Hurricane Campground, VA – Woodsmoke Campground, TN (near Unicoi, TN)
Miles Ridden – 101
Total Miles – 241
Today’s Travel Time – 10.5hrs
Flat Tires – 1
Animal Totem – Beaver
What I learned today – We are way bigger badasses than I even realized
You know how there’s that saying, written somewhere on a quotables magnet or something – ‘Do one thing every day that scares you’ ? Well I think I’ll have that covered for at least the next 25 days.
Day 2 started out innocently enough, we slept in until 7 and had a leisurely morning at camp. Rolling out about 10am, we didn’t realize those extra couple of hours would be needed come the end of the day!
The excitement was palpable as we set out on Day 2 of the TAT. Not too far into the morning we came upon a sign- ‘FOREST PROTECTION ROAD NOT SUITABLE FOR PASSENGER CAR TRAVEL’ – aka single track completely gnarly shit up ahead!!! WOW. Stefan went first, I followed suit and Dad brought up the rear. Thank god we had just stopped for a bathroom break, otherwise I would have been literally, as well as figuratively, pissing my pants. The good news is that I kept the bike upright. Rather, the bike kept itself upright and I let it. I had no idea I could ride something like that, or what the bike was capable of!
A little way after that we rode right through the town of Damascus, VA where there were tons of AT hikers prowling the streets as well as some yummy restaurants and an awesome outdoors store. Even though it was lunch time we only had about 30 miles under our belts for the day so we decided to keep going. After going up and down a few more mountains we paused to snack on some granola bars and made a new friend!
After some more backwoods riding we finally pulled into Elizabethton, TN for some fuel and a proper(ish) lunch. This is the point at which things begin to get even more interesting, and by that I mean a torrential downpour begins.
The good news is that we were close to shelter. The bad news is that we were still 3 minutes away from shelter, and that’s about all it takes to get completely soaked.
The rain eventually abated and with full bellies and full packs (we made a stop off at walmart for a tarp and some other essentials) we hit the road again, our sights set on a campground about 20 miles past Green Mountain, NC which would put us ahead of our intended mileage for the day. Well as I learned at my yoga teacher training many years ago – planning is priceless, plans can be useless – a mile or so down the road we realize we’ve lost one – Stefan got the honorable first flat of the TAT!
Yep it happened, yep it was a bummer, but thanks to these two awesome dudes and my tiny nimble fingers we got it fixed right up, found a closer campground (since we only had about an hour of daylight left) and got back on the road. If you always expect the unexpected, life will never let you down 🙂