A few days before my cycling trip was due to begin, a series of tornadoes ripped through the area, causing the damage you see above. It was like a giant had grabbed every single tree, twisted it and pulled off the top. The photo below show what a typical wooded section of the parkway looks like. The storms killed several people, including a man in a campground in which I’d planned to stay.
This caused me to have some anxiety about whether to make the trip, but I decided that it was still doable. The weather pattern had changed, so another tornado was unlikely. Parts of the parkway had to be closed but were being reopened. The campground was definitely closed, but I found another place to stay.
Growing up in New England, I’ve seen the havoc and damage that blizzards, ice storms and hurricanes can cause, but I ‘d never seen anything like this.