Monday, February 29, 2016

2/26, 2/27, and 2/28 Kayaking, Mountain Biking, and Fast Track Hiking

This past weekend was a reminder of why I live in Glen Alpine, NC. It is not because I have family here because other than Starla, I do not any family living in western NC. It is not because I grew up here because I did not, I am a transplant from the eastern part of the state.  I’ve lived in this area for 17 years and can’t imagine living in the flat lands again.
I live in Glen Alpine because I can kayak, hike and mountain bike year round. I may not go kayaking on the coldest day of the year but it is rare that the following day is not more moderate. We just don’t get that many “bad” days during a year. I may not feel like biking on the hottest day of the year but that is a good opportunity to take the kayak out and get wet or find some high elevation activity where the temperatures are more comfortable even in the middle of the summer. When it is too muddy to ride my MTB I can kayak, hike or road bike. There are so many options.
Back to this weekend, Starla left town to visit her mom on Friday 2/26/16. I went home to the “empty nest” and realized if I was quick loading the kayak and gear and rushed out to Wilson Creek that I could manage to get in an organic Soul-O run by jogging my shuttle. My timing was perfect and I didn’t even have to jog in the dark. There was no one else on the creek and I totally enjoyed the solitude. The level felt like about 1.5”.

With a little persuasion, Dan "The Man" was game for a mountain bike ride Saturday 2/27/16. Since the creek level was still about 1” above 0 and we had to go right by it for our MTB ride, I talked Dan into running shuttle in my van while I bombed down another Soul-O run. As usual I took out at the lower take out and we quickly headed up to do the Big-O.  The trail conditions were as good as the creek level – Perfect!

Sunday 2/28/16, I had planned to meet Johnny Calhoun for a mountain bike ride at Kitsuma at 3:00. He had suggested it on Friday and I’m always willing to work my schedule to hang with a buddy. Not wanting to wait that late in the day to get outside, I packed up the hiking gear and Felix. We headed up to Gingercake Mountain for 2.5 hours of fast tracking to some spectacular cliffs and scrambles. I managed to stay hydrated and ate a couple of sandwiches not wanting to run out of energy on my late day bike ride. I texted JC around 2:00 to figure out logistics but I didn’t get any reply.  I decided to stay on the schedule we had agreed to and left him another message that I was on my way just in case he could make it. I got to Ridgecrest at about 3 and was riding by 3:20. I got a text from Johnny that he was not coming just as I got back to the van at about 5 – shame not to get to hang out with him but I am glad I stuck with the plan and rode Kitsuma. I thought the trail might be a little sloppy but luckily I was wrong. The trail conditions and weather were perfect. I wore a short sleeve shirt and biking shorts. Finished at 5:00 and it was still very pleasant short sleeve weather. The 10 mile loop was the perfect end to an amazing weekend of cross training. This is why I live in Glen Alpine. I never drove more than an hour from home and got to enjoy World Class outdoor activities.

 Hike in the morning, Kitsuma in the evening:
 I managed to get a picture of a like minded MTBer.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

2/14/16 Coldest Ride this year at Warrior Creek

 Love this trail but it was a really chilly day. I decided to find the parking near the Pump Track and it was right where I thought it would be from studying my Gazetteer. I started out the ride going in the wrong direction again but I rolled with it for a while to warm up and turned around for a nice 4  mile warm-up then I rode the entire loop only stopping to pull leaves out of my drive train. My feet got so cold that they were numb after I did the loop.
 I warmed my feet up after the first 17 mile ride and then played around on the frozen Pump Track and rode a few miles more but it was starting to snow pretty good so I packed it up fast and got out of there. I saw about 5 people rolling in on their bikes as I left. Guess I wasn't the only one out riding in the low/mid 20s.

2/12/16 It was a Friday, a Vacation Day Friday. A Great cold weather mountain bike day and I got to see The Marcus King Band in Asheville with Boyd.

 Cold weather ride with a chance of snow. I parked between Brown Mountain Campground and the gage/bridge. Riding up Little Spike aka Lower Wilson Ridge is always a great way to warm up on a cold day. After that I head on up to Craig Creek road climb and the Big O.

 Somebodies hunting stand right on the edge of a field they cleared and planted field corn. Seems like the definition of "baiting" for deer or bear.

 Always admired how they built their small home on the edge of the mountain.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Figure 8 and Chestnut Mtn with Mike

I received a text from Mike on Friday asking if I wanted to do a MTB ride in the Wilson Creek Area over the weekend. Mike and I had never met but he had been referred to me by Robert Peerson as a good resource to show him some of the local trails. I met up with Mike on Hwy 181 at 9:15 and headed to the bottom of Sinkhole to start off some uphill climbing. The FS road and trail conditions were G2G: Fun times were had.

The Big O portion of the Figure 8

The Sinkhole