Sad day coming up for the BRP in Virginia: 26 Nov 2012. That's the day the Peaks of Otter lodge/restraunt will be closed for the winter, and maybe longer. Thats mile marker 86. To my knowledge, its the first time its closed. Seems the people having the concession to run it decided to retire and the National Park Service/Parkway Superintendant dropped the ball: no backup plan. I hope its notlike what has happened to a favorite stop along Otter Creek (mm 65), been closed 2 years now. Same people didn't want to run it anymore and the NPS has just left it closed.
I checked with some of the employees, asked if anything like this has happened in North Carolina (where the Superintendant has offices) and they said nothing has closed down there. Don't know all the details, but based on what I've heard, this just plain stinks.
So, if you plan to ride any along the Parkway up here in Virginia, pack along a roll of toilet paper for use behind a big tree. I ride the parkway during the winter when its not closed for snow/ice. Being able to see up thru the trees gives you a totally different perspective. Still a nice peaceful ride, two wheels or four.