August 26, 2011

creeper trail tails...

when jenn talton has visitors, she doesn't mess around. she is the hostess with the mostess. there is never a dull moment in the a-jenn-da o' the food is amazing.

jacob, nickie and i got off to a bit of a rough start, airline wise, but we finally made it to north carolina. the first order of business was some time at the lake house. always a crowd pleaser. we played cards, kayaked in the rain, water skied (i slalomed successfully for the first time!), jumped off a rock and ate low country boil. it was a splendid time.

the slalom and the boil
then we got really serious. sunday's adventure was a thirty four mile bike ride on the virginia creeper trail. and an adventure it was. here's what we were looking at going into the day: you park your car at a bike shop at the end of the trail. the bike shop shuttles you to the top (about a one hour drive) and off you go. we knew the first half would involve a lot of coasting, with the second half becoming a bit more strenuous as the trail flattens out.

the first seventeen miles were indeed delightful. since we were riding down the mountain there was a gentle slope the whole way. i think i used the pedals about five times in that first half. the scenery was beautiful and we were loving life. we even happened upon an all male a cappella group practicing in a nearby house, which was a fun surprise. at the halfway point, we found a little cafe to have lunch in and relaxed for a short bit. then back to the trail we went.

that's when the real adventure began. less than a mile into our second seventeen, the heavens opened and the rain came down. and i mean it came. down. i couldn't see due to the waterfalls coming off of my eyelashes and my shoes quickly became individual swimming pools for my feet. at one point jenn said, "i could get off my bike and go jump in the river and i would not be as wet as i am right now"...and she was right. it was hilarious. we pressed on, not knowing how long the rain would last, but knowing we had no other options since our car was at the end of the trail. the incessant rainfall ended up lasting for about the next three miles, though at the time it felt a little bit like eternity. while grateful for the clear skies, we were now pedaling one hundred percent of the time, and my muscles (which were already sore from water skiing) began to protest. but we persevered and made it out alive. all in all it was a great day of memories, and i was able to check something off my list. our end of the trail pictures don't really do justice to the wet, the sweat and the mud we encountered, but if you look closely you can spot the creeper trail tail on the back of my shirt...

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