Sunday, June 10, 2012

Post 012 - Blue Ridge Refuge

Day 7 - Sunday, June 10

I am having a two day stay at Big Meadows campground on Skyline Drive of the Blue Ridge Parkway. To date I have traveled 1,108 miles. The weather started out cool and wet, now it is hot and mostly dry. One night it was cold enough for me to wear a wool cap to bed. Last night a cotton sheet was all I needed to remain comfortable.

The terrain I've chosen to travel through, river valleys, mountains, coal ridges, forests, and bountiful farmland, needs no romantic embellishment. Spring is a marvelous time in the country. Selecting county roads especially in Pennsylvania was a challenge, but well worth the effort. During one happily lost route, I came upon a community of log cabins, each at least 150 years old. I met and elderly woman sitting on her porch. She explained to me that unless I wanted to "go over the mountain" I best backtrack to the highway. I told her she had a lovely home. "Why thank you. I've lived here all my life." I felt honored to be one moment in that life.

My biggest hassles are trying to depend on an iPad with wifi for mapping my routes, and believing the bike is going to breakdown at any moment. I have been depending on McDonalds for wifi. There I plan a route to my next destination. I use a pencil & paper to write the directions. I can pull a notepad from my pocket far easier than unpacking and booting up the iPad. I am only 50% successful with this system. The other 50% is spent rambling around backroads and stopping to talk to anyone I see. Half of those people know too little and the other half know way to much. I don't know if it's better to get an "I don't know" or a Joycean tale.

As for my fear of the bike breaking down, well, it has over 22,000 miles on it now. It makes unnatural sounds. I am burning through oil faster than I think I should. The shocks seem to be going soft. The muffler may be muffling its last gasp. I worry.

But all that worry aside, I am happily ensconced in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I feel at home here. So I am using electricity in the Big Meadows Lodge to recharge my camera batteries and the iPad's too. I will have breakfast here in their restaurant tomorrow. I will sleep under the stars tonight. A perfect time.

I'm taking photos, just not having luck uploading them from the iPad. There are some obstacles in the Coulee.

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