The Blue Ridge Parkway turns 75

The Blue Ridge Parkway turns 75 this year.  There will be a variety of celebratory events.  All that information is on their website:  The history of the Blue Ridge Parkway is also presented in capsulated form on their website, but for those interested there is a variety of other sources that may fill in the gaps.

Searching the Parkway in the JMRL online catalog brings up the books on this link.  Those that tell the history of the BRP are of interest to me.  Two such books are “The Blue Ridge Parkway by Foot: a Park Ranger’s Memoir” by  Tim Pegram and “Super Scenic Motorway: a Blue Ridge Parkway History” by Anne Mitchell Whisnant.  In these histories you will find that the lovely vistas and hikes that we enjoy from the Parkway were not acquired without angst, anger, and loss.  The first was written by a fellow who was an early ranger of the area.  He writes his own history of the area as he hikes various parts through his years on the BRP.  A professor at UNC Chapel Hill is the writer of the latter.   She writes in detail about the impetus behind the BRP’s construction and about the construction itself.

Of course the naturalists and the sports minded will find books in the JMRL collection to enjoy and schlep as they hike along looking down or up to view vegetation and/or wildlife.  Hiking and camping have been a major activity along the BRP, and with cycling’s recent growth popularity we see more access for those in spandex (or not).   Those intrepid souls can pretend they are competing in the Tour de France as they climb, dive, and view the Parkway’s amazing landscapes. So whatever your BRP activity, check out the books at JMRL that hopefully will make your trip to this scenic road more memorable.

~ The Reluctant Blogger

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