It was a rainy, cold, drizzly morning when Johnny Calhoun called to suggest a late morning / early afternoon Green run. They cut the water off at noon so it was important that we move down river fast, so I just got the one shot of Jim J. running Sunshine for his first time. My hats off, he had a smooth line.
JC and I headed on into town for a burrito at Mamacitas then onto Richmond Hill for 18 holes. A good Sunday.
The forecast was maximum .1" and very scattered - they were wrong. It wasnt raining when I left the Glen Alpine but it was raining most of the 30 minute drive to Curtis Creek. At 7:15 a.m. I met up with Josh who had not ridden Heartbreak before. Josh had just drove an hour and a half for his first Heartbreak Ridge run and I didnt feel like bagging on the ride I had recomended so highly to him. I quickly described the trail composition / options and we decided to go for it, we could always turn around on the long climb up Curtis Creek if the weather got out of hand. It was a wet ride but a good ride. The climb up was a little soupy and the down hill demanded respect but it was all well worth the effort.
Post ride slop. Jarrets Creek rd was a little sloppy by the time we hit it.
Noel and I got an early start and went to check out Linville Falls and Wisemans View. We drove up 181 and back down the Kistler Memorial Hwy aka Old 105. Incredible views.
After we got home I called Dan to see if he was interested in some road riding to explore some of the back roads via. bike around the Johns River, Upper Creek, Warrior Fork, and Wilsons Creek. I struck out on Frankenstein at close to 4:oo. About a mile from the house on Watermill Road I heard a car sputtering behind me. They passed me pretty slow and after they got in front of me the passenger pulled out a pistol and pointed it at me - this was a surprise (Happy Easter to them too). I didnt get the liscense plate but it was a dark blue old japaneese beater maybe Honda Prelude or something similar. A dark headed, fat kid driving and a smaller build punk with lighter colored hair in the passenger side with the pistol. What a way to start a ride!After 6 miles of pedaling I arrived at Dan's house. We started up Goodmans Lake Rd, to Henderson Mill Rd, Pax Hill, then onto Packs Hill (2 spellings and 2 different rds), to Playmore Beach Rd and onto Brown Mountain Beach Rd then a left onto Johns River Rd, back to Henderson Mill and this is where Dan and I parted and I stayed on HM back to hwy 181, crossed over and stayed on Pea Ridge Rd until I got to a short road over to hwy 126 close to the Lake James fire station. I stayed on 126 until Watermill Rd and back through the boat landing, greenway and into the neighborhood.
I parked on the side of the road about a mile before the horse stables. To change it up a little I started climbing Avery Creek Rd instead of the FS rd behind the stable. I took a right onto the Buckhorn Gap single track which entailed a lot of creek crossings and then some significant uphill with some heavy erosion in places. It was worth it when I rolled up to the Black Mtn trailhead at Buckhorn Gap where I met up with Scott. Scott gave me a lot of good beta on some other trail options. We commenced up 127 to Clawhammer; Black Mtn. After a little hike-a-bike and incredible views, we finally hit paydirt with some off the hook downhill. I followed Scott down the Black Mtn trail to the intersection with Thrift Cove, trail #603 and took the left to connect this over to Grassy Road Trail and onto Sycamore Cove - thanks to Scott for the tour of that stuff, it has a little bit of everything. I then headed back to the car, and fueled up for round 2. This time I climbed up behind the horse stables and took 5058 up to 5099, Turkey Creek Rd aka 5022 on the map that drops back onto #127 at Pressley Gap. A little climb up Hickory Knob and then it is more screaming downhill all the way down to the Ranger Station this time. I then crossed over hwy 276 and crossed the Davidson River and into the Davidson River campground where I picked up North Slope Ridge trail #359. I was able to check out some ruins on Turkey Creek Rd and a historic graveyard near the Davidson River campgrounds.