Sunday, September 27, 2015

9/26/2015 Finally Back On Wilson Creek. My first 4 WC Runs Since April - It Has Been a Very Dry Summer

 The gage at 7 am. First run was a Soul-O and Organic Shuttle - as in I jogged it.

 The parking lot after my first run. I headed on down to where I stashed my running shoes below Screaming Right Turn. The wave was banging down there.

 The second run I hooked up with two guys and one was having a lot of issues flipping and he did not appear to be able to roll. He had no float bags either. I suggested after his first swim that he take off and get some float bags, practice his roll and return at a little lower level. His reply was that he would be fine if he just ran everything direct. He was wrong.
After a few more swims a big group caught up with us below Thunder Hole and the competent guy knew some of them. They were also helping a swimmer and agreed to absorb the two guys I was paddling with so I broke off to complete the run Soul-O.
The guy with no roll said he had run the big 50 foot water fall on Elk River but had not run the rest of The Elk (I guess I know why, you need to be able to roll to run The Elk). He was suggesting that he was considering going over to see if NF of the Catawba was running. I told him he should stay away from that since I have scouted it several times and know it is beyond anything I will personally consider running. He said he has seen a few guys run it and that he could handle it. More Balls than Brains IMHO. Glad I got away before his next swim on Wilson Creek at a little over 0!

Three of the guys running Boat Buster above were with the group that took over the two guys I was paddling with. Most of them seemed a little more proficient than my big drop paddling partner and the more competent guy I was paddling with seemed to know the Alpha so I didnt feel bad taking off Soul-O. I love to paddle with others but I do expect strangers to at least have the minimal skills to be on Wilson Creek if they expect me to lead them down.
This star/leaf on the rock was very cool to me.
 After my second run I ran into two prospective campers looking at the bill board between the take-out and the camp ground. I traded them some Beta on some exceptional camp sites at Harper Creek for a ride back to my van at the take-out.
After I drove back, picked up my kayak, and was pulling back into the Put-In parking lot and was prepared do another Soul-O, Steve Yost, a retired Dr asked if I wanted to set up shuttle with them. I was more than happy to have my van at the take-out especially if I was not committed to paddle with another crazy dude. Over the years it has happened enough times to know not to commit to join into a group without knowing what you are getting into ahead of time. I had once again been duped on my second run when the guy assured me that he was a raft guide and "knew the ropes".
While running shuttle with Dr. Steve and Keith (the other driver), I found out that their group consisted of 4 guys: Dr. Steve and the other drivers name is Keith Raker who is from Winson-Salem.  David Mitchell had ridden up with Dr. Steve from the great state of SC. The fourth paddler was Jason Hunt, a very nice guy who is from Salisbury and Jason had ridden up with Keith.These guys all seemed very nice and responsible paddlers so I asked if they would mind if I jumped in with their group. We ended up doing two very enjoyable runs together. I was lucky to have found such a good group to paddle with.

9/17, 9/18, 9/19, 9/23 and 9/24/15 Mountain Biking Like it's Going Outta Style

 Thursday, 9/17 Chris and I parked at Wilson Creek, rode up Craig Creek to Raidercamp aka Autobhan of Wilson Creek, onto South Fork Harper, Harper and back out to Wilson Creek. The shaky shot above caught the action before a pretty epic crash. Some scrapes and bruises but his bike was still good to go.
 The low light resulted in not so great action shots but at least we tried...

 I had a weak moment on Friday, 9/18. I left work and rushed to my "new" personal favorite Asheville bike shop, Carolina Fatz (they sell Santa Cruz bicycles and I have found out that the owner has a connection to my employer Continental Automotive - look forward to asking him about that when I take it back for the first tune up). I finally decided it was time for me to get a new bike. My last MTB was bought in 2007, actually I think it was the 2nd blog post I made here! I feel a little guilty that I didnt get a bike from Jeff at Luna Cycles in Lenoir since they have treated me so well but I was set on the new 29" Santa Cruz Superlight and LC do not represent SC. They will have my road bike business when I am ready to upgrade the drive train.
 On my first ride on the new bike (same day I bought it) I spotted this guy. Was very cool to be able to get some pictures. Usually they are moving way too fast to get the camera out and snap pics but this one was just moseying through the woods and I was stopped adjusting my bar ends and looking for some riding glasses I had lost there a few months ago.

One great thing about Carolina Fatz is they provide free tune-ups for the life of the bike. I was promised that when I bought my 26" Superlight in 2007 but they lied and left me high and dry after less than a year. I dont do much business with them at all any more. Shame too since it is the most local bike shop to where I live but they are only open on Saturdays now. Oh well, live and learn. Sometimes you have to drive out of town to get the most reliable service.

 On my way to the Big O I stumbled on this corn field in the middle of the woods. Forest Service is feeding the bears and deer. I scared something away. Heard it but didnt see whether it was a bear or a deer. The Big O is in need of some love. I need to get back out there with some tools.

 9/19/15, time to take the new bike to Heartbreak.

The Superlight performed great on the Heartbreak downhill. It was over way too fast!

I didnt bring the camera for my after work rides on Wednesday 9/23 and Thursday 9/24. On Wednesday I rode up and back out for about 2 hours on Lower Wilson Ridge. It was grassy but there was a line all the way through and I had a blast. On Thursday I showed Gerhard down Headquarters Mountain up Hwy 181. Great Times - this MTBing thing in addictive!