Tuesday, May 21, 2013

First mountain of the summer!

Yesterday we got into Asheville, NC. The mountains are absolutely gorgeous. I'm already thinking that I want to move around here someday because it is so beautiful. 

Dad brought along his bike so we could take a ride the next morning. We were thinking it was going to be an easy, scenic warm-up for the summer. We set our sights on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway so we got in the car and drove to the place we wanted to start biking. We stopped at the visitor's center to get an idea about where we wanted to ride. Dad pointed to a spot on the map and told the lady behind the counter that we wanted to start there.

"Ohh," she said. "You'll be starting uphill but it's sure fun to come down." 

So we set out on the ride. It definitely was uphill. My legs were not warmed up. They complained. I was breathing loudly. So was Dad. Marcus fell behind. But eventually our legs gave in and warmed up and we continued uphill. 

After a mile, it leveled out a little. Dad looks at me and smiled. 

"That hill was a mile long! New record for me." 

Then we continued up for 14 more miles. Little did we know, we'd chosen to climb a mountain for our "warm-up" ride. The last mile and a half had a steeper grade and it was grueling!! But we all made it to the top!! Here are some pictures: 

Marcus resting at a scenic outlook stop. 

The beautiful mountains!

Dad and I at the summit!!

We climbed 4000 feet in 15 miles. It took over an hour and a half. The descent was mind-blowing. We averaged over 30 miles an hour and reached the bottom in less than a half hour. The road was sooo smooth!! Coming down that mountain was one of those moments where I felt so happy and so at peace that if I happened to die at that very moment, I would probably wake up in the same exact place I was in. The emotion was almost indescribable but I'll try. It felt like doing cartwheels and eating ice cream and going 40 mph and falling in love and snuggling with puppies and world peace all in one emotion. What a great way to start off the cross-country tour!!!! 

Orientation is tomorrow!!! I am nervous but mostly excited to meet leaders and teammates!! Stay tuned!!

The bridge into Charleston!

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