Tunnels, Alice and the Blue Ridge Parkway

After spending several days in the Great Smoky Mountains we were looking forward to driving from the mountains to Asheville, NC on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I had been on the Blue Ridge Parkway in northern Virginia growing up so being back on this parkway was very special. 

blue ridge parkway entrance sign

We stopped to take a picture by the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance sign and were ready to hop back in Alice when we saw an area map. On the map, it showed tunnel heights between our current location and Asheville.  We checked each height off one by one and were OK, until we got to the last tunnel, it said 10 feet 6 inches. RATS! 

The reason I say RATS(!) is that we do not know how tall Alice is.  We keep telling ourselves that we need to measure her, but we just had not done it yet.  So here we are in the mountains on the side of the road and we have no idea if we can get to Ashville.

What did we do? 

Steve found a huge stick in the woods and he laid it on the ground and then I lay next to the stick and he marked 11 feet on the stick.  (I am 5’ 6” so 11’ is two of me).  Then we held the marked stick up to Alice and measured her.   All of this was an estimate but Alice measured below the 11’ mark line. 

We started on our Blue Ridge Parkway journey feeling about 85% confident but not at 100%. We were still not sure we could make it through that tunnel.  On one of our overlook stops, a pickup truck happened to pull in behind us and Steve said, “I bet this guy carries a measuring tape with him.”  Well, it ended up they did have a tape with them but it was a tiny 6’ tape that the gal carries in her purse for her Lowes Home Improvement visits!

Not a problem. A small tape measure is better then no tape measure!

The Solution

After using that tiny tape to measure on Alice, we learned she would fit thru the opening of the tunnel with no issues.  The couple that helped us was also kind enough to follow us and check our height as we went through the tunnel.

You can be sure we will officially measure Alice’s height when we get home! 

PS. I collected some special sticks on this trip for a home decoration.  We snapped off the top of our measuring stick as a memento and to be a part of an outside décor project I am working on at home!

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