Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 6

Wednesday, July 13

The day started out with a wrong turn and I knew it was a bad omen. After we got back on track I had to give some of the weight in my panniers to Ben because it was just too much for me. Then a bungie cord got caught in my gears and caused me to fall. It took at least ten minutes to untangle the cord, and now I was quite sure it was going to be a bad day.

The hills continued until the town of White Hall, where we stopped at a country store. Then the mountains began. We stopped for lunch at a peach farm and had peach and peanut butter wraps, along with many peaches and plums.

The scenery was truly beautiful but we knew we were riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which meant that we had to climb up there first. This was a scary thought but I don't think we fully understood would that would entail. We soon found out, and it wasn't pretty. We climbed to an elevation of 1895 ft in 3 miles. We literally biked up the mountain.
I can't really expressed how difficult it was... I was in first gear the entire time, and it seemed like my hardest gear. About halfway to the top, we stopped at the Cookie Lady's house but she wasn't home. She has been greeting bicyclists and giving them water since 1976. She has a barn filled with pictures and notes from cyclists past.

Sadly, we didn't get to see inside. We definitely appreciated the water from her hose as we continued up the mountain.

Once we reached the entrance of the parkway, we kept climbing and climbing. In a span of 20 miles we climbed to a max of 3425 ft- with very few downhills in between the ups. We were so exhausted by 7 pm we had no choice by to stop for the night, even though our town was still 12 miles away. After weighing our options we decided to camp out near an Appalachian trail head. Thankfully, some hikers let us have some of their water, because we really were in the middle of nowhere on top of a mountain. We made a quick dinner and fell asleep soon thereafter.

us> mtns?
Too close to Call

1 comment:

  1. So proud of you guys. It sounds difficult and beautiful at the same time. You guys are experiencing American beauty; most of us just drive by it. I'm glad the AMC's AT (Appalachian Trail) came in handy for you. I'm jealous you are outdoors. I can't wait to get out there myself.