Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ride through Brevard, Hendersonville, & Chimney Rock

This past Saturday I enjoyed a nice day of riding up into NC, passing through Brevard, Hendersonville, and Chimney Rock, covering around 400 miles in about 9 hours.

I left home around 10:30 and headed up I-26 and I-385 to Greenville, where I got on US276N. I stopped in Travelers Rest (appropriate place for a stop, no?) and enjoyed a plate of barbecue chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans at an Ingles Cafe. The food and service were both very good, and I was back on the road in about half an hour. I went up over Caesar's Head, which is always one of my favorite roads, and continued northward through Brevard toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had planned on riding the Parkway eastward through Asheville and had checked for closings on the official website hosted by the National Park Service; it listed a couple of closings, but nothing that would impact me. Well, it turns out the site hadn't been updated in a bit, because both directions were closed at the US276 junction.

I began getting suspicious as I approached the junction, because I began encountering snow on the sides of the road, so I guess the Parkway was probably pretty covered at places. I did enjoy a good view of Cold Mountain, though, before heading back to Brevard on US276.

A bit north of Brevard on the way back down I stopped and enjoyed the beauty of Looking Glass Falls.

In Brevard I got on US64E and headed through Hendersonville, where I stopped at Oakdale Cemetery and visited Wolfe's Angel, a statue made famous by the novelist Thomas Wolfe.

I then continued eastward on US64 to Chimney Rock (US64 has some nice sweeping curves east of I26), where I headed north on NC9, a very twisty and fun road. I had planned on riding the Parkway to NC80 down to US70, to I-40W, and then to NC9. I definitely wanted to ride NC9, and the way things turned out, I got to ride it twice! North to I-40 and then back down to Chimney Rock. It's actually quite a different road depending on the direction of travel, as the direction, camber, and radius of the curves are reversed. Fun both ways, though!

I then retraced US64 back to Hendersonville, where I got on I26E and headed home, getting in at around 7:30. I regret not being able to ride the Parkway, but it was a very good day of riding with some beautiful scenery and fun roads nonetheless.


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