The All Things Dog Blog crew is fresh off a road trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway from end to end, just before the rush of visitors arrive for the Autumn colors. If you plan to head there for Fall fun, here are a few things we think you'll want to know:
- Yes, your dog is welcome on the Blue Ridge Parkway, while kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet long. Don't forget the poop bags :)
- Just because the pullover doesn't look exciting, don't skip it. There are some hidden gems on those pathways that lead to the overlooks that are often well worth your time.
- There's no cell signal along 95% of the parkway, so prepare for a welcome chance to get unplugged. Check your email and voicemail before heading into the mountains and charge up your devices as well as your camera. You'll want backups. I ran my phone battery down every day by taking pictures.
- Very few visitor centers offer food so prepare a picnic for your day trip or a cooler of food if you're camping. Bring plenty of water and food for you and your dog.
- In my humble opinion, the Great Smokey Mountains are mis-named. The "smoke" is actually clouds that hover low and tend to be a driving hazard on some days. At times we were driving only 20 mph due to bad visibility, but this problem is patchy. It won't impede the entire trip. Plan extra time to assure you make it to your destination safely and in time.
- Remember to carry water and first aid supplies for all participants. You'll find a travel first aid kit for dogs at Kurgo.com, that attaches to your belt. Very handy!
- Finally, save some time to relax and bond with your dog along the way. He'll enjoy the hikes as much as a picnic under a tree. I managed to find a few chances to pull out my yoga mat and relax. What an amazing experience this was; watch for more on this topic.