Monday, July 30, 2007
Bagging Mt. Mitchell
On Saturday we did what no cyclist has ever done before -- at least from Capn’s house on Grandmother Mountain.
We bagged Mount Mitchell.
Snuck up on her when she wasn’t looking, trapped her in the fog and a heavy downpour.
Saturday was a day for the record books: an out-and-back of 108 miles, including 96 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway and a wet 5-mile slog up the winding road to Mitchell’s 6,600-foot peak.
The climbing total: 12,800 feet.
We might not have reached the summit had we not refueled with a jumbo dog, Coke and Yoohoo at Crabtree Meadows.
Another satisfied customer.
Here’s the trophy shot from the top, taken by the guy at the concession stand who sold us the celebratory hot chocolate.
When I say we bagged Mitchell, I mean that literally. That trash bag I’m wearing? I found it on the Parkway while climbing toward Mitchell’s entrance.
I hadn’t packed a raincoat and the temperature plummeted as we ascended Mitchell in a bone-chilling rain. Necessity being the mother of improvisation, I sliced a head hole and two arm holes in the bag and wore it as a makeshift windbreaker on the screaming descent. I shed my custom Hefty two hours later after the rain stopped.
Here’s Ende at the top. The guys in the background were also cyclists but they abandoned and had a friend retrieve them in a truck. They offered us a ride home. Tempting, yes. We took a hard look at the truck, and that warm dry back seat. But we remembered a little dance called PBP and made the call to continue our epic ride.
Here’s Ende climbing up past an interesting Parkway sign. That guy on the motorcycle sure looks like he’s having fun.
Check out the interesting swirl effect of this shot taken on one of the descents.
I saw this little fellow crossing the road. Lucky he didn’t drown.
Another great day on the bikes.