Monday, June 09, 2014

Jackrabbit= Fun Times

 With the house remodel to-do list dwindling, we finally took the time to hit the road for a short camping trip.  We were all excited about exploring somewhere new as we packed up and pulled out of the driveway, heading west to Jackrabbit Mountain, near Hayesville NC.  The campground only costs $15 but we paid the extra $10 to reserve online and not have to worry about having a spot when we got there.
The trips took just under 2 hrs and as we drove over the ridge line and down into the valley that holds Lake Chatuge, we were greeted by heat and humidity.  The campground is laid out well and the site we chose from the online map gave us a beach of our own. 

We got camp set up and the kid wanted to swim.  I was anxious to try out the trails so we decided I would ride,  find the best trails for the wife and kid, then we would ride together.  With close to 15 miles of trail, I figured that I could ride all of them in under 2 hrs, come back and grab the family for another hour or so. 

I set off and road the loop by the boat ramp.  This trail was older and less maintained.  Fun but not what I was expecting.  Then I headed over to the newer trail system and was greeted by some fun, fast, flowy trails. I was on the single speed and with a 32x 21 I was under geared.  Next time I'll know.
 The trails are very well marked with a central loop, and then several loops branching off of the central loop.  The system makes it very easy to ride all of the trails in either direction without crisscrossing or backtracking.  I made it to the first loop, Sneaking Creek and turned left.  Someone in a Cartecay bike shop jersey turned in behind me and I stopped to ask if this trail loops around.  The guy said yes and hit the gas.   Ok,  it was on.  I followed him,  staying close,  and waiting for my time.   We didn't say much, just rode.  Finally, on the last little climb, he cracked, and let me pass.  I thanked him and we bid farewell.  Then,  my phone rang. 
 The wife and kid were ready to ride, so I rode back out to the trailhead and met up with them.  We rode the entire white loop and green loop.  They did awesome and were having a blast.  That made me really happy; mountain biking road tripping family.... After 4.5 miles the family was done.  I dropped them back at the trailhead and went back out for a couple more miles. 

Back at camp, it felt great to walk right into the lake after a hot ride.  We swam for a while then got the fire started for some roasted hot dogs!  Yum. 

Late night smores and another swim, it was the kid's first time swimming at night.  I have a giant mag light that he took in the water with him.  He loves the water.  Reminds me of me when I was just a little older than him.  The Caribbean Sea turned out to be one of my best friends.  I gotta keep getting this kid around water!
 Bed around 10pm and sleeping well until around 2 pm.  Lightning and thunder in the distance.  We closed the rain fly.  The thunder was creeping closer.  I sat up, trying to decide if we should move to the van.  The tent was dry, but I was concerned with falling trees/debris.  Lightning hit nearby and we scrambled.  The kid was scared and shivering.  We crammed in the back lying on the floor.  After about an hour, the storm rolled on and we headed back tot he tent.  The rain continued through early morning and we were able to get some more sleep. 
 Morning rolled around and I fired up the stove for some sausage and pancakes.   We were disappointed that we would not be able to ride after the massive rain storm so we swam some more.  Large gray clouds were rolling in, looking like rain, so we packed up and prepared to head home.  On the way out of the campground, we stopped by the trail head where some people were on bikes.  We asked how the trails were and got reports that they were fine.  Some SABA members were there getting ready to ride as well.  Sweet. 
 We unloaded and and saddled up.  We rode the white trail out to the slightly more narrow and techy blue trail.  Another 5.6 miles for the family.  They had a blast and so did I. 

I definitely recommend this campground.  It was not at all crowded and neither were the trails on Saturday and Sunday.  The trails are beginner/intermediate level, but it was great to be able to go for a longish ride and not feel bad about leaving the family behind. 

Can't wait to go back!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ON ON !!!