Another day in the Pisgah

Slept at ” normal” place on Avery Creek just out of town. Full moon and a bit nippy.

Plan is to meet Scott same place as yesterday. He attended the Xmas jam last night. I drove into Brevard and saw he sent me a text message that the bands played beyond 4:00Am and said don’t wait beyond 11:00. I parked just off the highway on N Mills river rd and waited for him. Blue sky & temps got into low 40s. I replaced the bike chain & putzed around until 11:00 and left him to his own devices.

I drove to the Fish Hatchery for a ride. Last day of deer hunting, wore orange jersey but only encountered drives on the gravel roads. Didn’t make proper turn for Daniel ridge trail & rode road up to drop in for Long Branch trail. Oh well, an unridden trail is an unridden trail. Dropped in. Some ice crystals and mushy partially frozen mud. Big rhody thickets blocked out sun in places keeping ground frozen. Trail from Butter Gap that I rode last week joined. Made it back to TH for about a 70 min ride, hardly worth having geared up for. I sat on the curb at the Fish hatchery contemplating another ride and how I could make the correct turn up Daniel Ridge. A lone rider was riding around the parking lot like a lost kid. I asked what’s up and he said that he was late meeting buddies who were going to show him the goods. I offered to take him with me and find the elusive Daniel ridge. His name is Rich, what a coincidence that last week I rode with a Richard. We found the trail and rode uphill. He rode a 29″ is 42, and fresh and he made lots of moves. We passed the trail junction where the picture of me showed me bulldogging the Turner down a steep trail. Rich rode down a rock slab and stuck his front wheel against a rock downhill, just the right distance to stuff his forward progress. The only way for the energy to dissipate was to launch him over the handle bars face first. He managed to twist his body to land on dirt among the boulders after smacking his face on a rock. No blood, no foul.

Rich, before the fall:

Rich on Daniel ridge trail above river
Rich on Daniel ridge trail above river

Zysk, check out the stream that we rode down along:

A fork of Davidson River
A fork of Davidson River

We ended up re-riding the Long Branch trail again for me. He enjoyed the ride. Back at the parking lot he discovered he missed his buds by 5 mins and from their ride description Rich felt he had a better ride.

Text message from Scott saying that Sun ride is doubtful. I am on my own again. He is planing on being here next weekend with his buddy Paul from Toronto. I will be here also.

Back into town for $3.00 shower @ laundromat. Tired & hungry, didn’t want to cook so I ate at a Mexican restaurant. Shared space w/ a bunch of game wardens & USFS law enforecement officers. They were regaling each other w/ arrest stories. I planned tomorrow’s ride out.

Back up Avery Creek to sleep. No hunting tomorrow should be quiet on road.

Scott did it to me

Yesterday I drove way back up into the Pisgah for today’s ride. Back w/ no cell phone coverage. Out on road 1206. Walked up a trail checking out rain damage and trail conditions. Seems like the rain mashed out the oak leaves to like wet toilet paper. Soil is mostly mineral so tread exhibited little damage and should ride ok.

At the road a long haired guy was standing there with a big Ford truck w/ state license plate.  Shit, a long haired state official going to bust my chops for what? He is a juvie corrections officer and was looking for his lost group of Hoods in the Woods kids. Actually they were with the officers somewhere else. The plan was for the group to hike up Bradley Creek trail with its 11 creek crossings. With the heavy rain that fell crossing the creek would have been a great feat, especially in the almost dark. He had no truck with me. He gave me info should the group show up and then drove back up the road to a high point for cell coveage. He returned later to tell me that he contacted the group and they hunkered down elsewhere avoiding the creek. I camped at an approved campsite right on the side of the road. I only heard 1 rig go by. This weekend is the last of rifle deer season and I expected more gunners to be out.

Met Scott at the appointed time of 10:00 at the agreed upon spot. He is commuting from Asheville and the Xmas Jam concerts, late nights and hard rides during the day. Zysk: Government Mule concerts.

See Ride Data page for idea of massive ride. Pisgah is rugged. 15 miles, 3365′ in 5 hours. OK we stopped once for a break. Riding thru Rhody thickets and over rocks. I enjoyed Scott’s company and ride knowledge. Hurking ride. Nice day. Didn’t encounter anybody until we passed the Hoods in the Woods kids setting up camp.

We rode down from over there, good vista bit bad picture
We rode down from over there, good vista bit bad picture

Scott headed back to Asheville for day 2 of his concerts after a shower at Davidson River XG. He was leaving as I pulled in. We are meeting same place and time tomorrow for another ride.

I wrapped an ice gel bag around my foot to soothe the discomfort. OK, pain, but I am denying it. The pain involves the whole foot now. 4 more days of mass vitamin I.

I took a shower at the XG also and was busted by the man for a $5.00 fee. Tomorrow it is back to the laundromat for $3.00.

Sitting here in a parking lot just outside of town for internet work. Getting colder, below freezing. Beautiful day today: blue sky, bare trees.

Scott has met other riders from way away from Indi that get together with him at Pisgah. Paul from Canada is coming down next weekend to ride w/ Scott. I will probably hang also.

Next week I will go North to ride Tsali Trails, another IMBA epic. And maybe figure out Dupont.

Good hard riding here.

Scott making nice on rocks
Scott making nice on rocks

Another vista shot:

Rocky trail & view,Which do you watch?
Rocky trail & view,Which do you watch?

A smoother trail section w/ rhody thicket:

Hunter orange. Turner holds up rider
Hunter orange. Turner holds up rider

Second shot of Moonshine. Long hair is falling out.

Oh, Mono, Springsteen is playing at Superbowl Halftime. I will find a TV for that.

Another rainy day in Brevard

Zags beat Cougs last night, Thanks XM radio for the coverage. I stayed awake till half time. the west coast game times are beyond stay awake time.

Rained quite a bit last night, fortunately I only heard the patter of pure falling drops.

Stopped @ USFS RS information office to educate myself of forest things and received a wonderful exchange w/ Fred who works there as a volunteer. He is a biker and lived near White Clay and Fair Hill that we shared. He is retired. He said that he was busy the first year but needed something to keep him occupied which lead him to volunteer jobs w/ the USFS. last year he and his wife worked Grand Canyon. He was an engineer.

Just so much stuff to learn from when I make the time for exchanges. The rain kept the other visitors away so I pigged out on out sharing.

A full time FS woman entered the conversation and shared her dream of bike riding X the country and was looking for knowledge. She like other people, me still included, have real or imagined road blocks that prevent us from living our dream. May she chase her dream across the country on a bike with the wind at her back and all the hills be down.

Called Tom Z and enjoyed an hour of companionship. Spokane is about to plunge into freezer per forecast. Brevard is above freezing. 2nd day of using no heat.

Ironspoke is following me and adding my adventures to his web site.

Meeting Scott from Indianapolis for ride tomorrow. Paul from Canada picked me up with a coment and will be down here next weekend for a  ride. I might join. Hey, hang in the Pisgah and the world comes to you. I never tried this at say like Moab to learn if the same thing occurs.

As I have grown & expanded on this adventure I have learned that a bigger life exists outside my Sprinter walls. Perhaps I will make another trip around the country to learn more people. Hey, maybe try Mohican in Ohio to see how many people would venture there to join me. OK, Decorah, IA then.

Hey, I want to be a hippie but my hair won’t grow that long.

In Blue Highways Heat-Moon quotes an 83 year old woman on her lessons learned in life: ” Having gumption to live different and the sense to let everyone else live different.”

With that, say good night Ethyl and I am off to FS road 1206 camp for tomorrow’s ride.