Day 8 - Milepost 383, May 19
"Time to start the return trip. With the poor sleep and the late start, today is already much harder than yesterday. I got some cheddar popcorn and Mtn Dew to help me get started. My right lateral hamstring bothered me for a little while, but it improved throughout the day. Near the top of Waterrock Knob (5800ft), I saw an RV pull up and stop. A man got out of the passenger side, pulled a road bike off the back rack, and start riding the 2500ft descent to Balsam Gap. The RV went ahead, presumably to meet him at the bottom. After all the cyclists I had seen struggling to ride that climb and all the mountains I had labored over in the past week, I muttered, "No, you didn’t…" and angrily chased after him. Breathing steam and burning rubber, I managed to pass both him and the RV on the way down. Climbing to the peak of the Parkway was even tougher the second time. Heat and fatigue make for unwelcome riding companions. There was a lonely stretch of road between the peak and Mt Pisgah where I hit new lows in this regard, where the road just never seemed to go anywhere. Uphill or downhill, I felt like I was making no progress at all. Eventually I made it down the mountain and into Asheville where Damtoft, Subway, Ingles, and Mexican food were waiting for me."
Memorable things about the day:
- No fog? I can see things now!
- Hard climb, hard climb, ouch
- More turkeys by the road
- Motorcycles WHY
- STOP DRAG RACING ON THE PARKWAY
- Chicken nachos were an excellent choice