University of North Carolina Press, 2010
Anne Mitchell Whisnant begins her book with her own memories and early experiences of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and I shall begin this review likewise: In my case, the year was 1958. With my wife, our two sons aged 6 months and 3½ years, and a newly granted degree in geology from the University of California, Berkeley, I drove my in-laws’ new Volkswagen Kombi cross-country to my home state of Georgia, where I spent the summer field mapping the geology of Forsyth County. Heading back to Berkeley in August to pursue graduate work in geology, we decided to drive north along the Blue Ridge Parkway for no particular reason other than to see some different parts of the country on our long, unrushed trip back to California. The fact that a few places along the Parkway were not quite finished and might require brief detours did not deter us, as we embarked at its beginning near Asheville and stayed on the Parkway and then the Skyline Drive to its end at Front Royal, Virginia.