Like just about everyone on the eastern seaboard of the United States, I’ve heard about the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic road that winds through North Carolina and Virginia. The entire idea of the Parkway is diametrically opposed to modern motorways, most being designed to get the maximum number of people to a destination as quickly as possible. The BRP winds through the Blue Ridge Mountains, clinging to the side of rolling hills and favoring circuitous routing to provide its users with stellar views rather than a straight shot designed for rapid arrival at one’s destination, the ideal philosophy for travel by motorcycle. I’ve always had plans to spend some significant time on the BRP, but past rides had only afforded a five or ten mile stint on the road on the way to other destinations. When my wife left town to visit her parents and mentioned they were renting a timeshare outside Williamsburg, VA and I should head in that direction to pick her up at the end of the visit, a plan was formed. Four hours in the car was not an attractive option, especially with a week-old F800GS that I was eager to take on its first multi-day trip. Staring at a map of potential routes between Charlotte, NC, and Williamsburg, VA., roughly 300 miles to the northeast, I plotted a course that only a motorcyclist could love: due West to pick up the BRP near Ashville, NC. As a diehard free market, small government fan, the circumstances behind the construction of the road are a bit anathema to me. The road was one of the Civilian Conservation Corps programs launched in the 1930’s in response to the Great Depression. The CCC was a massive government program designed to create jobs by engaging in huge construction projects with little pragmatic aim. The Blue Ridge Parkway does not connect any major cities, and has a painfully low speed limit, designed to prevent people from driving over a precipice as they gawk at the mountain views. Along its 355 miles are carefully crafted stone bridges and wood fences, a reminder of the time when the United States was a land of craftsmen and appearance and integration with the local flora and fauna more important than expediency or raw technical prowess. Politics be dammed, there was riding to do.