07 February 2017

Off the bike is a good thing...

Corpo loaded up last Thursday and headed to the the NC mountains. Nothing more than a lazy trip, and some QT with the family.
We rented a little house on the side of the mountain in Waynesville, NC. Cool little town, and a perfect basecamp for adventures.
Friday morning, we rolled out, and headed UP into the high mountains...into Great Smoky Mountain NP. All the way to the top, and Newfound Gap. 5046' above sea level, if you're playing at home.
Twas cloudy, windy, and cold. The views were still pretty damn good.
The plan was no plan, and as Gatlinburg was 15 miles down the backside of the mountain, we headed down.
Glad we did, as we got to see the destruction caused by the December fires. The fires were arson, and HORRIBLE. It served as a lesson for the boys of what NOT to do.
Glad I went to Gatlinburg. Glad I never have to go again. The words "tourist trap" come to mind.
Coming back across the NP, we passed an "Elk Crossing" sign.
Hey...wouldn't that be cool?
Not 5 minutes later...
There were two dozen good sized elk just hanging out in & around the playground of the elementary school in Cherokee. Pretty cool...
Back to the house...big fire in the fireplace, and dinner.
Saturday, we fiddled around in the morning, then went snow tubing. If you've never been, GO! You don't need kids. It was big fun. And it was proof that people of all shapes, sizes, colors and nationalities can do something together, and have a good time!
The small kid, barely visible in the tube is #3. The spinning kid is #1. They had more fun than should be allowed.
Post tubing, we headed over to Soco Falls, and hiked down to the water. That lasted about 45 seconds, as the spray was REALLY cold.
Yes...that's ice!
On the way back, we stopped at a little market and got fresh trout. Yeah...it was good.
Another big fire, and a viewing of "Harry and The Hendersons".
(Pro-tip : Take your Amazon Fire TV Stick with you. If you have WiFi, you have quality TV.)

Up and on the road back early Sunday morning. We decided to take the back way. 276 all the way down into Greenville.
If you want a 45 mile ride that will break your legs, take your bike to Waynesville, and ride to Brevard. The valley road is rolling. Once into Pisgah National Forest, things go up. I cannot emphasize the following enough...
The are sections of the climb to the BRP that would make Contador and Quintana wonder what the F was going on! 10%? Yep. 12%? Uh-huh. 15%? Oh...yes. The steepest section was right at 20%!! And it wasn't short.
It was fine with 400hp under foot. You will NOT catch my big ass riding it.
Nice lunch @ Mayberry's in Brevard, then up to Caesar's Head.
It was a bit hazy, but still...as always...a spectacular view.
Only saw a few folks riding...
Thru Greenville, and back on the boring highway.
It was a great weekend. Much needed, and enjoyed by all.
Sometimes, one should just put the bike away, and go somewhere with family. It makes things better.

Now, I DID ride this morning. Easy 1:45. Just turning the pedals over to loosen up. No plan other than to feel the sun and wind on my face.

Happy Tuesday kids! Gonna be nice this weekend. I expect to see folks on the bike!!

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