As you know, my recumbent is laid up due to a recent fracture. Last weekend, John and I drove 1000 miles to get to South Carolina (and home again) to pick up a cap for my truck, so no other bikes can attempt to fly during our cycling outings. The same journey had promised to produce a new recumbent for me. It, too, was a Vision R40, just like my old one, except the front tire would be a 16″ instead of a 20″.
It was a tiring ride from Virginia to South Carolina. We left at 6:30 am and arrived at 12:30, noonish. Upon our arrival, after 6 hours of driving, we discovered that the owner of the cap thought I was coming 4 days hence, and as a result, wasn’t in town and the arrangements he had made for me to pick up the cap were for Tuesday.
We live in a small town and realize that many folks know each other and we could probably get this worked out. And we did. Without anything in the way of panic, we found a friend of our contact who could help us get our new “camper shell” and get on our way. As we waited for him to arrive, we visited the local Veterans Memorial, where we knew one of our son’s combat buddies was memorialized. It was really touching to be there and we attempted to contact his parent, but we were unable to do so.
Once the cap was on the truck, we headed to our lodge in Asheville, NC, and settled in for just a few minutes, as we still had to drive to Brevard, NC and pick up the recumbent. The bike was 14 years old, and basically unridden. When we arrived at the home of the owners, we realized just why. Asheville is mountainous and this particular area was extremely steep with very windy roads. Recumbents don’t start well on an incline and I’m completely unable to start on a steep incline. The key is to start on the decline and turn around. With underseat steering, sharp turns are out of the question, so turning on a very narrow, windy road is also. No place to ride!
We picked up the bike and hit downtown Asheville for a couples adventure. Our first stop was Biltmore Ave, home of the Biltmore mansion. We didn’t visit the mansion. It’s just not my cuppa. We parked and began walking the lovely downtown area of Asheville, looking for something creative. In doing so, we encountered Sazerac, a rooftop bar. Here we are
At Sazerac, we had a drink and made dinner of a few appetizers….. sort of a Tapas dinner. It was chilly, but I wasn’t ready to quit. We left the bar and headed down some side streets, where we found a shawl to warm me, as it had gotten quite chilly and immediately after our purchase, we encountered a precious little alleyway with a creperie al fresco, with a jazz band playing. It was the Creperie Bouchon. Loved it and had to top our dinner off with a desert of crepes. I thought I shot several photos of this, but they turned out to be videos, phooey, the disadvantages of a very complicated phone that i can’t completely figure out yet! Please check out the link I have provided, though and you may fall in love with it also. When we returned to the lodge (a slanderous euphemism for the lodgings we booked), I was euphoric over such a delightful evening with my best friend and lifemate.
The morning brought a chill day. We decided to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway home, as it has been a major part of our lives. We live close to the northern end of it and hike along it frequently, as well as having taken our children there many times throughout their upbringing.
Though we traveled from 9 am until 11 pm, we thoroughly enjoyed our travels, stopping entirely too often for productive travel. The flame azaleas were in bloom, as were the mountain laurel and the rhododendron! I was beautiful. The vistas were wonderful, as we encountered waterfalls, which I got to try out my new camera and it’s many lenses on. We also encountered wild turkeys and a fawn, cowering in the middle of the road, fearful at it’s separation from it’s mother. John rescued the fawn and placed it in the woods near where he could hear it’s mother frantically thrashing in the woods.
After this encounter, we stopped for lunch, then continued on. We saw more turkeys and deer, as well as some of the most beautiful mountain views I’ve ever seen. Different than the alps, and the rockies, but captivating in the complexity of layers and layers of mountains, stretching into the distance, with the quaint little patchwork of farms and churches in the foreground. At Maybrey’s Mill, we stopped and visited this little living history site and shot pictures of the mill, the mill houses and even a little still. Pretty, pretty, pretty. We had such a great time together. When we reached Bedford, Va, we dined at the Peaks of Otter lodge. Dinner was great, and as we frequently travel the portion of the parkway that was just norther of Peaks, and we were ready to get home, we got on 460 and headed east, but not before being captivated by a lovely moon, rising over the little lake at the base of the Peaks of Otter.