No riding today. We ended up climbing at a secret place near Table Rock. Probably the best choice considering how my tendon was feeling. Lots of fun until we got boomed off by some really close lightening. It would not have been a real trip to the mountains of NC without a little lightening. We ended up coming back in the afternoon to finish the route we had started which was super fun.
The day ended with a big dinner at a Mexican restaurant and a few beers. Ahh, the good life.
Today was a day off the bikes but not a rest day. We headed up to Table Rock to do a classic route, the North Ridge. Our team consided of Bill and I, Jeep and his friend Jay. The climb was not too hard but had great views and a nice hike scramble to get to the base.
It was so nice to visit Table Rock again after so many years. When we made it to the parking lot we ran into an Outward Bound Crew which brought back a ton of fond memories but also made me feel old. We also ran into a young climber from OB after finishing the route. The day could not have been nicer.
The plan was to take day 7 off and hang out with my sister and her family. Bill really wanted to make it to Stone Mountain so we could climb the next day and I wanted a day off. Our solution was that Bill would ride and my sister and family would drive me the distance. This worked out perfect since I was starting to have some achilles tendon pain. I arrived at the Stone Mountain campsite in the late morning and set up our tent. Bill rolled in around 5pm. After a little break we did some scouting for the climbing area, had a good dinner and headed to bed.
Day 7 was the beginning of the change of the adventure. We not only had a short day but we changed our focus. Riding was starting to take a backseat to climbing. We came a good 5 to 10 miles off the Parkway so we could do some climbing. We also were no longer as worried about the destination but more interested in the process.
I am glad to say that this summer’s sufferfest is over and I survived. My old friend, Bill Irving had this great idea to ride all of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our original plan was to do it with a group of people and a sag wagon but when that didn’t work out we set out on our own. Without the sag wagon we decided we wouldn’t have time for all the parkway but we could at least make it to Asheville to pick up a rental and head back north. At the last minute while packing we decided to throw in some climbing gear just in case we got the urge to do some climbing. Well the climbing ended up becoming a great distraction.
Our total trip was around 14 days and we did a little over 500 miles or 800 kms, we climbed on the loaded down bikes over 59 thousand feet or 18 thousand meters and managed to do 8 different rock climbing routes.
Way back in 2009 I was visiting family and friends in the US and I started a series of black and white photographs called Southern Comfort. The photos were mostly rural old barns and farm houses that represented an image of the south which I believe is disappearing. As a personal project this has been something that I have really enjoyed looking at and making so on my most recent visit to North Carolina I started a new version of Southern Comfort called Postcards from the South. In this group of photos I tried to have a selection that represents not only the rural areas but also the urban areas and a few things in between.
I would love to hear in feedback you have, enjoy!