Met Hector from Venezuela - he's riding GPS Kevin (we're riding Sam's version), had lunch with him in Damascus at the Wild Chicken - live music, lots of bicyclists/hikers! (Appalachian Trail very close to this location). Overall, great location, great atmosphere, ok food, slow slow slow service. talking to people on the TAT is awesome - sharing the experience, the background, and "the why". It was a pleasure having lunch and eating up some miles with Hector today!
Overarching thoughts on the TAT at this time: There are moments where the view in front of you is inspiring... and then there are other feelings like, damn another gravel-laden switchback???
what is working well:
Garmin Zumo XT running what it can (a single track and routing way points) paired with my phone running GAIA GPS, and all the tracks/waypoints at my fingertips. Really makes navigating very very easy.
What's hurting: My Ass! Riding 8+ hours per day is chaffing my ass.
Critters: bunny, snakes, tons of deer in the road, beaver ran across the road
Let's discuss last night in the primitive camping site:
It has been a few years since I camped in a primitive site with very few people around me. Last night was interesting in that it was completely dark (minus some lightening flashes in the distance). So dark, you can't see your hand in front of your face. I fell asleep pretty early, maybe around 8 or 9pm, then around 10:45, some loud noises startle me awake. I look up and see a truck stopped at our campsite and they're making loud noises and yelling. This is a very remote location and it immediately dawned on me that I could be in serious trouble (obviously these people were attempting to be annoying - possibly worse). I called out to Paul, he tent had moved (not a surprise, he told me he'd move as soon as I went to sleep so he could gauge how far he needed to be to avoid my snoring... 😇)
So there I am, all alone on the campsite, with people coming by late in the evening - many thoughts cross my mind at this point - no cell reception, there could be many of them, etc etc. Those of you that know me, know I carry a gun... but, hell, they could've done something while I was sleeping. Anyways, my point to all this, paranoia struck hard at this point. I laid awake for several hours, entangling myself in the noises of the forest, entrenching myself in my own paranoia.
Finally sleep deprivation hits and I pass out. Then I wake up about 7:10am and I'm still alive. Damned Paranoia.
My Trusty Glock.
Back to riding...
Got the chance to ride the "back of the dragon" in virginia - had never heard of it before, nice ride... thanks to Sam for pointing it out. however, he tricked me, because I kept on riding and missed the turn for the Gravel Switchback road... then went and turned around and rode the back of the dragon again and almost missed the Gravel Switchback Road (GSBR) AGAIN! (ok, I did in fact eventually ride the GSBR)
End of the day:
Not sure if this is COVID related or not - but once we arrived in Boone, NC and identified a hotel that would accept us (50% occupancy - when will the government stop???) - we showered and wanted to go out to dinner. because we wanted some 'adult drinks' we thought it best to uber over to the local tavern.
nope. no Ubers. no Lyfts. so ended up going to a local wine store on my KTM, picking up a couple reds and ordered some pizza back in the hotel room. Would've much rather went to a local bar/restaurant.
Overall, it was a Great Day of Riding today. 217 Miles today, but since we started in Nags Head, NC, we've already ridden 902 miles in four days.
Wine Consumed Today:
Here are the pictures: