Now well into the Blue Ridge portion of the Parkway, I was headed toward Roanoke, Virginia, where I spent summers as a child. It felt so strange to be back in a city that is all grown up. I could almost smell my grandmother's hollyhocks as I remembered crashing through her garden chasing lightning bugs. She lived in Virginia during the Depression era when the Blue Ridge Parkway project began. Construction started in 1935 and provided much-needed jobs for American laborers, contractors and immigrant stone masons. By the 1960s, all but the section skirting Grandfather Mountain was complete and open to the public. Final construction of the last segment, including the famous Linn Cove Viaduct at Milepost 304.4, wasn't complete until 1987.