Thursday, October 1, 2009
We are almost ready to depart the hotel, headed toward Raven Rock State Park, and a rendezvous with Pepper, who is headed from Kingsport to take my place on tthe ride.
The weather is another absolutely perfect Chamber of Commerce day, with forecast highs in the mid 70s, and low humidity.
Soon, we are off!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Today was a tremendous day - 6200 feet of vertical ascent through the Uwarrie Mountains, 97 miles, and over 6500 calories burned. The day could not have been better, with 70 degree weather, sunny skies, and some of the prettiest NC farm country I have seen.
The rolling Uwarrie Mountains are more difficult than last year's century day, near White Lake, but we managed well. Everyone rolled into the Hampton Inn feeling like we could have done a few more miles.
Dinner was at Bella's in downtown Sanford, a town built on the brick industry. Earlier in the ride, we rode through Seagrove, NC, home of North Carolina's pottery industry. Wonderful earthen pottery with over 100 pottery artisans clustered around an ancient clay deposit.
The route is programmed into the Garmin, so no way we will get lost.
Richard Petty museum in Randleman will be one of our destinations today, and I keep hearing about the Uwharrie Mountains - don't know what that indicates, but combining the words century and mountains in the same sentence seems daunting.
Quite cool now, at 7 AM, and we are thinking if pulling out early.
More from the road.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Statesville to Thomasville through beautiful rolling agricultural area of North Carolina. We pass fields of soybeans and hayfields, tidy white "gentlleman's farms", and small southern towns with friendly folks. My highlight was Cooleemee, NC, home of the Cooleemee Judk Man. He has an eclectic junk shop on the outskirts of Cooleemee, where he collects and sells everything from chamber pots to Allison Chalmers tractor parts. After meeting the proprietor, he invites me to see his "drag house". "What is a drag house?" "A house you drag from one spot to another." was the answer. Photos and videos are to follow when I get back home to the cable for the camera.
At mile 54, Fred Wallin met us at Lake Tom-A-Lex with a European style picnic, and we certainly pigged out. The hospitality on this years' ride has been awesome, mainly due to Fred's attentive style. Obviously, Dorothy has taught him well!
We are now at the Country Hearth Hotel, and have said goodbye to Roy and Mike, who have been shuttled back to Mike's car for the trip back to Kingsport. We are awaiting Fred's arrival back to go into Thomasville for some of the food and entertainment downtown.
Today was around 65 miles, 3.5 hours, over 4,000 feet of climbing and 3,500 calories burned. We will make that back up tonight!
Tomorrow - Thomasville to Sanford, NC, and the full century (100 mile) option, which I am sure we will all do!
We were too late for the Billy Scott and the Prophets beach music show in downtown, but we did determine that Statesville is a great town. We rode through beautiful old homes on tree lined boulevards, and downtown seemed fairly vibrant.
It is around 5:45 and today's ride goes from Statesville to Thomasville, billed as 64 miles, and the terrain is becoming a bit flatter.
The two days leading up to today have been around 62 miles each, counting the distance to the hotel. Each day has been over 4000 feet of elevation ascent, making for a good workout and considerable rejoicing as we see the hotel sign!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Last night, we dined at the Chetola Inn in Blowing Rock - great meal, and spirited conversation. So much so that I decided to do an Obama apology tour from table to table to determine whether we disturbed any of the other diners. They all said that the entertainment was great, and the men were all envious! The women were amused. Good thing we were on our best behavior.
Today, the route goes cross country from Lenoir to Statesville, rolling hills, some steep climbing. After yesterday's mountains, we are ready.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Beautiful skies on the parkway, and once to Linville we think the climbing is over. Not so!
From Linville to Hwy 181 - across Jonas Ridge and a ripping downhill to the rest stop. After pb&j, we tackle the last 25 into Lenoir.
65 miles today, finished at 2 PM. Tonight, dinner at Chetola.
Tomorrow, Lenoir to Statesville.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Today is Saturday and we are preparing to depart for Blowing Rock, NC for the start of the annual Mountains to the Sea ride across NC.
This years route is Blowing Rock, Lenoir, Statesville, Thomasville, Sanford, Dunn, Kenansville, Surf City. Dunn will be my destination, since I have to get back to Kingsport on Thursday evening for a Friday departure for Birmingham.
The picture is from last year, and includes Ken Maness (that's me), Mike Harvey, Pepper McCary and Roy Harmon. Joining us this year are Bob Funke, Hal Yungmeyer and Fred Wallin.
I will update as we roll along, hopefully using mobile technology!