My destination was Cove Creek campground where Pisgah Productions was holding the race formerly known as "The Most Horrible Thing Ever".
I headed south on the Parkway taking my time and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. I had been in a funk lately, and I needed a break. I climbed up the pavement and turned onto Wash Creek rd. where the forest service gate was closed. Stopping to chat with a guy on a cx bike who had just climbed up from N Mills River. With the logging project going on, I was not sure if the road was open all the way through so I asked him. He told me that it was closed to motor vehicles (obviously) but open to bike. Well, I was on a bike so that worked out well.
I was pleased to find that the gate for Yellow Gap Rd/ FS1206 was also closed. No motor vehicles. I passed a couple of hikers and cyclists, but after a couple of miles, it was just me. Hardly anything stirring, the warm sun heading towards the horizon, the bare trees standing tall. Creeks singing out, and the slight whisper of a breeze in the tree tops.
I was thinking about taking South Mills River and heading up to Buckhorn Gap then down Clawhammer, but after realizing where I was physically, I started thinking about riding down Cove Creek trail instead.
I made my way to the end of 1206, down 276 then onto the gravel again. When I got to the right turn at the road that would take me to Cove Creek Trailhead, it was gated with a big "Road Closed: Unsafe Travel" sign. Unsure about conditions, and not wanting to be bushwhacking through fallen trees late at night, I continued on winding around Looking Glass and down to the Fish Hatchery.
Darkness fell as I rolled down Davidson River Trail. I was tired and happy to be near my destination.
I pedaled into camp to be greeted by Erinna and Eric. It was around 7:30pm. I changed, made some dinner and then spent the next hours until midnite, chatting around the fire and greeting racers as they came and went.
I laid there, changed the time on my watch and got up, packed and rolling by 7:30am. I decided to head back the exact way that I had come. The first hour, I was miserable. At one point, I had to stop, take my gloves off and rub them together, my fingertips were hurting bad enough I was concerned about frost nip.
Turning into my neighborhood, felt great.
Another trip in the bag!!