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!
When I see an old abandoned mobile home like this, I have to wonder about who lived here, was this land and home a dream come true or stepping stone to bigger and better things. It is kind of sad and depressing but at the same time promising.
State Road 50 is nothing special, it is a combination of beautiful old farms and mobile homes. But, if you had some land there you could really enjoy the quiet old south. A place that can be lonely but at the same time a place where you feel connected.
More often than not a mobile home becomes a permanent residence but maybe it’s owners saw it as an in-between place, a place with a roof on land that they own, a place for a future dream house. For if truth be told how permanent is a mobile home?
About 8 or 9 years ago I did a series of photographs of old houses and barns from the south, mostly from North Carolina. It was called Southern Comfort. Living in Barcelona allows me to really photograph some great new and old architecture but I still have a love for the back roads of the south.
On my current visit to the US I am trying to expand on Southern Comfort to include some abandoned treasures and few buildings from small towns. After taking the picture of Harrell’s yesterday I realized that these small town streets are also a very important part of the old south and must be included.