Cross is here, at least in Virginia. GoCross, a UCI weekend on a permanent course in Roanoke. The lap had a stair run up, long sand pit and flyover. My race started well, call ups were based on registration order, so I was deep in the field in about 48 place. I worked my way up to top 15 before the sand pit and was riding through it when the rider beside me fell into me, knocking me over the tape and out of the sand…. I spent the rest of the race picking off riders and being passed by 3 people on the last lap to finish 20th of 50+ starters. This was an open Cat 4 race, so I was racing 19 -99 year olds, but finished 4th among the 50+ year old riders. I was happy for my first race of the year!
Roanoke is called the Star City of the South because of this huge star over looking the city.
My day started like almost everyday of the trip, an hour climb up the forest service road outside our campsite and a 12 minute bomb back down. The best part was at the turn around, there was cell service, so I could check email and make a call each morning.
Fog and nightfall. If you camp with James and Elizabeth, you will eat well and still enjoy a luxury or two…. tonight was movie night, “Paul” was played on the wall of the E-Z up… but the hard drive wasn’t playing nice, so parts were played twice (or more) sometimes it was in French, sometimes a narrator described what was happening (or DV – Descriptive Video)
The middle of the day we searched for and found a swimming hole on a road that wasn’t on a map…. but we cut it short when I discovered a steering rack leak and no fluid in my pump…. how to quickly get to a town without lots of curves in the mountains…. impossible!
Nemo Tunnels near Wartburg, TN – I mentioned to James and Elizabeth the abandoned railroad tunnels and that was all it took for this to be a goal….
I know you are supposed to wade through water when off-roading first, but today was a just go for it… I created a large bow wave and the water never reached my door seals, so it was all good right?
Tunnel #24 is just about a 1/2 mile long. When we left back through it, twice I had to back out when we ran into another truck in the tunnel!
the 2nd tunnel to explore is a walk through and across from some VERY busy tracks… it was a little scary with my daughter and truck that close to a fast train….. the 2nd train to come through in 20 minutes, just missed us doing a 3 point turn!
The day started with a drive through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, a mistake that will never happen again (way too touristy for me) to get to Cades Cove, a neat history filled loop, including this working grist mill.
Just a bear along the road, it was not interested in us at all!
James works on figuring out electrical gremlins, after thinking of complex problems to solve, sometimes the simplest answer is correct… a bad cell in his battery.
James checks how badly I am beating him at an English style pub in Gatlinburg.
Forest Service road dead end…. the vacation starts with a dead end…. at least it was a shady spot for lunch and reading the Gazetteer to find another route.
On the way home sunset after picking up Sam from visiting Lynn and Nan.
A quick trip to Wilmington included an evening on Front Street… I love people watching! I had no part of the wedding!
There are a lot of road closures due to recent rains (221 south of Blowing Rock) and teh Parkway was closed at the Viaduct. SO I spent the middle of teh day driving dirt roads and exploring on my way to….
Upper Creek Falls….
and a swimming hole. The water was VERY cold!
Finished the day with a sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Sam is at the beach, Deb is working, I am off contract…. time to head to the mountains.
Throwback Tuesday. That time I was almost the cover of Toyota Trails, the TLCA magazine. I wrote a story called “Plan B” how adventuring with my Toyota Tacoma leads to many Plan B decisions. This year we had planned to go to Nova Scotia, but something came up, so we headed to Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, after a couple of cold nights and bear visits, my friend’s wife wanted warmth, so we headed to Cape Hatteras for the rest of the vacation….. I am never unhappy if camping.