Road Trip

Ok, since I locked myself out of my house and have nothing else to do but hang around town I might as well get some of this done:

Day one: Left Connecticut after a hectic 6 or so hours of final packing and bidding farewell to my roomates Chris, Andrew, and Pete for (maybe) the last time I'll see them.

Left around 6 PM which make for a pretty smooth drive to Jersey, 4ish hours for a drive that has taken me 6 before due to traffic. Arrived, said hi to grandpaw and went to bed.

Day two: Spent the day with the grandparents and dad, who arrived after a slightly hellish overnight trip from MT to Philly via Denver and San Fransisco (don't ask)..

My dad and his mom:

Grandpa Zeke:

Went on a bike ride, went to Lowes and looked at sheds, had dinner with fantastic corn and ribs with uncle Tom aunt Donna, and cousins Sarah and Laura.. Overall a nice relaxing day in Jersey.

Day Three: This day involved the longest drive of the whole trip: 760 miles and 7 states. The drive went pretty well, most of it was through Virginia and was quite beautiful. Southern PA was also nice, lots of old farmhouses with the Appalachians as a backdrop:

Drove through 15 and 20 minutes of Maryland and WV respectively, then onto the entire length of Virginia. Virginia had a lot of mountainous driving. Broke up the monotony, but probably added an hour or two to the trip.

Finally, one last pass over the smokies and into Asheville:

Stayed at a hostel in Asheville that night. It was interesting, there was a guy from Ireland and a guy from France there, as well as a couple of local types. Went to bed early after a brief exploration of west Asheville. Sort of southern meets hippy with some mexico mixed in.

Day Three: Woke up early and raided the hostel kitchen for coffee.

Headed down to the Pisgah national forest via skyline drive. All sorts of scenic with the morning mist making the blue ridge mountains extra smoky.

Arrived at Pisgah after an hour or so of stopping at countless scenic viewpoints and navigating thick fog and tunnels. Had a breakfast of oatmeal and headed into the town of Pisgah forest to get some parts for my bike. After getting ripped off at a local shop (Sycamore Cycles), the mechanic was kind enough to let me use a stand and tools. I guess I shouldn't complain too much. I headed out to ride black mountain, my first introduction to rides with more than 400 feet of climbing at once. It was a bunch of fun, and had a pretty awesome view at the top:

Then a 1900 feet downhill with lots of rocks and assorted rough stuff along with a good dose of speed. I ran into a guy halfway up and kept with him for some of the downhill, but then flatted and never saw him again. Good guy, he gave me a tip for a little side trail at the bottom that was alot of fun. Arrived back at my car exhausted and completely out of fuel. Went to the local Bi-Lo and got some prime southern Barbecue: pulled pork and fries. Had a fantastic dinner along with a dip in Davidson river and decided to find a camping spot. Drove way the heck up into the woods and settled in for a night of really loud locusts.

Day 4: Day began with more oatmeal, then a ride on Daniel Ridge, which was on the way back out from where I was camped.

So that's why the road was closed...

Packed up after that, and drove out of the forest to get to Dupont State Park for more riding.

to be continued: More bikes, then all kinds of rarely seen relatives....


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