Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lost on the mountaintop

So my Dad, being the bright-idea kind of guy that he is, decided he wanted to take me on a ride on his Honda Goldwing last week while I was at campmeeting. I said sure, thinking that it'd be a 30 minute little fun ride/excursion. Boy was I wrong! Now, I know he had the best of intentions when he said he wanted to show me the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I knew right off the bat when we started up this squirrelly back-road before we even got to the parkway, that it wasn't gonna be quite of a blast as I'd hoped. First off, it was raining. Not a hard down-pour, but a steady drizzle, which made these hair-pin curves kind of tricky on a 2 wheeled bike. Fortunately, Dad made me wear Mom's Frogg Togg's, which are a matching bright orange waterproof pants and jacket set (a totally hilarious scene in itself, I'm sure), so we really stayed relatively dry throughout the whole ordeal.

Anyway, we finally get up to the parkway, and after driving on it a ways, the elevation becomes increasingly higher, so along with it comes fog. Put this together with a rain combo = not so fun on a bike. Add in several dark, damp tunnels, and we've got a lovely afternoon. lol

So we drive and drive, stop at a scenic overlook to take some pics (managed to dodge some of the fog here), and drive some more, until we come up on this little black blob in the middle of our lane. So Dad slows down until we realize's a bear! Yes, a BEAR!!! Ahhhh....My first thought was "Oh, it's only a teenager, she can't hurt us," but then I realize, I'm not in a protective metal car like usual. I'm on a bike, with all of my extremities exposed, and saying "Come get me. I know you're hungry." Then we think (because we can talk to each other via speakers in our helmets), Crap! There's got to be a mama bear somewhere! Fortunately, the cub starts running along side the road and eventually down the side of the mountain before we could be deemed its supper that night, but boy was my adrenaline going!

After this fun extravaganza and driving probably another 30 min, we come to this fork in the road. It says Canton 24 miles, Rosman 19 miles (or something). Do you think Dad took my advice when I suggested the Canton route, seeing as how I know where that is (or had at least heard of it, as opposed to this other city only Jim Bob knows of)?? Nada. So, we take off down this new road.

This time we're head back down the mountain. Dad now decides to pull Carmen out - his beloved GPS. Don't ask me WHERE this much-needed device had been this whole time! I was kind of worried that she would get wet in the rain, but not caring much at this point and just wanting to get back, we thought we'd give her a shot. She started taking us on little side roads, but when one of them we turned on was a gravel road that brought us back out on the SAME road we had started on, I started rethinking the idea of getting her wet (must be messing with her brains). To top things off, Dad starts telling me about the movie "Deliverance," where 4 business men take a camping trip out in the woods and end up getting shot and killed or something. Great,'s the perfect time to be scaring me! Geez....

SO, after we started seeing the same landmarks we'd already passed before, we decide to turn back around and go until we find someone that might know how to get back. ha! The next gas station in this backwoods hicktown was where we stopped. After snarfing down a snickers bar cause I hadn't eaten since my small bowl of cereal that morning, we find these 2 gentlemen sitting on the bench out front to ask directions. Assuming by their accents that they'd lived there all their life, we listen as they proceed to tell us "Well, you c'n go this way, or you c'n go this a way," and ramble on about this side road or that landmark. Gosh, this is no help at ALL! The one thing I did catch in all of that mumbo jumbo was the name of a town called Sylva. Yes, I know that one! So, after convincing Dad that I know what I'm talking about (and not really giving him much choice in the matter), we continue on that road for another 30 miles.

While it was refreshingly beautiful once the sun came out as we curved around the bend of the mountain with a river running with us, I still couldn't get over the fact that I was missing out seeing people at campmeeting seeing as how I was only there a few short days. But then, I realized that although we'd fought off the fog, rain, hunger, bears, hicks, and the possibility of becoming the next "Deliverance" movie all in one afternoon, this all didn't seem to phase Dad. He was enjoying my company and it didn't bother him that an hour cruise turned into over 5 hours. I tried my hardest to relax and soak in the beauty, although my butt was sore and I had to pee like a race horse! :) Again, like my last post, I reiterate, it's the little things in life that matter!

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