Tuesday, June 22

Charleston Charlies > Gastonia Honey Hunters

This is yet another unpaid propaganda machine spew endorsing the city of Charleston, WV as a place to be.

The Pie and I took our almost annual trip four hours northwards to a place near and dear to our hearts.  I know it's pretty much impossible to capture the magic of a novel experience, but we find ways to make it new every time.... sorta kinda.

The Pie prefers her car over the Fit of Rage, so the Vassago Meatplow V.8 got crammed into the trunk under the luggage.  I so enjoy this Tetris-like activity.  Get into town, room not ready yet... what to do?

I was gonna shoot over to the Kanawha State Forest to ride because Saturday looked like a washout, but a huge weather system was threatening my narrow window.  I couldn't motivate myself to drive over if I knew I might get caught in a downpour.  So we do what Dillens do on vacation.  We walk.

We were close enough to downtown to walk around.  FestivALL wasn't set up yet, but there was a twenty three hole putt putt course set up over a few blocks... that was totally free... and better than sitting next to an indoor pool waiting for a room.

When putt putt courses are designed and built by local businesses, sometimes there will be obstacles in your path.  I now understand why putt putt course engineers are paid so much.

The threatening storm never came, and The Pie and I walked all aboot town until our room was ready.

Just in time for the manager's reception at the hotel, because if it's one thing The Pie and I agree on, it's that you can make an entire meal outta naan bread, hummus, veggies, Chex Mix, and unlimited margaritas.

The next day, we were greeted with great news.  The locals were kind enough to cancel most of the rain, so The Pie woke up and headed out to run the five mile race that started about a quarter mile from our front door and headed up a mountain.  I was able to make the drive over to the Kanawha State Forest.

It will be a lot easier to get around once all these signs end up where they belong.  They've been so busy building and improving the trail system that some trail apps aren't keeping up with the progress.  I made plenty of poor decisions and somehow managed to stack up 2,000 feet of climbing in the first eleven miles.


The trails drain really well, and the overnight rains left very few puddles, but plenty of slick rocks and roots.

I ended up on a newer trail called Southern Exposure after a much-less-than-clean run down Black Bear.  A pretty sweet addition that puts on a fine display of the trail building talent and the skills of the locals that can ride some of the "features."  Then over to Wall Fork.

The vegetation is getting dense up there.  Really, most everywhere.  Ferns, briers, and stinging nettles.  You're pretty much playing a lottery of itches and scratches.  I never saw one other mountain biker on the trail... on a Saturday... with temps in the low 70s. 

Hard to believe that Wall Fork wasn't even on the map the last time I was here.  Such a kick in the dick full of surprises... and mebbe some stinging nettles.

I ended up knocking out nineteen miles before tucking my tail between my legs when the skies looked like they were gonna open up (they didn't).  Back in town, The Pie and I walked to a matinee showing of The Quiet Place II... and had the theater to ourselves.

And got out of the movie in time for supper... at the manager's reception... which meant tortillas and salsa and whiskey sours to make a great meal...

Before walking over to the Appalachian Power Park to watch some minor league baseball... at $8 a ticket... and reasonably priced beers... and an impressive fireworks display?

And because I didn't ride after the drive home and Sunday AND because I didn't get any riding in on Friday either, I let Jerry talk me into a sixty mile ride yesterday, which I turned into an eighty mile ride since today's it's just rain, rain, and if I'm lucky, more rain.

Wherein I found out that the pocketful of sour gummies and two bottles of water that I thought would get me through sixty miles can't be easily stretched out over another twenty. 

Live, learn, repeat.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Happy to make dinner outta drinks and hors d’oeuvres with you anytime! ��