We started our road trip from New York back to Oregon with a stop to first visit Monticello. After that, we headed south on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.

I am admittedly pretty Oregon-centric in my viewpoint. I think Oregon is a beautiful state with diverse terrain and awe-inspiring natural places. However, this road trip opened those blinders of mine to recognize how many beautiful places there are in this vast country of ours.

Our views driving 45 mph along the parkway were spectacular! We kept pulling over at viewpoints, which were like every 10 minutes, to get out of the car and take it all in. It was cool to watch the rolling hills transition into the beginning of the Great Smoky Mountains, where we took a break to camp.

It was easy to make reservations and we stayed at Cade’s Cove, which you can drive into. I was surprised it wasn’t booked up sooner, as I only made our reservation a few days in advance. The camp was half empty, so it ended up feeling very serene and remote. We made dinner on the campfire that evening and I stuffed myself with corn syrup filled marshmallows (I have no shame). The mist in the morning was amazing and we could see where the area got it’s name.

We have plans to go back someday and camp there longer, but we had plans to visit family along the way for this trip. It was wonderful to see them all!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson