There is a sandstorm blowing in from Africa, and it is supposed to make things really gross and uncomfortable around here. As opposed to what? The mosquito-laden soup we walk around in all day? The liquid heat of the Publix parking lot? Just when you thought the worst was upon you, up comes a sandstorm from Africa, fabulous.
Fortunately, I will be well on my way north by the time it hits, and hopefully I’ll be blowing bubbles in the Oconee river later today, or eating cheese grits, drinking cold iced tea somewhere along the way.
Just because I’m gone don’t think you can just do whatever you want around here. I’ll be keeping an eye on things, assuming Georgia has the internet.
If anybody really wants to address the teeming hordes, get word to Sasquatch and we can arrange for you to get the keys to the city for a day.
Down here in Dixie we say, “Welp” right before we segue into a departure, I’m not sure what the ‘p’ is for, but here goes…
…Welp, I’m out of here, time to go watch Lance Armstrong drag everyone around the Champs Elysees for the last time. No speculation about a return to cycling for him, that dude is over it.
Thanks for tuning in, drink plenty of fluids. (insert crass joke here)
Keys to the city? Are you offering us the chance to post something on your blog? Better watch out boy! That could be dangerous.
This trip will give you a nice break from your “fever”.
I know this since your fever is an allergic reaction to my bike, which puts out the most allergens when it zips past you and disappears. Have a nice break.
Did I mention I was planning to ride at Tsali? If I did, nevermind.
It was no triumph. I had two high points. 1. The first half-mile on the right loop, as I zipped past the families heading back in to the trailhead after venturing out and finding the going a bit muddy. That was before the climbing, much of it hike-abike, the incessant mud splatters (seems Dennis dropped a bit of rain in western NC), and the crashing. 2. The next day, on the overlook at the Mouse Branch Loop, trying to adjust my brakes at the overlook of Lake Fontana with the Smokies beyond. Not a bad spot for work on the bike. In between: bike cleaning, unsuccessful mechanical work, loneliness as the only solo camper in the NFS campground, with happy groups of blissed out bikers and kayakers all around me. I couldn’t even find a beer anywhere short of Bryson City. Dry county, I guess.
I retreated to base camp in the improbably named Young Harris, GA, where Mrs. H. was taking a jewelrymaking class in a school run by the Old Masters. I daytripped out to climb Brasstown Bald (a brutal half-mile straight up a paved trail), and hike up to some sweet waterfalls. Took a 45-second dip in the pool at the base of one of the falls. It felt dangerously cold.
So Tsali and I have unfinished business. Sasquatch gave solace with the story of his seatpost breaking off with several miles to go in his first Tsali ride. Next trip went better for him, and it will for me too. Meanwhile the Dakar’s at the infirmary. And here’s another bright spot. Li’l H, 16, didn’t seem to engage in any Risky Business while Left Behind and Home Alone during our trip. The house, vehicles, and pets are all accounted for.
Just one question: who turned up the heat while I was gone?