Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sunlight on Parkway

Early morning Panera Bread run, via the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Biltmore Forest of Asheville, North Carolina. Asphalt wet from morning fog. Fragrant honeysuckle fills the air and the ride glows with sunlight, greenery, and very little traffic.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Our Adventure in the Nantahala Forest

Heading for Cullowhee from Candler, we were looking for a way to avoid the hectic NC 107 and travel new roads. We found a great route via Google Maps. However, what we thought was a paved road turned out to be something entirely different.

Trying to get to Old Cullowhee Road, Blanton Branch Road turned from paved to gravel, becoming Cane Creek Road, which turned to dirt. Taking us into the beautiful Nantahala National Forest. Glowing green with Spring... Isolated and wild with unknown terrain. Treacherous dirt road, cratered and slippery.

We tried to make it to the end, pressing on like wild explorers, but finally had to stop when we encountered a mud bog. Rather than risk being stuck in the mud, we turned around... begrudgingly, convinced that we were oh-so-close to our destination.
We did not know what to expect around the next turn. I got out and walked. Steven rode ahead. The bike was out of its element. Steven used every ounce of concentration to negotiate the road.

With every step, I recited a Hail Mary.

Mud, sticks, rock. Nothing smooth, all slippery, nasty, and dangerous.
The river crossed over Cane Creek Road at least four times. This crossing stream is several inches deep. How did Steven make it through? "I wasn't worried about the streams at all," he said.
Different perspective of road stream Harley crossed...
Thank God (and Steven's skill) we made it out okay!

Canton, NC

Downtown Canton, North Carolina
"In little towns, lives roll along so close to one another;
loves and hates beat about,
their wings almost touching."
~ Willa Cather