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Thread: TR: Southern Appalachia
08-26-2012, 05:37 PM #1
TR: Southern Appalachia
Wife and I had a couple of weeks off together. She wanted to see a swath of the South, I wanted to ride bikes, we settled on NC, TN, VA and WV as destinations. It was rad. Really nice scenes, wonderful folks, unreal variety of terrain, pork/beer/biscuits/pancakes/bourbon of the highest caliber, music and more music and riding of all shapes and sizes. This is not a rad-gnar TR, mostly scenic, but hopefully enough to get y'all to travel south (or north, east or west as the case may be) to ride sometime. Those on this board who are from there or live there now can attest better than I to the region's unique joys, but as a northeast Greens/Whites snob, I was pretty awe-struck and beat-to-shit at the end of almost everyday (but drunk, stuffed and smiling as well).
Thanks to everyone on here who helped me plan. Yahoo...
Spent the first few nights in Asheville. Good times. Easy drive from there to approximately nineteen million trailheads.
Day one, Bent Creek. Fast, flowy fun. Quick shout to Jason at Carolina Fatz. Best 30 minute shop experience ever. Go there and spend money.
The BC map is all I got for that day:
Day two, Dupont on the East side. Another shout to The Hub in Brevard. Great shop with taps on their workshop divider. Nice thinkin' fellas.
'Ridgeline,' in this part of the forest, was number three on my list of favorite runs of this trip.
Some delightful Dupont waterfalls (there are many):
Day three, Dupont on the south side, fuuuun rock to ride for miles:
No Pisgah. Next time. We pussed out. Sue me, I'll be back
Camped the next night in Great Smokey Mtns NP and decided on a park day (no bikes) for the next day's activities.
Day Four, Hiking- Great Smokey Mtns NP, the AT west of Clingman Dome:
Day five, back on the bikes: Tsali. Yes, its super buff, but it is spectacular, seriously. The TVA did some wild things, and the few hours we spent railing the loops were funtastic.
View (they don't call those the Smokey Mtns for nuthin'):
Days six and seven were spent in Nashville. Blissed out for 48 hours of rockabilly, bluegrass and Alan Jackson covers. Not to mention bourbon cocktails and lemonade.
The Ryman is a Temple. It is magnificent (drunken shady pic of wife texting not-doing-it-justice):
Day eight was a driving day. Shook the legs out in Blacksburg, VA on the VaTech campus.
Day nine day and night in Douthat. Oh man, this is what I always imagine when I think of the Civil War. Those hardcore Virginians and WVirginians traveling over hill and frickin' dale to fight or die. It was crazy beautiful and the ride was my favorite. 2500' of climbing straight up, a gorgeous ridgeline cruise, and a smokin' downhill to some roller-coaster gulleys (hollers?) back to the camp-road. Ahhhhhhh. Again, favorite ride of the trip, with the scenic ridgline blast number one on my list favorite runs of the trip.
Scenic as all heck:
Day ten was in Slatyfork, riding above Elk River and staying at the resort (Snowshoe). Weird on both accounts, but wonderful. Oh and wild too I suppose (no Whites though). The loop we chose was really washed out, but a really pretty sufferfest none-the-less and one that helped us realize that WV rock gardens are not fucking around. My elbows and knees are still pissed from our three days riding in that state. Still, it was a really fun afternoon going down and up a mountainside.
The resort is odd. I will leave it at that. It was very quiet and comfortable (when empty) and we enjoyed ourselves immensely- especially when we realized deer outnumbered people at an Intrawest resort village.
No pics I'm afraid, we were too busy having our asses handed to us to take pics.
Days eleven and twelve were spent in Davis and Thomas, WV. If you don't know, you better ask somebody. Please go spend your money at Blackwater bikes, the Bright Morning Inn and especially the Purple Fiddle. The Purple Fiddle is in serious financial trouble, and having gone there first ten years ago and then again this past week, I will be crushed if when I return to Thomas it is gone. http://www.purplefiddle.com/
Rode the CVI trails- Hoodoo Rocks down was my second favorite run of the trip (up possibly my least favorite). Only one trail pic here, nothing exciting, but a rare sighting of a large wookie on a bike:
Last ride of the trip was in Blackwater Falls State Forest- punishing at times, fast and gorgeous (in the 'Ithaca is...' sense of the word) at others. I am stoked to get back there and ride further down the valley in Caanan Valley SP. What an awesome place to ride. It feels endless in every direction and beautiful everywhere. I felt like a Disney cartoon riding around with butterflies constantly flying next to me. Just call me Uncle Biggins. No pics of this phenomenon I'm afraid.
And that's it. It was rad. One last shout to the Bright Morning Inn and Blackwater Bikes as they treated us and our rides very well. Hell, all of Southern Appalachia treated us like invited guests. Love it:
08-26-2012, 06:36 PM #2
Asheville has been on our radar for a long time as a late winter bike trip. I've got a buddy from back in the Moab days who works at The Hub....those guys apparently do not fuck around with their beer scene.Bike Shop Bully
08-26-2012, 10:34 PM #3
and nice pics!
08-27-2012, 07:12 AM #4
08-28-2012, 10:01 AM #5
Sweet overlook indeedNo longer stuck.
08-28-2012, 11:09 AM #6yelgatgab
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
- Shadynasty's Jazz Club
Come back down. You've only scratched the surface.
Thanks for the pics and writeup.Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.
08-28-2012, 01:29 PM #7
08-28-2012, 04:26 PM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
Slatyfork, Canaan, Blackwater, were the first trips I ever took to go mountain biking. Endless singletrack and green tunnels. 'Danks for the memories!
08-31-2012, 03:28 PM #9
I'll just bump this back up to say thanks for the nice stoke. You've got me inspired to try striking south down the Shenandoah a bit more.
08-31-2012, 04:24 PM #10
That was a great TR. Thanks for the stoke.
And the reminder that there's a lot more to mountain biking than 4000 ft up and 4000 ft down.