The middle the road trip..

Ok, where were we? Oh yeah, heading to Dupont State Forest.

Dupont was a weird place, the entire forest was on top of what appeared to be pretty much sollid granite. Most of the riding was on nice grippy dirt, but where there was water and on top of some of the mountains it was strangely bare.

There were several waterfalls, this one (bridal veil) was really wide, and if one was inclined (and wanted to risk a ticket from the man) they could ride right up the left side to a more traditional falls towards the top.. Instead I continued on around one mountain, and eventually to a cool climb up an exposed slickrock mountainside.

I had a brief glimpse of the climb to come:

You can actually find this on google maps too, if you are so nerdly inclined...

After some more fantastic trails it was time to head back to the car.

Packed up and drove to Lake Powotan recreation area for a nice cool swim in the lake surrounded by fireflies, and a slightly more restful sleep (benadryl and less locusts)

In the morning I did one more ride at Bent creek (the forest I was in, part of Pisgah). This ride had the fastest, most fun downhill section I think I've ever ridden. I've gotten a lot better at riding bikes since I've been to the more well known singletrack destinations such as fruita, so I don't know if I'd have more fun on them now, but as it stands today these are my favorite.

Then it was off to Indianapolis!

I took a different route back over the blue ridge mountains (smokies) through a bit of tennessee, and then into kentucky over the Appalachians.

It was pretty much constantly mountainous driving between Asheville and mid Kentucky, with large semis barraling around you on the downhills and then floundering up the ascents. Pretty stressful, and not alot of pictures.. Managed to snap off a good one of my eighth state of the trip:

Kentucky became progressively hotter and flatter, with lots of cornfields and horse farms. Seems the white fences my mom affectionately spoke of were all painted brown, must be the new style in horse farms. Something I thought was pretty funny was that instead of having a wine trail like California (and Connecticut actually), they had a bourbon trail..

Figured stopping for a glass of whiskey may be a detriment to my driving, so instead I carried on through the farmland.

Then it was over a bridge and into Indiana..

I arrived at my Aunt and uncle's around dinner time, and we had a glass of their homebrew wine out on the porch. Funny, I havn't seen them in years, and they were exactly how I remember them: only now Tom was retired and happier (he was happy before too).

Me and Bonnie had a lively discussion about being bionic humans (she has a hip and two knees, and you all know about mine) and metal detectors.

I also hung out with their new cat "Goose".. Lively little fella, like to climb up on top of furniture just to watch Tom and Bonnie lunge for the water gun..

We had a great dinner of pork chops (third day in a row of this marvelous animal), corn, and cucumbers and vinegar (an old family favorite my mom must not of liked because I've never had it). Then off to bed..

The next morning went went for a whirlwind tour of Carmel and Indianapolis. Carmel was pretty cool, it had statues all over the main street of various people.

Then we drove by a house my mom should be familiar with:

And into Indianapolis. The city was pretty nice, with some cool architecture and a nice humongous stadium being built for the Colts (gee I wonder why?).

The coolest part was the trip to Speedway, Indiana. Once a year, a crowd of over half the population of Montana (450,000) enters speedway for the largest sporting event in the world: The 500 mile race (as the locals call it).

Wound the Camry up for a hot lap:
(not really)

And checked out the museum:

I fiinally found out why everyone calls it "The brickyard": The whole track used to be made of bricks.. Now there is only a strip at the finish line:

After an excellent lunch it was back on the road for Olathe (pronounced oh-lathe-ee), Kansas and my other Aunt and Uncle. But first I had to cross Illinois and Missouri.

Both of these states were hot, and i didn't stop much. Personally, I didn't think any part of the drive was boring, lots of cornfarms things I've never seen. But these states tried pretty hard to be less memorable. Maybe it was the steadily flattening and straightening of the road?

I stopped in St. Louis right round the arch to wait for traffic to stop being crappy. As soon as I got off, i could see traffic stop on the bridge going into the city. Good move, I'd say.

It was so hot the birds all had their mouths open, and the arch was deserted:

The arch is much bigger than I thought, gave some of the skyscrapers a run for the money even:

After an hour or so, traffic eased up, and I got back on the road. i arrived in Olathe around 10:30 and talked to aunt Carol and my cousin Amy for a while, then went to bed.

more later, the weather cleared up and I need to get my unemployed self outside to play


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