Day 14, May 13th: Marion (REST DAY)
More rest and relaxation at my Grandma’s house in Marion today. Lots of good food and a trip to Black Mountain where we checked out some different galleries and had some amazing pizza. We also swung through the bike shop… I picked up a mirror for looking at traffic behind me on the parkway. I also talked to the bike shop employee about some good routes up to the parkway. He ended up pointing me too a gravel road that goes up from Old Fort with very little traffic.
She does great work!
Malaya insists on being a lap cat…
Getting my but kicked in cards has been a common occurrence during my visit.
Day 15, May 14th: Marion – Parkway Joy Ride
I was planning to head out today and climb up to the parkway for a couple days. Upon review of the weather report I decided to delay my departure for a couple days. It looked like heavy rains and thunderstorms all day tomorrow. Plus a few more days of good fun and rest in Marion is always a good option. The weather was good today and Grandma had already loaded me up with a good breakfast so I decided to have a test ride up to the parkway. I started another painting this morning while Grandma worked on some miscellaneous projects. She had a meeting in Old Fort about 9 miles away so I took the free ride by car to cutout some miles. From Old Fort I picked up on the gravel road and began my climb. What amazing views once you finally get up there. I wanted to take on Mt. Mitchell (highest point in Eastern US) but I thought I’d be risking running out of daylight on my ride back to Marion.
Saving the scraping for tomorrow.
The start of my ride. Time to start climbing…
And keep climbing
My steel bike feels like a feather with those heavy bags removed!
Just under 2000 feet to go!
Came back to an amazing dinner.
Followed by a rematch… I believe I lost again.
Miles: 50 (unloaded)
Acts of kindness: 2 – Grandma of course has been great… I’m only counting it as one act per day but in reality is probably like 100; Today I met Sara (former and soon to be Wisconsinite) at the Mt Mitchell overlook… she gave me some good vagabond advice. Hostel suggestions in Asheville and good pointers for ‘hippy’ camping. Thanks Sara!
Day 16, May 15th: Marion (REST DAY… and rainy day)
The weathermen did not lie… for once. It has been a steady rain for most of the day. Had a relaxing morning drinking coffee and working on a painting. Enjoying my time with Grandma Jean in Marion. Hope I don’t wait so long to visit again. Planning on prepping my gear tonight to head up to the parkway tomorrow. Maybe it’s a bit ambitious, but I’d like to make it up to Mt. Mitchell. I think my initial climb will be much more difficult than my unloaded ride yesterday! I’m guessing I will spend 1-2 nights on the parkway on my ride to Asheville.
I’ve had a great time with Grandma Jean in Marion. I’m glad US Bike Route 2 passes close by here place… it has made my route planning a little easier. Thanks for everything Grandma! Hope to see you in the fall if you visit Minnesota! Coffee shop is closing and I need to run and get stuff for strawberry-rhubarb pie! It’s a good life! 🙂
I’ll shoot for an update in Asheville!