There was some confusion and turmoil after the last Shut-In, which had to be rerouted because of weather-related parkway closures, making it about 19 miles. Some thought that would be the end of the race as it has always been, starting at the North Carolina Arboretum off the parkway just south of Asheville, and crisscrossing the parkway as it winds south along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, ending at the Mount Pisgah parking lot.
Phil Francis (the Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent) said there are more and more requests every year for events on the parkway, from running races to bike rides to festivals and motorcycle rides. Last year there was an all-time high of 485 parkway event days, Francis said.
But events like the Shut-In, which have such a time-honored tradition and beloved following (even if they are, in some opinions, a little weird), will continue.