Sunday, August 17, 2014

Asheville (North Carolina)

The first day of our three-day trip to Asheville, North Carolina was spent primarily on the road. Rebecca and I took our time leaving Richmond and were south bound by 11am. We stopped midway through the drive in Chapel Hill to check out the town and visit the Chapel Hill Rumors, a Richmond-based thrift boutique.

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Once we arrived at our AirBnB in Brevard we were ready to unwind. The loft apartment above our hosts' garage was comfortable and inviting; and it had DirectTV! We lounged for the rest of the night and planned the next two days rides.

The next morning we headed out for DuPont State Forest. Just as we left our hosts' neighborhood we spotted a fresh produce stand, so we pulled in to grab fruit for the day and fill our water bottles for the ride ahead. Just a few minutes later we were in the Reasonover Road Parking Area, unloading bikes and gearing up for the ride.

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The trails were spectacular. Even more impressive was how well-marked they were. Navigating with our free trail map was a breeze.

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We made our way to the Bridal Veil Falls where we dismounted and took a break.

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After that we had a few more miles of trail to complete before returning to the parking lot and heading into town for a bite to eat. Our hosts own a BBQ joint in Brevard called Hawg Wild, so we decided to check it out. We were very pleased, especially so since we ordered the fried mac-n-cheese bites to wet our appetites! Rebecca and I decided to restrain ourselves though, taking a few last scraps home in to-go boxes so that we could indulge in Dolly’s Ice Cream across the street.

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Once back at our AirBnB we lounged in the pool before retiring to the loft to explore their Blue-Ray collection - we landed on Lincoln and Olympus Has Fallen ;-)

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The next morning we slept in before packing up and heading out towards Pisgah National Forest. I found a Strava ride in a local biking guide for the area, so we decided to try it. The ride consisted of a long fire road climb that connected to the Black Mountain Trail. The climb was a good burn - just a slow churn in our granny gears for about an hour. One last, hellacious ascent to start the section of Black Mountain Trail gave way to a steep, rooty descent. Rebecca handled the technical trail very well. I was delighted to see a smile on her face in the midst of a truly intimidating section of singletrack.

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Once we reached the Jeep we drove down 276/Pisgah Highway until we spotted a suitable watering hole in the Davidson River.

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Our final stop before hitting the road was an early dinner at Mayfel’s in Asheville, where we met Rebecca’s friend Steve and his girlfriend Carrie Sue. Following dinner we pointed the Jeep north and reached Richmond just after midnight.

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