Asheville – Shenandoah_

Day 1_ Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

Late start, load gear, tent, maps, gas. Asheville, Black Mountain, Old Fort, Curtis Creek gravel up to the Parkway. Blue Ridge empty, car every 30 minutes. Its cold and the miles creep. Stop at overlook, run up and down a hill for heat. Anxious, in a hurry. This happens in the beginning. Takes time to transition, slow down, enjoy the journey.

Parkway closure, exit the Blue Ridge, food, gas. Racing the sun, re-route, 81N winding up the mountain towards Roanoke, wind and rain at the pass, exit, KOA is closed. Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn… Express

Day 2_ Fog face. Milk pool

Morning, cold, slow, pack the bike and head out. On top of the ridge-line I enter the void, fog thick, like swimming in a milk pool with your eyes open. 10 mph, shield open, fog face wakes me. Feels like a dream. Trees muted, sound muted, time muted.

Ranger waves me down, black ice. Re-route onto gravel. Old barns, eroded creek beds, cows cowing. Arrive at another Parkway closure, exit, lost, eventually Roanoke, lunch. Losing daylight, back on 81N, dodging 18’s I make it to Waynesboro and crash for the night.

Day 3_Skyline Drive, Andrew Jackson. Bristol Speedway, Asheville, 400m

Early, review maps. End of Parkway. Skyline drive, Andrew Jackson. Scenic overlooks, pictures, temp warming up, looking for gravel but everything is gated, beautiful day, noon, exit for gas. Back on Skyline, fried chicken at the overlook. Skyline south ends, Parkway begins, find some gravel and dirt, exit through George Washington National Forest, gas up and adjust chain, continue onto 81S. Sundown, refuel by Bristol Speedway. One more mountain pass to Asheville. 400+ day.