Monday, November 03, 2008
how beautiful! a quiet mountain road lined with shady trees and a creek, traveled only by those who want to take the scenic route or live on the mountain...in other words drivers are slow and cautious. we had the road to ourselves. we winded around lake tahoma...it was a beautiful afternoon! i was listening to an ipod shuffle that raub had loaded with various artists and they were perfect for that ride, a wonderful soundtrack. he has an awesome talent for that. i was getting carried away with daydreaming and life...grinning from ear to ear. the road twisted left and right and started to get a bit hilly. we thought no big deal. the span of the 80 we had to travel was only 12 miles. easy! the hill started getting steeper. flat tires. breaks were happening more often. we were bored of the food we had with us...one can only eat so much peanut butter. we were getting slower. the fog started rolling in as we neared the top. the sun started to go down. we were still about 3 miles from where we were supposed to pick up the blue ridge parkway. frustration set in for all of us. i was exhausted. no longer was i feeling daydreamy or grinning. raub seemed to enjoy the hill. i couldn't stand it. i hate going slow on my bike. i think kurt just wanted to get it over with. we were all excited about riding the blue ridge parkway and anticipating asheville, people from everywhere were sure that is was going to be the best of the trip. all we had to do was get to the top of this darn mountain...we had measured the miles but paid no attention to the altitude we had to climb...2000 ft. yes! TWO-THOUSAND! we somehow managed to reach the top and guess what! the blue ridge parkway was closed. no explanation. just a sign. it was so dark and so foggy. we were nearly out of water. we knew there was a nearby campground in which to stay for the evening. we needed the facilities. while searching for the campground kurt's spoke broke. we were getting cold and had no idea of what the terrain was going to be like because we couldn't see. the campground was only 4 miles away. that could take all night at the pace we were going. we started to feel a bit of a panic and decided that if a car was to pass that we would flag them down for information. we had a lot of questions...why is the parkway closed? what is the terrain like between here and the campground? where could we find water? is there a store for food nearby? it had been a while since we had seen a car and because it was late weren't sure if we would see one for a while. raub and i sat on the side of the road and tried to make a plan while kurt fixed his bike. we weren't sure if we had to go back down the 80. we had spent all day climmbing this darn mountain and we might have to go back down. it was unnerving. we weren't even sure if it would be safe to ride down because of the weight in our trailers. they could easily push us out of control. just before we started to realy freak out, we noticed headlights of a car approaching. raub and i quickly jumped to our feet and flagged down the car. the small suv slowed to a stop just beside raub. he greeted them in his friendly way but it took them a peculiar amount of time to roll down their window and when the gentleman driver did, he only rolled it down a little less than halfway. we were thrown off by this as everyone we had encountered so far was extremely friendly and helpful. it seemed as though they were affraid of us. raub gave them a rundown of our situation to which they were shocked and appalled that we even had the idea to travel the area on bicycle. it was quite a while before we were able to get any information from them. the gentleman was a joker, asking about our herritage, the story of raub's name, how beautiful i was and possibly the other woman in our group...hahaha...which was kurt in the dark fixing his bike. we corrected him and he finally gave us some information...DO NOT TRAVEL ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY. IT WOULD BE A GRAVE MISTAKE! he was adamant. he said we would have to go back down the 80. he kept repeating it, assured us that is was a short, not too steep ride to the campground for the night and if there was an emergency, an emergency only, we could ride to his house for help. he gave us directions, warned us again about the blue ridge parkway and drove off. yikes! here we were in the dark cold fog on top of a mountain in north carolina with a broken bike and low spirits about what tomorrow had in store for us. we slowly rode to a rest stop we found before the campground. it had a bathroom and water, that's all that we needed. we set up camp and went to sleep for the first time feeling a little defeated.