Just have not done a lot of riding in the last month with the constant rain and stormy weather we have had here. Been out a few times with some of my ride friends but our pace is usually a bit swift for photo taking. Finally, on Saturday July 6th I think it was, mrtngal and I got out for a day of riding and have a few neat things to show you. My plan was to take her up Curtis Creek on dirt to the BRP and down the South Toe. Questions was,how do we get from my Haywood Hacienda over in that direction. Basically, we did the BRP from Wagon Road Gap to Asheville then south on 191 and back roads through Fletcher and over Bearwallow for a start. The photos began in the Terry's Gap, Fruitland, Clear Creek area but we had to wander around a lot to get through there due to a lot of washed out bridges and detours like we have now ALL over worstern NC:
Nice stone work
I used to ride a mountain bike over this mountain on gravel and there was a littlle air strip in a big field right on top, and a few old shacks,...now the money has come in and there are royal huge pristine estates on the top with sprawling fences, horses, and what must surely be a wonderful lifestyle looking over the struggle of the commercial valleys below:
We crossed over to Gerton as the road became the old gravel I remember. I wanted to go up to the top to the radio towers but the gate was closed and an Arden based sporting goods retailer was having an organized outing and a ton of cars there so we just kept on rollin'. Here we find some remnants of the past:
We went on to the infamous Bat Cave and up Highway 9, always a good ride if'n you are not stuck behind the tourista parade, and come to something where I always stop if I need grub. A great place much to the surprise of many who just normally fly by:
So following are shots from this place taken by mtngal:
A table top
Old and grey motorcyclist ( Aarrfin' and scarfin') downing his grub
The food and service was great as always so there you go! And here is my idea of an easy place to take care of and maybe enough room to occasionally change your mind:
After leaving the Straightaway, we picked up a hitch hiker and he rode with us up to Black Mountain where he had some relatives to visit. We didn't have a helmet for him but he made it OK.
We picked up Mill Creek, a dirt road, in Black Mountain and went down to Old Fort seeing this stuff along the way:
In Old Fort now
There is a lot to absorb in this spot in Old Fort. It must be the only place they have to put stuff. As you can see, they have a monument commemorating the westernmost fort back in the day when all lands west of here were known as "Indian Lands", and a truck cannot turn right I guess or is that all of us, and if you have more than three axles, you certainly can not turn right onto this bicycle path and they have a street light over this so you can see all that at night and some other commercials about whats happening in town hanging on the street lamp and fences around all this so nobody will come along and get in there and re-arrange the important order of all this information.
Getting on past their incredible "infosection", we find some other things more simple that I can understand
Then we head up Curtis Creek and here is the deal:
This is a neat dirt road up to the BRP with lots of good camping spots along the way. We did not take photos as I recall but its the typical forest gravel with lots of elevation gain over about a 30 minute ride up. It is a road that has been here a long time. My 93 year old dad worked on the BRP in the Craggy area and the road going up to Mitchell prior to WWII in 1938 and 1939. His only vehicle was an Indian Chief which he rode over here from Lake Logan on dirt and gravel and came up this road from Old Fort to his work on the BRP, where he stayed a week at a time, driving a steam shovel and Euclid type truck. I need to locate some photos of that as we have some and also the old Indian. His work there ending when he signed up for WWII a year later. Always a motorcyclist though selling his last bike when he was 85. Ok, thanks for reading my rambling and on we go with today's ride:
View from the BRP on the way to South Toe Road:
Down the Toe we Go!
My happy mtngal enjoying her ride as always!
Good way to ride in the afternoon cool of the forest! Brings back childhood memories....
I am sure many of you recognize this old building and its nice stonework.
Gotta have at least one barn
Even old millstones in this nice rock work
Decided to get back on the BRP and take our chances with the slow traffic then hit Town Mountain Road" for a different descent into Ashfrancisco:
No stopping along the Ashefrancisco watershed
I have a photo of dad working at this tunnel
Ok, enough BRP and now descending:
Thar she blows!
We hang a left after crossing that bridge and rolled in here for some more grub which was good but enough food for about 5 people.....Ok, Ok, yes I ate all mine
Slabbing home and here is a "mtngal behind the scenes shot"
Not bad for a two-up day in the hills: