N35 29.345 W82 21.522,  2937′ msl

When you see this sign, and you are on your bike,

and then you see this…

you know you’re about to have some fun.

The mountains of western North Carolina are among my favorite places, so when the opportunity presented itself to spend a week out here there wasn’t much of a decision.  I’m staying in a house with 6 women.  Maybe 6, I haven’t really counted.  It’s group of writers / bloggers that Charlene is involved with.  Nice people.  They spend the day doing… I guess I’m not really sure.  I spend the day running, riding my bike and playing my guitar.  I brought a book on the history of philosophy, but It’s hard to spend time with a book when the mountains are calling.

It was a bit chilly out this morning – 45 deg, but not really so bad.  Mainly all that has to be done is eliminate exposed skin and wear tight fitting clothing so the wind doesn’t sneak in.  I rode from the house to a town called Bat Cave.  It was less about having a good training ride than about a celebration of the mountains.  The racing is exciting and gives context to the training, but I think the real value comes from the time spent out doors, and from having the fitnes to find what is beyond the next curve.  To be just as excited about the challenge of the uphill as the exhiliration of the downhill.

Here is a tiny sample of what I saw.  Unfortunantely I couldn’t capture the sounds, the smells, the bracing cold of the descents, the thoughts, the feelings, the interactions with the people.  I can only hope to recreate them tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…

Approaching Bat Cave

Covered Bridge.  I cropped the no trespassing sign.  Hard not to think of Woody Guthrie.  Especially the last verse.

 Why?  Why???  WHY!!!???

Why would someone feel the need to use limited natural resources, to pollute the air, and to make a lot of noise on such a pointless activity that could be more easily accomplished with a rake?  Last week one of the presidential contenders unveiled his proposal for an energy policy.  Basically drill the artic and continue blasting the Applacians to rubble.  I beg to differ.  Im my humble opinion, any sane energy policy should begin with a mandate that people stop being stupid.  I guess its a lot easier to drill.

I don’t really know what the witches cabin looked like when Hansel and Gretal first saw it, but I imagine it looked a lot like this.

Cool Dresses.  Not sure what possesses someone to do this, but I appreciate the effort.  I took several photos of these for all the ladies in the house.

Bridge.  This land is your land…

Nice lake shot

Barbed Wire.

I once read that a week after barbed wire was invented the entire country was fenced off.  Actually, it has been a while since I read that and I made up the week, but I suspect the essence of this statement is true.

Until tomorrow.