Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pulaski VA to Asheville NC: Day 3

 After about 3 hours of sleep, I was awake and rolled out of bed around 6am.  I walked across the street to the gas station and got a 16oz cup of coffee.  I was so tired I didn't even think to complain about the quality.  I was beat.  I had around 90 miles to get home, and an extra day.  I really wanted to extend my trip, but realizing that this week is the beginning of a very busy summer season,  I wanted to be properly rested going into it.  I had a couple of ideas, places that I wanted to detour to, but decided against it. 
So, I headed south and stopped at Christa's or some food.  Her homemade yeast rolls weren't ready yet, and there was a pile of smoked butts on the counter waiting to be prepped for sandwiches.  I opted for one bacon, egg and cheese for now, and one bacon and cheese for later.  And more coffee.

I took my time.  I had been doing that on this trip.  Slowing down and stopping at some overlooks.  It is a good thing to do.  Enjoy the view, stop and smell the roses.  I need to do more of that everyday.

After a few miles, the mountains kicked up and the real climbing started.  VA has climbs but NC's are longer and steeper.  The miles tick by slower. 
 My muscles warmed up after a while and I was enjoying the ride.  My thoughts turned to my night's lodging.  Why do I bother bringing camping gear, if I'm not going to use it?  I considered my reasoning,  and realized that comfort is a big deal.  Feeling some sort of comfort,protection and security from the weather is an important mental element.  Endurance athletes talk a lot about muscle recovery, but not quite as much about mental recovery.

I remembered how I used to love pitching a tent, regardless of the weather and feeling warm, dry and secure.  Sometimes in wind,  other times in a downpour.  It was then that I realized that maybe the tarp set up is not for me.  It does protect from rain and can be set up in several different configurations to protect from wind.  But,  when it storms and the wind and rain pound and swirl,  I definitely get splashed.

There is also the issue of wind chill.  Anyway.  I'm going to do some research on my shelter options.

 I worked my way up and over the numerous climbs.  Each one different,  each one taking effort and energy.  Stopping periodically at overlooks to refill my water bottle and soak in the fresh air. 
 I definitely lingered,  not wanting the trip to be over yet.  This is such a beautiful place we live in and I don't get to take these trips very often.   I don't take the time for granted, and no matter how tired I felt,  I knew I had to make the most of it.  As far as I knew, it would be a while before I would have the chance to get out again.  (but as you know, if that window opportunity opens, I take it!)
Spinning along

Big Views

One mile to go.
 And then I was home.  I rolled up to my front door and stood there for a moment,  looking at myself in the reflection.  I was glad to be home.  This had been a good trip.  I was tired and content....
... I'm looking forward to next time!

1 comment:

Sean said...

For future reference , there is a good little coffee shop called The River Dog about 1/2 mile from the pixie inn. Head toward Newland and it's on the left. I know how a good cup can set the day off right!