Well, some of you guys probably saw the story about going motocamping with a guy I met on the Internet. If you saw that story you know it went well and this story is about our second ride together.
The weather was looking like a 50/50 chance between sunny and rainy, but we decided to give it a shot anyway. Mike told me about one of his favorite rides through the Pisgah National Forest on Yellow Gap Road so we decided to ride this route:
We figured this route would keep us near home in case the weather went horribly wrong and since it was wet from days of summer rain we decided to stay on decent gravel roads. As we made our way into the Pisgah Forest there was a lot of roadside tents and people everywhere. It had me a little disappointed at first, because one of my favorite aspects of dual sport riding is rarely seeing a cager, or for that matter anybody else other than the people I am riding with.
As we got deeper into the forest the crowds started to thin out into that blissful loneliness where it’s just your bike and your buddies out exploring. When you don't have to watch out for a cager flying around a blind corner you can start to notice the things around you. Throughout the day there was a perfume in the air from all the blooming mountain laurel. The forest was also in rare form. Since everything was wet from days of rain all the trees had a nice contrast between the dark brown wet bark and the electric green leaves. The air was clean and the moisture kept the dust down so not only did you get to see it all in rare form we also got smell it all and get refreshed.
A little ways into the forest we came across a horse camping area. Mike has a couple of horses so he wanted to check it out while we were there. We kept our sweet exhaust roar down to a minimum as we pulled through and we stopped for our first break. We noticed some restroom facilities. (I use facilities very loosely.) It was a nice brick building with two tall black posts on the corner. When it was my turn, I walked in there and I instantly knew those were not posts, they were large vent pipes. This building was basically built on a large septic tank and they mounted some plastic toilets over the holes. With the summer heat it wreaked of things I would rather not think about breathing in. I quickly did what I had to do and got the heck out!
We mounted back up and came out on 276 above Brevard. It was afternoon at this point and since we were heading to Brevard I knew exactly where to eat, Hawg Wild BBQ! After lunch we nearly had a show stopper. I walked out to my bike and went to put the key in the ignition and realized that I was no longer in possession of my key. I checked every pocket at least 30 times and finally I walked back in to find that the cashier had my key. Thank the Lord! Now we can ride on over to Cascade Lake.
When we left Hawg Wild we did not put our rain gear back on, but about 1 mile up the road we pulled over to put it on. A couple of seconds after we pulled over under a gas station covering the bottom dropped out! It was the kind of torrential rain that makes inches of water stand on the road. We briefly considered turning back, but Hey!, we are adventure riders and that is exactly what we had on this ride. It rained so hard all the way to Cascade Lake Road there was no hope of running anywhere close to the speed limit, but after we got there things got better. The rain slowed down and we had a nice ride down a very scenic gravel road. The coolest feature of this road is the dam. This was the first time I ever hiked down to the dam, but it was very cool and the hike down was easily done in motocross boots. The pics will show you better than I can describe.
After our hike we headed back towards Hendersonville where we split up and went our separate ways. The weather was not great, but honestly it added to the adventure. We were less than two hours away from home, but with the rain and forest roads it felt like we were a world away. If you have never tried dual sport riding, rent a bike and take it down some gravel roads. It’s fantastic!
What I Learned:
- If your collar is rolled down on your rain jacket, you will get wet.
- Military GoreTex pants are cheap and work pretty well as motorcycle rain gear.
2 Timothy 1:7 NIV “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. “
I definitely think Mike and I have the Spirit mentioned in this verse. We were certainly not timid as we pushed on through the elements. I look back and see the situations I have been in over the years, not just while riding, and I can see how much personal growth I have experienced. In fact, when I started noticing how much growth I was gaining through adventures, it inspired SpiritStrike.com. I wanted to have a place to share what I have learned and hopefully inspire others to get out there and learn their own lessons and create their own personal growth through experiences.
How has your life experiences forced you to grow? Do you actively seek out these opportunities? I would love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.