I was going to say yes you'll make it fine, then I realized it's the Country Store at 178 instead of one near Kiowee. I'll plan on being at the lower parking lot around 11:15 or a little after. It'll take about 40-45 min to get from 178 to entrance. By the way, 178 has been closed due to mud slide and is likely still closed unless someone's been by there in the last week to verify otherwise.
At the 281 entrance you ride in about a mile and come to a 3 way stop sign with the visitors center and parking straight ahead. Make a left a the stop sign and you head down to the lower parking lot which is the trailhead for most hikes inside the park and more importantly it's where the pavement ends. Plenty of space to pause and air down tires, plus porta johns if one needs a last minute break.
Oh, and just to confuse the issue a little more, for those of you who would be backtracking to hit one or the other of the gas stations in SC. At the intersection of 281 and US64 in NC there is a big BP gas station/country store. Go north on 281 into North Carolina to the stop sign/3-way intersection with US64, it's the only gas station there. It's less than 1/2 mile from the Gorges entrance. If anyone wants to meet there I can meet them on my way through.
Whitebread117 screwed with this post 09-06-2013 at 02:31 PM