My original plan was to leave Baltimore after work on Thursday night and arrive Friday morning. Plan B was to leave Friday morning after stopping in quickly at work. In classic Alex style I finally ended up leaving Baltimore at about 5:30 PM on Friday.
After driving through rush hour traffic in both Baltimore and DC and then spending ~320M on the highway 81S through Virginia I finally arrived in the mountains in Tennessee. My cell immediately cut out and I was shrouded in fog as I followed the switchbacks and state highways into Smokey Mountains of North Carolina.
(It takes a lot of crap to ride for a week in the mountains)
Finally at 5am I arrived at the Nantahalla Outdoor Center. Kinda. It seems the Google and reality are in a little bit of a disagreement over where the NOC actually is. According to Google it's some random driveway on the side of the highway. Fortunately through a combination of 3 year old memories, my iPhone's maps and calling people I was able to find it over the course of the next 1.5 hours in the rain, fog and night.
I arrived at the NOC to find college cyclists haphazardly strewn about the cabin with literally rows and rows of bikes outside. I slept for maybe 30min on the floor but I was too excited to see Geo to sleep. Once Geo got there I slept a little in the trunk of my car and again for about 2 hours once we got a room squared away.
(My new ride - still nameless)
Finally after about 3 hours of sleep I decided it was time to start this trip. There were limits to be tested, mountains be climbed and fears to be confronted. I can sleep when I'm dead.
To be continued ...