Home > Diary, Set Lists, Thoughts, trips and journeys > A Stay Off Blue Ridge Parkway

A Stay Off Blue Ridge Parkway

Nessa and I have known Jerry Weiner for over thirty years. Well, Nessa has known him longer than that. He was Nessa’s best bud in Key West before we met and he was her ‘maid of honor’ at our wedding on the Schooner Wolf in 1988. Jerry has done and been many things in his life, but he is also a master masseuse currently in residence at the Westglow Resort And Spa in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The Kaukonens travel together a lot… that’s what we do, but we rarely get true family time. We had a couple of days after I got back from Hawaii so Ness conspired with Jerry to book us into the Westglow. We climbed into my big truck and drove on down.

It had been a while since I had been on the Blue Ridge Parkway and it’s easy to forget how beautiful it is. Five hours later we were there checking into the Fleur De Lis house.

The girls walking up Daingerfield.

The girls walking up Daingerfield.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

A delicious dinner in the Rowland House and a good night’s sleep in preparation for a morning trip to the Mile High bridge at Grandfather Mountain.

Here we are!

Here we are!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I’d been to Mt. Mitchell, but Never Grandfather Mountain. It was truly awesome!

The girls on Mile High Bridge

The girls on Mile High Bridge

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Some consider that Appalachian Mountains to be among the oldest in the world. This is awesome stuff!

Speaks for itself!

Speaks for itself!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Straight down...

Straight down...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

This is better than my drone! What a view!

Nessa... standing on top of he world!

Nessa... standing on top of he world!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The back to Westglow and the Rowland for another five star dinner and sunset!

This is au naturel!

This is au naturel!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Another restful night at the Fleur De Lis, breakfast and a goodbye to Westglow and Jerry.

Izze, Nessa and jerry

Izze, Nessa and jerry

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Like I said, to just get away on a trip that is not surrounded with work… well, it just never happens.

Goodbye view from the porch at Rowlands.

Goodbye view from the porch at Rowlands.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Short but sweet… and now back home on a hot, hot July day!


  1. John B
    July 13th, 2019 at 15:16 | #1

    Many years ago I drove from Front Royale Virginia , the start of Skyline Drive , down to the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway……Let me tell you that the beauty was just out of this world and something I will never forget . When we took our trip the Rhododendrom bushes were in their full glorious bloom. Many of them were twelve to fifteen high or more. So glad that you an your family were able to take that trip. God is good !

  2. carey georgas
    July 14th, 2019 at 09:08 | #2

    The Blue Ridge is the only place I’ve been to in the country that I’d consider leaving my Texas woodlands for.The Rockies have their majesty, as do the Sierras and the Catskills and Green Mts.,, but the subtlety of diversity, both in flora and topographically, call to me like no other place. Couple of down days up in there will still the waters real quick. Good for you being able to take the time.

  3. Sweetbac Jr.
    July 14th, 2019 at 13:25 | #3

    Try the Veal Parm at Blue Ridge Pizza!

  4. Dave G.
    July 14th, 2019 at 15:51 | #4

    That’s always a great place to visit in our fair state here.

    Next time see if you can get to nearby Wiseman’s View for a look at Linville Gorge. You can see Tablerock and Hawksbill mountains, and if you’re lucky (in the evening) maybe the legendary Brown Mountain Lights.

    Tuna should get booked at Harrah’s in Cherokee, then you can enjoy the Parkway south of Asheville. It’s a little different look with more rock face.

    Looking forward to the Carrboro show next month, tickets in hand!!

  5. Dan
  6. Mitch Spector
    July 15th, 2019 at 09:05 | #6

    Great stuff Jorma !! Enjoy to the fullest always !! Peace & love

  7. johno
    July 15th, 2019 at 10:06 | #7

    Looks like a great time. A little pampering is great for the body and soul.
    You deserve it Jorma. Glad you had a good time.

  8. Jessie Bastos
    July 15th, 2019 at 15:11 | #8

    It was a pleasure for Frank and myself to meet you and your family after dinner at Rowland’s. What a beautiful night and special spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

  9. eaglesteve
    July 16th, 2019 at 16:41 | #9

    Johnny Winter, 4 years gone, at age 70, … never forgotten.
    RIP Bro

  10. AndyK
    July 17th, 2019 at 10:29 | #10

    Saw his last performance w brother Edgar in Tarrytown NY a few months before he left us.
    (fyi there is a clip on youtube)
    Gary Clark Jr. now carries on that Texas blues guitar vein of Stevie Ray & Jimmie Vaughan, etc.

  11. DennisK
    July 17th, 2019 at 18:41 | #11

    I will be crossing the Appalachian Divide from NJ heading to Southeast Ohio’s river valley, for Arts and Minds fest. Have not been to the FPR since 2016, and it was a hot one. But this weekend will be on fire.

    I’m looking forward to some cold smoothies, homemade ice cream and smokin’ sets on the Gazebo stage!

  12. Brian Doyle
    July 18th, 2019 at 00:26 | #12

    We saw Grandfather Mountain east of the Appalachian Trail on our through hike of the Trail…Got to roam in them hills, drink spring water, sleep under the stars, and become a mountain man years ago…

  13. DennisK
    July 18th, 2019 at 18:40 | #13

    @Brian Doyle
    Very nice, I did some camping up on the Appalachian Trail in my youth. Now, when I cross the mountains, it’s all about the rest stop. The Sideling Hill cut on Rt. 68 has a great view to the East and some awesome geology. It also lets me know I’m half-way there.

  14. July 18th, 2019 at 20:32 | #14

    Back attcha Jessie… the pleasure was ours as well. Safe travels and hope to see you down the road.

  15. July 18th, 2019 at 20:33 | #15

    See ya in Carrboro Dave

  16. mark k
    July 19th, 2019 at 10:57 | #16

    Don’t forget Pennsylvania. Rout 6 West to East across the Northern Tier is a beautiful drive. Very scenic, passes the Grand Canyon of PA and other great sites. See you next month at the Sherman Theatre.

  17. Sweetbac Jr.
    July 19th, 2019 at 12:27 | #17

    A 50th anniversary tour and NO San Francisco/Bay Area dates?
    What do you and Jackson have up your sleeves, Baby?

  18. John B
    July 19th, 2019 at 13:23 | #18

    I did that drive on the return leg of a Dead/Band show at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Very beautiful ……@mark k

  19. AndyK
    July 19th, 2019 at 15:29 | #19

    Plans being finalized for the Beacon around Thanksgiving?

  20. charles newman
    July 20th, 2019 at 12:15 | #20

    Jorma I know this is off topic as the kids today say but I came across a website from some guy in England selling a T-shirt featuring you but I did not want to buy it if this is something you have not approved. I try not to get taken by merch people who are ripping off the artists. Great looking shirt but I wanted to check first.

  21. July 20th, 2019 at 17:12 | #21

    Hey Charles

    Thanks for asking… It’s probably a bootleg.

  22. Sweetbac Jr.
    July 21st, 2019 at 12:55 | #22

    I STILL have my tye-dye “Let Jack Sing!” t-shirt I purchased outside the Capitol Theater in 1976…and YES, it still fits!

  23. gregg
    July 21st, 2019 at 13:45 | #23

    Yea Great I remember the let jack sing era it was a riot having another thing to yell out at shows. I think it started with verse jack singing,, party tonight or lets party tonight ??? g

  24. mark k
    July 21st, 2019 at 16:54 | #24

    It was “Party Song” and I swear I have seen Jack singing or at least mouthing the words for 99 Year Blues on more than a few occasions

  25. greg
    July 21st, 2019 at 17:17 | #25

    I might be wrong but Jack did a little back up vocals at a show in the old Fastlanes in Asbury Park back in the 80s. Only time I saw and heard this. (Jorma was right, worst bathrooms ever). Also back in the 80s at the old pier 84 for one show, they sold an exclusive Jack Casady t-shirt. Still have mine but it doesn’t fit.

  26. mark k
    July 21st, 2019 at 20:11 | #26

    Not my proudest moment, but I was at the Fastlane for Tuna who came on late, too much heat and way too much Alcohol. I was about to be sick but took one look at the sewage backup and flood in the bathroom and managed to take my business outside of the back door where I was found by the boys after the show was over who I am told escorted me back to the hotel in Deal. Don’t remember if I ever properly thanked you Jorma, but in hindsight while this episode could have ended in disaster at least I lived to share this sordid tale.

  27. George Henn
    July 21st, 2019 at 20:54 | #27

    The electric show at The Fast Lane in 1990 was the loudest Tuna show ever, for me anyway. It was a nicer venue some years earlier when Jack and SVT played there.

  28. Brian Doyle
    July 21st, 2019 at 22:54 | #28

    Yippies founder Paul Krassner dead…Was part of “Up Against The Wall MF-er” movement:


  29. John B
    July 22nd, 2019 at 11:18 | #29

    I was at that Fastlane show and I can remember that the heat was intense ! Glad you made it out okay…..That is what we do , or are supposed to do ….look out for one another. The account of the good Samaritan comes to mind.
    @mark k

  30. mark k
    July 22nd, 2019 at 16:19 | #30

    @John B
    God takes care of drunks and fools. I shudder to think of landing face first in that water.

  31. HOGAN
    July 23rd, 2019 at 08:41 | #31

    Great pictures – love the one of the girls walking, so nice to see the bond that you and Vanessa have with her, and of course the sunset….


  32. John B
    July 29th, 2019 at 11:08 | #32

    It must have shrank over the years.