Risk's Ultralight Hiking

The skills involved in setting up a light backpack serve well for both hiking and touring. Learning what is really necessary and then finding high quality gear that meets my honest needs leads to much less carried and more fun. I hope this journal is as much fun to read as it is to write.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Blue Ridge Trip - Day 2

Tuggle Gap had good food and an OK room

315 Blue Ridge Parkway miles
I rode from 0630 to 7 PM
Weather: chilly, windy, with 3 hours of rain and an hour of thick fog
Starting Location: Orchard View Picnic Area
Ending: Tuggle Gap

I began the day near milepost 455 on the Blue Ridge Parkway after spending the night in my hammock. I was plenty warm and slept well, but I woke with a start - thinking that my hammock was being bumped by an animal or a person. However, nothing was there and there was no sound of an animal running away. It must have been a dream!

I passed the highest point on the parkway - 6047 feet. I was in the clouds at that point. I then descended to the Ashville area and got gas at about mile 380, near the folk art center. Average miles per gallon is well above 50. I asked for a Blue Ridge parkway map at the information center there, and was told that the map of the parkway is in short supply and new ones are not available. I had been told the same thing at the store at Mt. Pisgah.

I drove the short spur to the top of Mt. Mitchell, which tops out at 6684 feet. This is the highest point east of the Mississippi River, higher than Clingman's Dome by many yards. The temperature was 42 and the wind was measured at 25-35 mph. It was completely fogged out, and began to rain. I was told that this was much better than two days previously when there was an inch of snow on the ground.

It rained about an hour, and I was just dried out by the time I reached Linville Falls. Wow! The falls were beautiful to see and to listen to. To properly see them, I took a couple miles hike to all the observation points. Lying down next to the falls and listening to them was quite refreshing.

Soon after leaving Linville Falls, it began to rain again. There were pretty bridges at Linn Cove Viaduct, but I had my hands full just seeing the road in the rain and fog. It was still raining when I got to Blowing Rock and filled the tank with a little less than 2 gallons (mile 292) I got gas again at mile 175 (2.1 gallons)

I expected to camp at Rocky Knob - but the campground is at 3572 feet and it was cold and windy. Also, I found that there were no showers in the campground. So I went on a few more miles to Tuggle Gap where i got supper and a room for about $55. (Happy Birthday to Me)

The room is plain, with no TV, but it has a hot shower and heat. My bike is parked outside the door. It will be a nice night for reading.


Post a Comment

<< Home