Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Weekend Recap part II


In an attempt to avoid dragging this out for the rest of the week here is the rest of my weekends activities....

Summed up nicely for your convenience. Cause we both know that you should be working, not corning off on the computer while having your actual work minimized on your task bar just in case your boss walks by and you can pull it up really quick... He already knows your slacking off anyway...

Well hey there now again,

Here is my...


After frolicking in the forest Friday afternoon with The Bear, I had to find some human companionship, preferably whilst riding bike-cycles in the forest. It just so happens that fellow flat-lander/former Pineville, NC resident/Tarheel TrailBlazer/Bike-cycle enthusiast, JR had recently relocated his family to Etowah, NC.

JR and I had been planning a ride for quite a while now and it just never seemed to work out. I had work, he wouldn't, I'd be off and he would have something or other going on and so on and so forth. Well Saturday was the day we ride!!

JR had recently built himself a purty new mountain bike and was itching to try it out on some real live trail

I was happy to oblige him and we made plans to meet at the Davidson River Fish Hatchery in Pisgah Forest. This hatchery is known far and ride as "ground zero" for rad bike fun. Its also home to a shit load of fish preparing to be feasted upon by herons and wealthy day trippers from Charlotte. Im not a big fan of "hatchery fish". I prefer casting my line for some wild trout...but I digress...

I met up with JR about noon on Saturday and his buddy Sir Bikes Alot had come along as well. Both claimed to be "out of shape" which is every bike riders code for "I've been eating too many pimento cheese sandwiches and watching PinkBike videos instead of riding."

We headed up FR 475B and toward the Cove Creek Trail. JR didnt want to hammer, due to his "out of shape"ness but we kept a fun pace up the gravel road. We made it to the secret spur trail to Cove and I told the guys to watch out for trees and what not and we took off down trail.

SBA and JR preparing to get rad on the Cove Creek spur...

It always takes a minute or two to get my "Pisgah Legs" going and pretty soon I was dropping and jumping the many large rocks and roots, increasing speed as I went. JR must have been feeling the new bike because he wasn't too far behind and this wasn't easy trail.

At the bottom we kept going up and over creeks, rocks, roots, and forest fun along the mostly flat and flowy section of Cove. At the bridge crossing, I told the fellas we'd be riding Daniels Ridge too and we cut through the woods to an old abandoned road and started the long climb to the top of Daniels Ridge. This is where the group got a little strung out. JR was spinning out, SBA was rolling with me and I tried to keep a fast pace as we went. Pretty soon we met at the top and dropped our seats and hauled tail down to Daniels Ridge.

This is where the ride gets really interesting.

cliche "bike on trail" shot...

behind the scenes of "cliche "bike on trail" shot""""""

Daniels ridge isnt too steep but its plenty rocky and if you know the trail, you can launch off nearly every rock and root to make the trail your playground. If you don't know the trail well, you end up in the creek 40 feet down the mountain.

Luckily no one hit the creek.

Pisgah gnar...

It was great fun and we all survived. SBA and myself wanted to keep going so we peer pressured a very tired JR into doing Long Branch and the Davidson River Trail.

Long Branch requires gravel and trail climbing but your rewarded with a pretty fun decent through very tight laurel and rhodo tunnels. FUN!

SBA getting rowdy on some deadfall

We ripped down Long Branch and hit the DRT back to the Hatchery. Ride complete and beers were consumed.

Hopefully I didn't turn JR off from riding totally because he can rip when hes got his legs under him. Im pretty sure the new bike and this ride has ignited the stoke within him to ride again...and soon.


Burton and the Charlotte folks were heading up to do another ride but adding a Davidson River tube float at the end. I of course couldnt miss an opportunity to ride, float on pink intertubes while consuming beers, AND hanging out with some fellas I hadn't seen in a month or two.

I called up BillyGoat Erik and Fletcher to see if they would like to come along. They would.

We met at the N. Mills River Ingles and convoyed up to the bottom the Laurel Mountain. The plan was to do Laurel to Pilot Rock. Pilot is one of the best technical descents in the woods. Fast, rocky, steep as hell, and toss in a dozen or so nasty switchbacks that try to put you over the bars. Awesome bike-cycle fun.

So about 8 of us headed up Laurel Mountain. The climb is about 7 miles but its mellow and has plenty of chunky rock sections to keep it interesting. A few of the fellas hadn't been on a Pisgah ride in a while so by the time we traversed the really tough hike-a-bike section and made it to the top of Pilot they were spent.

 After resting and hydrating for the radness to come, we pedaled up to the top of the hill, dropped our seats, and commenced to rip...

but not before Fletcher regaled us with a story about the time BillyGoat Erik and himself climbed UP Pilot, in the rain, during PMBAR a few years prior. Outside of PMBAR this behavior is not advised...


 Down we went over super techy rock sections, off camber switchbacks, and exposed cliff faces.Several folks were claimed by the switchbacks and went OTB or some variation of it. Pretty soon we all made it to one of the best parts of the Laurel/Pilot ride... Awesome views...

Pink Beds...

We made the bottom and climbed up the gravel back to the trucks. Beers were had and a decision was made to "get beers and get the hell in the river".

So we did.

It was a great weekend and a well deserved one I might add. After working 12 straight days I was shot physically and mentally. The weekend was meant to be used resting and relaxing. Was it?

Heck No!

Im more tired than when I started but in the best possible way...

Cant wait to do it again this weekend...

See ya then folks!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The weekend that was...


Im wore out. 

But in the best possible way. After working 12 straight days, 120+ hours at work, and loss of sleep I finally got a few days off and I did it right. If I do say so myself.

Here goes,


I had to work but luckily the company let us go a few hours early. This meant trouble because I had some serious Pisgah withdrawal built up inside of me. Ive never smoked crack but the addiction that the forest had on me Friday afternoon was so strong that I can relate to Mr. Biggums and his affinity for the "rock"

I clocked out and went "the hell to the House" as a former co-worker used to say. Pulled in the drive, told The Bear to get ready, packed some snacks and water, and off we went up the BRP to find some forest fun.

I started hiking up past Craven Gap on the MST and it was great to finally be in the forest without a time restriction. I could spend all day, night, and the next if I wanted to. The Bear was having a great time too. She has been cooped up in the house and been a mopey mess since FW left a week ago to handle some biz in Union County. She needed the woods almost as bad as me. Lucky for her there were plenty of awesome smells in the forest to keep her interest.

After hiking for a while we came across this awesome washout that had stripped the hillside down to bedrock. Of course this required further investigation so we took off up the slide scrambling over bare rock and bolders to see how far up we could go before it gave out. The answer was a long way. We scrambled up at least 500 feet and finally found the end. What made this spot even better was that for several hundred feet around us was nothing but a meadow of Black Eyed Susans. It was very cool and even The Bear seemed to enjoy it.

Of course we couldnt stop there so we proceeded up the mountain to see what other awesome forest things we could discover. Pretty soon it petered out and we started seeing the rooftops of 3+ million dollar homes and "No Trespassing" signs of one of the many gated communities on Town Mountain Rd. I was reminded of that song by Tesla so The Bear and I traversed the mountain back down to the trail. The Bear taking the opportunity to get rad on some rock drops...

We got home, ate, had a few beers (not The Bear of Course, shes only 4) and sat on the back porch picking guitar watching the sun set through the spruce trees. It was a great start to what ended up being a spectacular weekend.

More on that to come....

Stay Tuned.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What day is it?...Where am I? Is this real life?...

Hey there now there,

Since my last post nothing much has changed.

I have yet to have a day off work since Sunday before last. 11 days straight and I'm exhausted. I cant tell if I'm coming or going, days are starting to melt together and I'm slowly descending into madness....

but things are good.

Wednesday I joined up with some local mountain bike-cycle riders at Bent Creek for the Billy Goat Bikes Wednesday Night Shit Show on Wheels. Or otherwise known as the "Shop Ride".

Of course I arrived late and ended having to haul ass to catch the group somewhere out on the trails. I ended up catching up to the back end of a Pisgah Area SORBA, aka PAS, group ride. They were heading the way I was headed so I rode with the PAS folks for a spell.

They kept a congenial pace and I chatted with the ride leaders about bikes, beers, and what not and took my leave when they headed up Sidehill.

After riding for a half hour solo looking for E. (shop ride leader/stoke getter of) and the Billy Goat crew I was getting bummed that I had missed them. I rode the trails, uphill both ways, and finally heard some shouting coming from Sidehill Connector.

It was E. and his buddy Fletcher, who I hadn't seen in a year or more, and the Billy Goat crew. We all proceeded down trail and up and over stuff and had a great time. The pace was fast but fun...exactly how a good social ride should be.

I look forward to attending many more of these in the weeks and months to come.

In other news....

Tomorrow is Friday, and even though I have to work, I will do my best to keep the excitement high for upcoming Pisgahdventures this weekend.

To get the fire started I bring you the usual Booze & Tunes selection for this weekend.

Your libation of choice this weekend will be Foothills Brewing Co.'s Hoppyum IPA.

As the name suggests there is a fine amount of hops in this beverage so drinker be ware. If you cant take the hops, get out of the kitchen. Foothills makes many other fine beers and God bless em'... They're from right here in good ole North Cackalacky.

 Enjoy many of them...

Music to get ya through is brought to you by Waylon Jennings. Ive been singing this song all week after hearing a bluegrass version on the way to work. Lucky for me there is hot picking bluegrass from 6:00am to 7:00am on 88.7 WNCW, the best radio station on the planet.

This is the original by ole' Waylon himself. Great country...short and sweet. If you aint on old country then your doing it wrong...

Grab a beer turn it up and get rowdy this weekend.

See yall Monday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Prodigal Post

Hey folks,

Im sure like my mother, many of you feared I was dead, lost in the woods, or stumbling around Downtown AVL on a pimento cheese and Dales Pale Ale induced bender.

Well it was actually none of the above.

Real Life Adult First World Problems have set in and I have been busting my hind end off at work. As such, I have had precious little time to do any mountainy adventures. The little bit of free time I have had has been spent on a bike-cycle, bellied up to a bar, or sprawled out on the living room floor in a pimento cheese and Dales Pale Ale induced stupor.

Working eight 10 hour days in a row has exhausted me physically and mentally and I havent found the time to bring you guys a proper blog post. However...

I will continue to update the masses as to my comings and goings on and hopefully this work schedule will straighten out soon so I can get back to the radness that is AVL-LVN.

In other news...

FW has left me for the whole week to fend for myself. She has traveled down to our homeland of south western Union County, NC to participate in a time honored and very cool tradition.

Camp Meeting.

Camp Meeting is a gathering of Methodists from far and wide who come every year to Pleasant Grove Campground in Mineral Springs, NC. Its been going on for more than a hundred years and is a really unique part of our home. Folks from all over the country come in for one week in the summer and get together for prayer, ice cream, and general mellow times down at the old camp ground.

Each family has a "tent" which is actually a little cabin, but they call them tents... confused me too at first. They stay in their tents and hang out and catch up with old and new friends and its a really awesome time. Im super bummed I cant be there.

FW will just have to eat my share of ice cream to maintain the balance of the universe.

 I wish I could attend but someones gotta bring home the bacon 'round I couldnt get off for a whole week.

PLeasant Grove Camp Ground, Union County NC from St Gelais Family on Vimeo.

Other than that, its just me and The Bear holding it down at Greenview Manor all week. Hopefully we wont burn the place down or lock ourselves out of the house...again.

Stay tuned for some more pisgahdventures and other news of note as it comes...

See ya!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekend Recap...

Hey folks,

Well.... its back to Monday again...

To most of us working stiffs, Mondays are synonomous with awfulness. Why is that?

Well I'm sure it has mostly to do with the fact that we go "back to work" on Mondays. Also, Its like a big let down after spending a couple days off from having a good time with good friends. You spend all week working hard, preparing for the awesomeness that is to come Friday afternoon and then WHAM!...

You suddenly find yourself back to reality on a Monday morning. Well...

Im going to try to change that and I suggest you follow suit.

Lets not get a case of the Mondays... Lets get a case of the radness because no one ever said that Monday has to suck. We just allow it suck by default of having nothing awesome planned. My Monday afternoon will consist of getting a cold beer, lacing up my hiking shoes, and going outside with The Bear and The Goose to see what trouble we can stir up on some trail somewhere.

Im challenging each and every one of you folks reading this come up with his or her own activity to turn Monday into Funday....

Lets  see what ya got folks.

Moving along to my usual business...

FW and I had made plans to try to find Douglas Falls located in the Big Ivy/Coleman Boundary area of Pisgah. We had attempted this before but failed due to my lack of being able to judge trail distances on a map. This may or may not have had something to due with large quantities of hoppy beverages before starting the hike... but that's neither here nor there

Well this time was different.

Clear headed (mostly) and strong in spirit, we set forth to claim what was rightfully ours!

We started from Craggy Gardens picnic area off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was nice leaving Greenview Manor in the low 90's and arriving at Craggy in the upper 60's. This place is starting to become our own personal mountain oasis in the sky. At close to, and even over 6000' in elevation, The Craggies are a high altitude paradise from the city heat down below.

This time I knew for certain where we were going so we set off on the MST to connect to the Douglas Falls Trail. The MST is nice due to its heavy use. Its well maintained and easy to follow thanks to the many volunteers and friendly white circle blazes on trees and rocks every so often.

The hiking was beautiful and many of the forests wildflowers were in full summer bloom.

Scarlet Bee's Balm

Turks Cap Lily

We met up with a young girl on vacation from her internship at Duke University. This was great for FW who used to reside in Durham, NC home to Duke. Bull City representin'!

They chatted about the Dirty D and I was happy to let The Goose pull me down trail. For 77 years old (11 in people years), The Goose is a hiking machine.

Pretty soon we reached the intersection with the Douglas Falls Trail and our Bull City companion decided to head back so FW and I proceeded down trail to our destiny...

According to the map we had two creeks to cross and then we should be at the falls. The MST is notorious for being somewhat misleading on distances and this was no exception. We crossed at least 4 creeks (none of which were on the map) and FW was beginning to get a bit frustrated.

The frustration sets in...

Creek after creek and no clue how far we had to travel to the falls.

unknown creek... The 4th one of who knows...

The hike itself wasnt no cake walk either, although if it was at least we'd have cake and thats alright by me. After several thousand feet of knee busting descending we started to hear a creek. A large creek. The kind of creek that could have a badass waterfall on it. Pretty soon we could start seeing water and hearing a large roar of water...the kind of sound that only a 75' waterfall can make.

Finally we made it. After planning on a 2-3 mile hike and ending up with a 5-6 mile hike, one way, we found the elusive Douglas Falls.

What a freaking beautiful freaking waterfall!!

The best part was no one was there. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere and had the whole place to ourselves. It was supreme. The coolest part for me was there was not a stitch of trash or human sign anywhere. This is exceptionally rare in these mountains, especially around places that are this.

FW and I sat there contemplating the mysteries of the Universe and communing with nature in splendid solitude for quite a while. Meanwhile The Bear amused herself with a yummy stick...

mmmmmmm wood.

After spending a while in quiet reflection, FW got a few glamour shots and off we went...back up the mountain with a renewed sense of self-worth and perspective that only being alone in Momma Natures bounty can give.

The hike up was much more enjoyable. A combination of achieving our goal and the terrain being easier on the ole knees, had us making good time up the mountain. Shortly toward the top, The Goose began to lag behind. We stopped and took a rest and knew immediately something was wrong. After all the hiking and jumping up and over rocks and creeks she was done.... This Goose was cooked...


For a 77 (dog years) year old dog, she had done outstanding but a hike of this scale was just too much. We took a long rest and let her recover some but she still was dragging. FW and I both knew something had to be done. FW being the animal lover and wonderful dog owner she is scooped her up and gave The Goose a birds eye view of the trail all the way back to the car.

This hike was more than either of us expected but it was soooo worth it finding such a treasure and getting to hang out in the forest for a day with each other. 

Thats what its all about. Family Forest Fun...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gettin' Turnt!

Hey now,

Hope everyone's Friday is off and running and going swimmingly...

Mine sure enough is because I have do not have work today, and as such, actually slept in a little bit. Im usually up at 4:50am to get my morning started and its nice to actually get a couple hours extra. Still, I've been up since 7:00am and doing house stuff.

The hardwood floors here at Greenview Manor were recently refinished, after the original floors were refinished very poorly before we purchased the place. FYI... If your in Asheville and need real hardwood floor work done... avoid New Earth Flooring from Black Mountain, NC.

The workers that did the actual work were great but management there sucks.

Moving along....

Since FW and I are both off we are spending the morning moving from our dining room (which is currently our bedroom) and back to some semblance of normalcy.

After that its off to the woods for more redemption on our failed attempt at finding Douglas Falls a couple weeks ago. This time I wont be fueling up on 32 ounces of Dales Pale Ale. Probably 40 ounces of Pabst instead... Voila!

Since it is Friday and all....

Your Beer for the Weekend shall be Terrapin Beer Co's Rye Pale Ale...

This beer was my first intro into pale ales and hoppier fare many, many moons ago and I have been a fan ever since. Its a tasty beverage and best of all it has a turtle playing the banjo on the bottle! As you may recall, the Turtle is my spirit animal and banjos...well anyone that knows me well can figure that part out.

Your Tunes for the Weekend shall be one that pairs nicely with our bluegrass turtle beer o' choice and its one of my favorites from The Boys...


Have a mellow weekend folks....

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bike, Hike, Pie...

Hey folks,

Its mid week and I have been flying solo for the last few days.

You see, FW and The Bear have been cruising on the Appalachian Trail (AT) for the last 3 days and I have been left home alone...well, not entirely. The Goose has been keeping me company.

FW has been sorely missing the woods and she decided it was time to get some "wilderness experience" up on Roan Mountain on the Tennessee/NC border. The Roan is a badass hike over 14 miles of high altitude balds and rhododendron choked gaps. Its beautiful.

I did the same hike a few Aprils ago and have been really wanting to get back ASAP.

The hike is from Carvers Gap, NC to highway 19E and is only do-able as a shuttle run. This meant that she needed company and she found it in the form of her best friend and long term hiking partner Tiffany H. With Tiff on board they could use both cars to make the hike happen.

Her trip report, as told to me, was of an awesome time. Aside from The Bear rolling in human feces on the second day. This brings me to the most important factor when going out into God's Country...

Folks... If your going out into the forest and "nature calls", for the love of God and everyone else around you,


I cant tell you how many times I have come across human excrement and toilet paper right next to, or even sometimes on the trail. Its disgusting, environmentally harmful, and extremely bad outdoor etiquette. If you cant properly dispose of waste in the backcountry, stay home.
Soap box down...

Otherwise her hike seemed wonderful. Great weather, good people, and of course gorgeous mountain scenery.

Needless to say I am super jealous and now planning my own expedition to The Roan soon.

The best part is she returned with one of Western NC's most cherished and sacred objects...

Famous Louise's Rock House Restaurant's strawberry and rhubarb pie...

This pie is the pie to end all pies. As a pie expert and connoisseur I can safely say there is none better. If your ever in the Linville Falls/Boone/Banner Elk area I strongly advise you seek it out... a la mode of course!

In bike-cycle news...

Tuesday afternoon I managed to get in an afternoon ride up on Trace Ridge in the North Mills Recreation Area. The ride was great, besides a little bit of spill on Spencer Gap. The climb up to the summit isn't terribly hard but its enough to give your lungs and legs a proper burn. On the way up I teamed up with a married couple out for a joy ride and we even saw a bear cub scurry across the trail in front of us.

The Trace Ridge downhill is a really fun ride. After a tricky climb up your rewarded with 2-3 miles of awesome Pisgah downhill. Plenty of drops, rocks, and berms to shred and the trail is wide open so the only thing slowing you down is your own nerve and sense of self preservation.

Bottom line... You can rip...and/or really hurt yourself if your not careful.

The cherry on top is lower Trace Ridge which is a short but super technical descent where the OTB factor is super high. FUN!

Ive started to really enjoy trying different routes and rides in our new home... Stay tuned for more and for the Beer and Tunes Weekend Kickoff in a few days...

Have a great rest of your week folks!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Weeeeeekend Recap

Hey there ya'll,

Hope everyone had a happy, healthy, hellacious weekend. One filled with fireworks, fun, frankfurters, and freedom exercising activities. Freedom aint free and anytime a national holiday comes around like it did this past weekend, I do my best to stick to those Red Coats by doing something the Queen would surely scoff at and possibly even say "My word!!" about.

The weekend started with me attempting to earn some good trail karma by helping some Charlotte area mountain bike-cyclists navigate the wilds of Old Fort, NC. As mentioned here previously there is a mountain bike-cycle race going down in Old Fort, NC at the end of July called ORAMM. Its a 65 mile suckfest of mostly road and some trail that has some pretty nasty climbs on it.

Well, several Charlotte area riders were planning on racing the ORAMM and need help. Being from Charlotte they hadnt had the pleasure of suffering on what the course has to offer. They had posted on the local Charlotte mountain bike-cycling club, The Tarheel Trailblazers, website and need help.

Well, I figured I'd give 'em some navigational help and to be honest, I wanted redemption from the previous attempt at pre-riding The ORAMM course.

Up bright and early and we were on the trail at 7am. Up and off the Star Gap switchbacks then on and down the Heartbreak Ridge switchbacks. Left onto Jerdon Mtn. Road which wasnt as bad this time around. It was really nice outside and the dudes were content to keep a fast pace.

Once we hit Curtis Creek Rd. an old fella in a pickup stopped us and said he had lost his puppy up on the mountain. This seemed suspicious to me and left me wondering if next he would invite us into his windowless van for candy...

We told him we would keep and eye out and off and up Curtis Creek we went. This was pretty much the same as last time. It sucked and was long and steep and felt like it would never end. But it did and after the Parkway section and short hike-a-bike at the entrance to Heartbreak we were off on one of the raddest downhills in the forest.

Heartbreak has everything a proper mountain bike-cycle trail should have. Steep, rooty sections, natural features you can jump, and plenty of opportunities to exit the trail into rhododendron 40 feet down the side. Its awesome. Even the dudes seemed to be enjoying it, although they had never ridden trail of this caliber before...

Heartbreak ridge is a hell of a downhill and has some of the best of what Western NC has to offer. The dudes rode almost all of it but decided against the biggest move on lower Star Gap.

"I dont think so Tim"

Its a tricky move. One that has left me eating dirt on many occasions before. I felt good so I said "the hell with it" and went for it...

The day was grand and it felt good helping some out of towners find their way around. I also got redemption on the previous attempt Bailout in the Rainfog Nightmare on the Parkway 2014.

All was great in the land of Pisgah...

Except the dudes had told their wives that the ride would only last 4 hours. It ended up being more like 6 or 7. Hope they bought flowers and candies to make up... Or use my excuse of having to help an old man find a puppy... who doesnt like puppies?


Saturday FW and I were up bright and early to receive guests in the form of FW's parents and her Uncle Joe. They had business to attend to in Montreat, NC and wanted to come by and say hello. We ate a great breakfast at the Farmers Market and afterward, FW took off to work, the future In-Laws headed to Montreat, NC and I was left to my own devices.

Luckily my own Uncle Jeff had called me and wanted to ride bike-cycles at Bent Creek. He has a cabin in Linville, NC and had decided it was high time to go visit his only nephew and get rad with him on some trail. You see, Jeff is the reason I started mountain bike-cycling almost 16 years ago. Without his awesomeness and guidance, I would be a sad, miserable person instead to the sad, miserable, bike-cycler person I am today. The ride was great and he will definitely be coming back to ride again.

I drove home, mowed the yard, and drank too many beers. When FW arrived home, I was promptly escorted downtown to a piano bar called the Off the Wagon. I dont remember much of the rest of the night besides lots of IPA's, Pianos, singing "Raspberry Beret" with a bunch of strangers, and dancing "The Time Warp" in front of the bar.

If you arent familiar with the last two things then you have received your homework assignment for the week....


Sunday arrived with a headache and a hankering to get outside and play. Luckily our neighbors and fellow piano bar attendees Keith S. and Greta B. were off to go boating on the French Broad River near Brevard, NC. I have done plenty of flat water canoeing but the opportunity to get into some current sounded too great so FW and I loaded up and traded our land legs for sea ones.

It was a beautiful day. The river was flowing nicely and even offered a few "oh shit!" moments thanks to the numerous strainers and tricky bends we had to navigate.

Picnic style lunches were had, ice cold Pabsts were imbibed and a delightful time was had by all.

We even saw a beaver...What a treat!

I am 110% certain that boats, probably kayaks, are in FW and my immediate future. Just another way to enjoy the outdoor paradise land O' milk and honey we call home.

Until next time folks...

Hey! check out this sweet bug!!

Friday, July 4, 2014


Happy Independence day Ya'll!

I'm celebrating the beginning of the end of British tyranny by exercising my freedom to get rad on a mountain bike-cycle this morning bright and early.

For some reason last Sunday I didn't get enough of the suck down in Old Fort so I'm heading back to do it again with a different crew. The weather is looking much more friendly this time...

Since it is Friday, as Always here's your Beer and Tunes....

Since its the 4th of July Holiday Weekend your beverage of choice will be ice cold Budweiser...The King of Beers.

Add caption

Why? Cause America! thats why....what are you some sort of communist?

Drink 'a plenty of em..

Your tunes to get ya turnt up this weekend will be this classic guaranteed to leave you feeling patriotic if not a little froggy looking to kick some Britt's ass somewhere...

Its hard for me to speak of Top Gun without posting this as well...

Hopefully if your working today it will make it a little more bearable and get ya closer to quitting time so you can enjoy some ice cold Budweisers with your peeps...

Have a Good 'ern folks!

See ya Monday.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Heartbreak Bailout

Hey there now,

So I left yall on the edge of your seats about last Sunday's Pisgahdventure.

Charlotte folks were coming to town to ride mountain bike-cycles in Old Fort, NC which is a short jaunt down the mountain from me. I was under the impression that it was to be a nice mellow day in the forest and we'd all ride and laugh, and chill and absorb good mountain vibes.

I watered up, grabbed a couple granola bars and headed down.

We met up at the Old Fort Picnic Area and as soon as I pulled in I knew something was awry. Several Charlotte fasties were there and the group was murmuring something about training for ORAMM, a 70 mile mountain bike-cycle race going down in July.

hmmm... "Oh well" I thought, "maybe they're doing a big ride and we're doing the fun, mellow one". A quick photo was taken of this merry band of misfits and we proceeded to venture forth into the wilderness.

Once we were on the road, Momma Nature sarted teasing us with a mix of sun, clouds, and threatening rain. High humidity and low hanging clouds rarely mean dry times in these mountains. "rain should make this a little more interesting..." I thought.

Along the way I discovered that the easy day in the woods I had been planning on, was not going to happen.

The plan was:

Star Gap (brutal climb) to Jerdon Moutain Road (monotonous gravel climb) to Curtis Creek Road ("stab me with a soldering iron and end the pain now" gravel road climb) to the Blue Ridge Parkway (paved sucky climb with cars trying to kill you) to Heartbreak Ridge (badass awesome fun downhill) back to the car. 40+ miles with 90% of the ride up hill...

"Well then" I thought... "I should have brought more granola."

So off we went, up switchbacks on Star Gap/Lower Heartbreak. If Im not mistaken this climbs hundreds of feet in about a mile and there are no less than 17 switchbacks one has to traverse. Momma Nature had recently deposited her rains on the area that morning so the climbing was slow, slick, and extremely humid. I was dripping wet by switchback #2.

Once at the top to descend Star Gap to Jerdon Mtn, several folks had had enough aleady of the suck and made the decision to shuttle up to the top of Heartbreak in an air conditioned vehicle full of gatorade and snacks. I was feeling good so I decided that I'd at least descend Star Gap and ride Jerdon Mtn. then make a decision at the bottom.

Star Gap was overgrown and the forest was fighting me the whole way down. Screaming downhill with switchback after switchback threatening to put me over the bars. The laurel and Rhodo ripping at my face and hands trying to pull me into the forest. It was awesome...

Once on Jerdon Mtn. Road the hardy group of riders still on for the "big one" headed down toward Curtis Creek Road. Jerdon is gravel and has plenty of ups and downs and for the most part its not too bad. I stopped often to enjoy the blackberries that were growing on the roadside and to take a break or two.

Towards the end Greg H was nowhere to be seen so a rescue squad was sent out to look for him. Turns out he flatted and could not get the tire to hold air so his day was over... Lucky.

The bold few that were left were myself, Colin, Kevin B, Tom A, a chick I dont know, and Emily W.

Up Curtis Creek we went.

This road is the worst gravel hell hole of a climb that ever was. Its arguably the worst road in all of America. Not really but its a bitch to climb on a bike-cycle. 11 miles and many thousands of feet in elevation gain from bottom to top.

death climb...

It starts off friendly enough but by the time your half way into it your hurting. To make it worse the closer we got to the top, the worse the weather became. So bad that by the time we reached the Blue Ridge Parkway, it was full on rain-fogging and visibility was about 10 feet.

Tom A. had bailed, and Kevin, Colin and the other chick were off ahead.

It was down to Emily and myself. At the top we had a "meeting" to decide what to do. As we were standing there in the rain, Emily's bike-cycle slipped and hit the road. Upon inspection, we discovered that her rear shifter was broken.

My expert bike-cycle maintenance skills kicked in and in two seconds flat we had it rigged with zip-ties and ready to rock.


So, off on the Parkway in heavy rainfog with zero visibility and cars flying past unable to see us. Not good mountain bike-cycling times at all. We pulled over at an overlook and decided that this was stupid, dumb, dangerous, and it sucked. "lets head down, this is silly" was the call.

So after all the climbing in rain, mud, muck, and fograin...we headed down back down Curtis Creek Rd. All that hard work climbing, all the suffering, all for nothing...excpet we joined the small community of nutcases who have climbed that road only to come back down it for no reason.

The descent was fun other than the fact that I was soaking wet, it was 65 degrees and I was shivering pretty bad from the wind. We tried to text the others to come and find us but no one answered our pleas.

we made it down safe, hit Hwy. 70 into town and were pretty much getting hammered by rain, wind, and all the traffic passing us...while avoiding 3 foot deep mud holes and trying not to get run over.

By the time we hit town it was slowing and suddenly we saw a familiar face. Mike B had got our text and was coming to rescue us. Even though we were nearly back to the parking area at the picnic grounds, his f-150 was a welcome sight.

sag wagon

Emily and I climbed in and got a lift back. Safe and sound.

This ride was up there among the most crazy I've had. It seemed that everything was out to get us... weather, traffic, and a killer route nearly did us in but we lived to tell the tale and I wont soon forget this one. It might be a while before I try it again...

...maybe this Friday...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Weekend Recap


My life is finally back to normal (somewhat) and I can now fill you all in on my most excellent weekend. I can tell by your eagerness that you cant wait to hear me boast about how great AVL is on the weekends. Hippies rejoice in the streets, the homeless smile and tip their hats, and mother nature releases her bounty far across the land...

But not really. Its pretty much like any other place except that if your into mountainy adventurous activities its a wee bit better.

This weekend FW and I decided that it was very meet, right, and just for us to venture forth from our home, aka Greenview Manor, and seek earthly delights out in the forest.

This started on Friday with us going to Bent Creek Experimental Forest and mountain bike-cycling with FW's gym friend Lois.

experimenting with forests only leads to doing harder forests.

Bent Creek is a fun place to ride, however, I prefer a more adventurous riding locale on my weekends off. FW really enjoys it and since I hadn't been on a bike-cycle in over 2 weeks it seemed like a good refresher.

I'm not sure what kind of experiments occur in said "Experimental Forest" because I never see any test tubes, bunsen burners, or graduated cylinders when I ride there. However, I'm always left with worrisome thoughts afterward. What strange and evil creatures could the USFS be "experimenting" with in the forest? My guess is a hybrid race of box turtle that is trained in hand-to-hand combat, and who's blind rage and blood lust can only be satiated by pizza...

Does there evil know no bounds!!!!

Saturday morning rolled around and after too many pancakes, FW and I took off up the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of the elusive Douglas Falls in the Big Ivy/Coleman Boundary area of Pisgah. After packing a lunch and parking at Craggy Gardens, we took off down trail.


 The hiking was pleasant even though we were socked in by clouds most of the time. Even The Goose seemed content to be up amongst the clouds.

The Goose preparing to be consumed by "The Nothing"

We stopped, ate lunch, and then searched and searched but never found the ever elusive Douglas Falls. Might have had something to do with the 32 ounces of Dales Pale Ale I consumed at lunch...

Fruit n' Booze

After reviewing the map, I figured out that we just hadn't hiked far enough on the MST. Save it for next time I suppose. After giving up on the falls, we headed down the mountain and back to Greenview Manor.

Sundays plan was to meet up with some Charlotte folks for a nice easy mountain bike-cycle ride in Old Fort, NC. However, this was not to be...

Stay tuned tomorrow for the breakdown of what Im calling..."The Heartbreak Bailout"

See ya tomorrow kids.