Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pineola (Gravel) Drive

Wild Bushes in Bloom

Tangled Mass

End May Long View

Saturday, we took a long car ride well deep
the Appalachians off a gravel road called
Pilot Ridge. After traveling down and down
we approached an infinitesimally small town
(Mortimer) that has a general store in an old
white two story building (the kind with tin tiles
on the ceiling) built in the early 1900's. All around,

there are antiques (not for sale) and rather huge
hornet's nests tacked up near the top of the ceiling!
I always like stopping in small local mercantiles and

it is a 'must see' for me. It was the perfect place
to grab a lunch of snack foods and an ice cream
(from the old freezer) as the store

serves no 'real' food. The rather elderly
women serving us was on oxygen. There is a long, wide
stream down in this valley but instead, we started
back up to the mountains via another gravel road
my husband was 'dying' to take...Pineola. It is named
this for the local indigenous pine trees found along
the way. This long steep drive up (filled with switchback

after switchback) was awesomely gorgeous.
We passed hiking trail after hiking trail complete
with active waterfalls (to which we are going back.)
Around each bend is a new ravine or gorge filled with
the hugest of ancient trees; sometimes with a 500 foot drop

to a view of the river in the gorge down below. We know
that the area is filled with bear (didn't see any though...)
At one point I stood, staring down into a huge gorge
and about 700 feet down below was a wide river
with broad, flat rocks for its base. It just looked
like one would 'want to' sit down in there...but
the only way down would be to repel! Top Photo:
(I am nursing a rather nasty cold, however,
so my photos this time are sparse:) There were wild
bushes blooming everywhere throughout the woods
filling it with contrasting color. Middle:
Tangles masses of vine. Bottom: A long view from
somewhere near the top of our journey. Do remind
me to tell you a rather funny and odd portion
of what happened deep in the woods on this journey!


  1. curious as to where that is...what would be the nearest main road just to orient on the map!

  2. Hi pat! So glad to see you stop by....Well, lets see...I might have to ask my husband; we turned off of some road heading out of Blowing Rock. N.C. I will ask my hubby the name of the exact highway that we turned onto Pilot Ridge from. There are many many gravel roads leading off highways and the Blue Ridge Parkway up here! I was amazed to find this out and I now know that they go on for miles and miles...

  3. pat; Highway 221 (6 miles south of Blowing Rock) turn onto Pilot's Ridge to Edgemont (gravel) to Pineola (Gravel.) Edgemont Road goes to the tiny town of Mortimer. Mortimer was wiped off the map in the 1940 flood when Wilson Creek Gorge crested about 94 feet above its flood stage. The history is interesting. At one time, Woodrow Wilson visited down in there and stayed at a hotel. There was train track and active rail (that was destroyed in the flood) down into tiny Mortimer.

  4. Sounds like a beautiful day, lg. I like that you'll go back and know just the spots you'll want to explore. I love those old stores. There just aren't enough of them anymore - everything is cookie cutter.

  5. Sounds like a lovely drive, lg! Beautiful photos, as always.

  6. Beautiful! I am loving the flowery bushes!


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Lois Nancy

This artwork is my mother's. It touches my heart.    (So gentle.)   A thoughtful depiction of something sweet, tiny, and cute.   'Wa...