Yesterday I drove down to Clemson, SC for issaqueena ride today.
drove to bike shop downtown but it had moved. Asked store keeper next door, a cigar smoking shop, for skinny. He gave me directions that i followed, only the shop that was on site was named Clemson Cycles. Same shop, different loc. Hung for awhile chatting.
Town visually supports Clemson Tigers are there are tiger paw prints on the roads, t shirts sold everywhere.
Searched out shower from entry Health Clubs in the Yellow Pages. 1 club said for free but it was 22 miles away in Piedmont. Started in that direction but passed Golds Gym and decided to give them ago even though they did not answer their phone when I previously called. Got in for $5.00 shower.
Walked across the street to a FoodLion grocery store. Empty parking lot but opened. Found an empty parking lot to the side of store & under a large oak tree. Traffic noise but in small mall was Beef O’Bradys, a family sports bar where I planned to watch a bowl football game and interact w/ people. Midwest selection of bland beers. I made a Yuengling lager last for almost an entire half of football. Life is too short to drink bad beer.
Started raining during night. Same rain experience under a bare tree: Branches consolidated the rain & dropped on roof in irregular intervals and intensity. I knew better but I wanted that exact parking spot for its advantages.
By AM rain had stopped. I just needed to drive about 8 miles to TH. Route 133 not signed at intersection. Drove extra miles. Stopped @ a gas station & asked the female attendant where I was on map & how to get to where I said i needed to go. Stumped her as maybe making change for a dollar.
Figured route out via gps map. My destination lacked a street address for the gps to find but the route showed. Arrived @ TH just before John and it was raining & wet. We kibitzed a bit and made the move to change for ride. Wet gear jacket on. Temp way upper 50s so getting wet wouldn’t be the last thing I would endure. Places where hard packed red surfaced. Firm, not wheel sucking deep glop. But places where standing muddy h2o, like chocolate milk mud, lay. Gunked up our drive trains & disc brakes. Raining off & on but enjoying the ride. Drive trains started making louder grinding sounds. Rode back to a creek and rinsed off as much grit as would release. Decided to head back because we were trashing gear. Still 10 miles & 1124 feet.
SC is lower elevation than Brevard.
Big h2o impoundment N & S of Clemson and they have been in a drought also. Dam flooded lots of creek drainages that were now exposed like Glen Canyon. Boat docks were high & dry. Shoreline was steep grounding the aground docks @ a steep pitch.
Back to Golds to scrub out the mud from my beard. Then to find a laundromat and wash my bike.
Rinsed mud off bike shorts & leggings before putting in waser. Rinsed bike off of free mud. Noticed that rear brake pads are almost toast. Will soon replace them w/ Jagwire pads that were not reviewed well.
Diesel fill up in SC for $2.19/gal. Might have been a biodiesel. Hope it is compatabile w/ engine parts.
Windy twisty and now foggy road over the mtns to get back to Brevard. Slow driving & a lot of upper body movement around turns.
Back X street from Dollies writing this because there were 2 rigs in lot. 1, a car appeared to be the setting for adult parking.
Skies are to clear tomorrow. Plan is to ride Tsali up near Smokeys then over into TN again. I think I will hang in this NC, TN, N GA area for month of Jan. Feb work further W on coast states, March into AZ & NM, movong N in April as snow melts out.
Bitch is to drive S to Florida. Maybe a zig zag across GA, AL, & MS.
Van smells from wet clean clothes drying.
Sitting on balance ball again. Posture muscles are sore.
Lowered seat to height John said it should be. Right knee pain was gone. Left knee mostly pain free.
John, from Greenville who guided me @ Paris Mtn & Issaqueena, was an Army ranger stationed @ FT Lewis. When he & 2 buddies left service they thru hiked the PCT. First person on my odyssey I have met that hiked the PCT. Here it is all about the AT. Interesting: On AT thru hikers discover a trail name. Neither of us were aware of trail names on the PCT when I tried in 78 & John did in 88.
Temps in lower 60s.
I found it difficult to leave Brevard because I had established support connections that were familiar & worked. Traveling is all about uncertainties. When i am moving all the time I am in a groove for connections. Chris Smith, an Alaskan bush pilot told me that as a pilot he always identifies possible crash landing spots. I cruise the roads looking for camping spots almost regardless of need.