even in the winter time…

View from Craggy Gardens Visitors Center, Fall 2015

The reservoir on the North Fork of the Swannanoa River is a pretty sight, too…

View of the North Fork Reservoir from Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is closed just north of the Craggy Gardens Visitors Center, so you can’t go through this tunnel…

Tunnel on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Craggy Gardens

If the Parkway is open (and the snow isn’t too deep) it’s worth the trip (and short hike) to see the amazing views from Craggy Gardens…

Craggy Gardens Winter Views

But before you head out to the Blue Ridge Parkway, be sure to visit the National Park Service’s interactive map of road closures here. I think it’s time to park my ride for the winter…

Cool November Ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway

 

2014 Euro Auto Festival at the BMW Plant

BMW 8 Series Roadster at the BMW ZentrumMuseum

This past weekend I took a ride down the mountain and strolled through the annual Euro Auto Festival, which was held on the grounds of BMW’s Zentrum museum and event center at the BMW manufacturing plant near Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Euro Fest Porsche Pictures 01

The 2014 Marque for the Euro Auto Festival was Porsche, and there were lots of them on display, arranged in rows by year of manufacture, from the 1950s to today…

EuroFest Porsche Pictures 02

This is an early Porsche 356 that has been brought back to life (and modified a bit) to better-than-new. The attention to detail inside and out is amazing…

EuroFest Porsche Pictures 05

This black bathtub Porsche 356 was beautiful… and very popular…

EuroFest Porsche Pictures 04

There’s a terrific display of historic BMW cars and motorcycles inside the Zentrum museum, and it was worth the trip all by itself…

Pictures of Cars Inside the BMW Zentrum Museum

The Euro Fest event was limited to 400 cars, and at least 400 registered, representing lots of manufacturers. Beautifully restored examples included Austin Healey, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lotus, Maserati, Triumph and more…

Pictures of Cars at BMW 2014 EuroFest

The highlight of the event was watching my grandson stand next to and sit in a vintage Austin Healey Bug-eye Sprite. He couldn’t stop smiling, and neither could I…

Grandson Inside Bugeye Sprite at EuroFest

For additional information about the annual Euro Auto Festival event click here. For location and other information about the BMW Zentrum museum click here. For guided tour info at the BMW manufacturing plant click here.

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