Autumn Epique

Almost had a laid back wknd at home, almost. The Rattlesnake's Revenge was on for Saturday down in WV and the arm was twisted pretty hard last wknd. But I resisted and stayed on for the obligatory appearance at the company picnic instead. Had a steady gunnin' happy hour session out of the Furnace on Friday with Pedro, heading to Vista and checking out a possible link from the finish over to revived Canyon. Turns out to be a no go thru the fresh cut, but did see more nice spine lines along the edge of the cut. Also found what I think is the boundry of the next chunk they're gonna chop.....

The main attraction is safe though.
Jake from Joisey made a guest appearance for an earlyish am mission out of the Furnace on Saturday, day three in a row from the venue. Headed south like on Thursday, but punched it up and out to Lewis rocks for a Rattlsnake session. Jake rode the rocks surprisingly well for a city slicker.Super fun two and a half hour shredfest with the crew using Comm Service as the stem of a sweet lollipop left me itchin' for more. Something big, but not huge. The Whitetail and back road loop needs to be done by the end of the warm season, but not quite yet. An epique into Michaux from the doorstep? But I've ridden most everything within easy reach over the last three days. So, decided while on the ride to just go for it, what else have I got to do? Got home and boogy woogy packed with quick stops for bacon, eggs, coffee, ice, gas and beer before heading to the picnic at two. Had some barbeque, shot the shit and was rolling 81 southbound by 3:30.

Tour veterens, name that gap.
Stepped out of the CR-V in West Augusta having hoped to find a five dollar bundle of firewood along the side of the road, saw nothing. The Mountain View Store was kinda sketch on inventory, but lots of pictures of dead things with bright orange smiles on the wall. Rounded out the essentials and rolled into Braley's right about sunset. Quick search for decent firewood on the camp perimeter turned up nothing of note as expected. Cooked up a spaceman's meal of chili mac with beef and settled in for an exciting night of tending the lamest fire ever while downing a handful of tastey Dead Reackonings.

No fly over the tent, waning full moon got bright sometime early morning and woke up thinking it was sunrise time from the direct overhead lunarosity. Then it got kinda chilly and I realized that my old 20deg bag is more like a mid-hi 30 deg now that it's into the teenage years. Crisp morning start of coffee, bacon and eggs off of the dual burner. Carpong rolls in with perfect timing and we blast out of camp as the sun fills in the hollow. Rolling out with an eye on the sky, Mike spots a big old owl.Also rouse a few deer, a grouse, another owl and Mike sees a bear barreling cross trail thru a saddle up on the ridge early, nice start to a day in the woods. Hour of tempo spinnin' on the Dos single finds us up on top of 250, heading out to the ridge and shedding layers as we finish out the climb up to the SMT. Mike chills with granny and I hoof it off and on working on finding an all day regulated tempo. Always forget how much climbing there is once off the pavement, but then the mtn gives some of it back and you forget. Then another slug of climbing and then you're there on the ridge riding the contour waves and you're daring yourself to not touch the brakes. And it rolls and turns and climbs like veritgo coasting uphill dizzy while pedaling the down and obstacle delusions with bermed out highside left hand sweepers thru the swales on the east face and mirror imaged west side right handed big benched berms rocketing out onto the powerstroke chunky rock vein before lofting up thru another subtle saddle to being dared once again to not touch the brakes. over and over and over again. Probably the most rippin' rippingest best session across the extended Southern Traverse for me. Carp providing shorthand wisdom of experience and being the perfect inspiration to either chase or try not to hold up.

Do. Not. Touch. The. BRAKES! Fuuhhhhhhk, he's out of sight again. Good times, thanks man.Finally got the camera back out on that final overlook off one of the Sister Knobs. Once again, riding trumped reporting over a solid three hour session, so on trail pics are slim to none. Once off the mtn we slummed home in grand style for 20 however miles of 32:19 29er restricted 11.3mph pacing. Too out of it for pikinic pictures, but for calories per dollar, the chocolate iced cake donut is hard to beat at 2/$1 while packing 540 calories of pure processed sugarliciousness. The 24oz PBR can was a tasty chaser. Bailed on the Elliots option, it's good to dream big and have goals, but no need to ruin one of the best days of the year with gratuitous intentional slum. 6.5 hours was just right, 8+ish, a bit much.

Enjoyed the scenery instead.

'til next time.
Drove thru the sunset, home lateish and weary.Next wknd? (Still got this stoopid road fixy itch to scratch....)

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