A perfect day for cycling. Great weather, good roads, and little traffic. The only downer to a wonderful day was a Parkway Road closure. At the 30-mile mark of our 45-mile day, the Parkway was closed for repair. We rode around the barricade hoping for a bit of luck but about a mile up the road a huge dozer was at work so we turned around, found Mary Ann and her truck, changed clothes, and made our way to Sparta, NC. We crossed the NC state line a few miles before we hit the closure and are at the 260-mile park, just five miles shy of the halfway point.
One of the big surprises for me on this trip has been the change in topography. I am accustomed to the hills and vistas of the Parkway around the Asheville area. From mile marker 0 for the first 175 or so miles, the views and vistas were reminiscent of Asheville. Pretty much since Roanoke, we’ve been cycling through farmland and forest. Still beautiful and serene, but in a different way. To truly grasp these changes, I think they are best captured from the seat of a bicycle. Even driving at the Parkway speed of 45 mph, it’s tough to take in all the different types of beauty we are encountering.
We expect a far greater amount of climbing tomorrow as we make our way to Boone, NC. Boone is a lovely mountain town, one Pam and I have visited on occasion and I’m looking forward to the experience. From Boone, until we end in Cherokee, the going gets tough with longer mileage and significant hills. It should be fun! More tomorrow from Boone with a few photos. I am typing this blog on the front porch of the B&B we’re staying in tonight. Lodging around this area is rather limited. Best to all until tomorrow.