Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pulaski Va to Asheville NC: Day 2

 Morning finally rolled around. I had planned on sleeping in, but woke up at 6:30am.  I was a bit sore but got up and got on the road.  A quick stop at Hardees for a couple of biscuits and then heading over to the parkway.  There was not a lot of climbing to get up to the two lane ribbon of pavement, so I made good time.  The skies were clear and it was already warm.  Summertime.  As I pedaled my thoughts turned again to why I was doing this.  I was tired, and hot, and my saddle was not adjusted just right because I had failed to take a measurement correctly.  I wasn't having fun at the moment but knew that things would eventually change.  Maybe I should have had another cup of joe!
 My plan today was to make it the roughly 90 miles to Moses H Cone Memorial Park and camp.  I was concerned that there would be no spots left, so I had several other campgrounds in mind if that one were full.  That would entail another 10 - 20 miles of pedaling though. 
 Most of the day was uneventful,  just pedaling,  enjoying the scenery and planning my next ride.... 
 I stopped for lunch at the Northwest Trading post.  A ham and cheese sub, coke, and I saved the chips and pecan tart for later. I enjoyed not moving for a few minutes but didn't want to linger too long.  Time was ticking and campsites were filling up. 
 About 15 miles I crossed the VA/NC state line, the topography starts to change with longer and slightly steeper grades.  I'm pretty familiar with some of these and they seem to never end, especially the ones on either side of Deep Gap.  My other nemesis is the stretch between Hwy 181 and Hwy 80.  
 I arrived at the campground earlier than expected, around 3:30pm.  I was please to find that there were plenty of spaces left.  But it was early, so I took a look around trying to decide what to do.  I was pretty disappointed in the condition of the campground.  It was pretty run down, and that diminished my desire to stay.  The campground host called ahead to Linville and told me that they only had 9 spots left and they were filling up fast.  I filled up my water and decided to keep riding.

 It was getting hot, and I had gotten a little behind on staying hydrated.  It was my own fault so I tried to drink a little extra and keep going.  As I pedaled around Grandfather Mountain,  I watched the storms passing by in front of and behind me, knowing that at any moment, I could be ducking for shelter, hiding from lightning.  As I neared Hwy 221 where I could drop down into Linville, and then head to Pineola,  I decided to head to Down By The River Campground and camp for the night.

As I cruised the 2 miles down the mountain,  the skies grew dark and I got worried about what was coming and what the night would hold.  I saw The Pixie Inn in Linville and like a Siren I was lured into false security.

Dinner was crap food from the gas station: Sprite, Pimento Cheese Sammy etc; because after 107 miles and dehydration, I didn't have the motivation to cook my mac n cheese. 

 For $50 I got a room, hot shower and a mouse that woke me up in the middle of the night trying to steal my nacho cheese flavored Bugles.  I had to stick a spoon in the window latch because the lock was gone.  I only got about 3 hrs of intermittent sleep and laying there, I wondered if I had it in me to pack up and pedal on.  But it was 3am and I decided to wait a little longer. 

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