From the Rest Area, we jumped onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed for Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee.  The Blue Ridge Parkway ends in the National Park, just outside of Cherokee and about three miles from our campground (Cherokee KOA).  The Parkway follows the Appalachian Mountain chain and provides seemingly endless views of many parallel ranges connected by cross ranges and scattered hills.  From Shenandoah National Park the Parkway follows the Blue Ridge, eastern rampart of the Appalachians, for 355 miles.  Then, for the remaining 114 miles, it skirts the southern end of the massive Black Mountains, named for the dark green spruce and fir that cover them, weaves through the Craggies, the Pisgahs, the Balsams, and ends in the Great Smokies.

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