So, there was a guy named Mike that saw some of my stories and decided to message me to see if I wanted to ride. Going motocamping with a guy you met on the internet…what could go wrong?
We spoke on the phone and we got a motocamping trip set up for the weekend. Our plan consisted mostly of a meeting point and time. We didn’t have a route or even an idea of where we were going to go. All we knew is we would be riding all day Saturday, sleeping somewhere in our tents, and heading back Sunday morning. How’s that for adventure?
We met at Mike’s office in Hendersonville, NC and discussed a few ideas. Ultimately, we decided to ride around some of the area he was reading about in my ride reports. Normally, if I am tasked with leading, I have a route planned out in my GPS. I do that because I have absolutely NO sense of direction. I really can get lost in a mall parking lot. We pulled up a couple of my maps on Spirit Strike and headed out. This is the route we ended up taking, but we were figuring it out as we went.
We used as much gravel as possible to get around and our first true landmark was the rock overlook on Wolf Mountain Road.
On our way there we took some gravel roads and off of Diamond Creek Road we found another rough gravel road to try out. Mike is just getting used to riding his wee strom offroad so we didn't want to get into anything too hairy. Well, this road was loose and had a few ruts and rocks. Mike got most of the way up the hill before he put his front wheel into the dirt bank! He got it out of the bank with some heaving and we took a break at the top of the hill. After the break we turned around and headed back down. It got a little rougher than he was willing to bite off with a fully loaded bike.
We got back on track to Wolf Mountain Road and when we got to the overlook we found some people hanging out. There were two Harleys and a Toyota truck on the rock face. We had a brief conversation with them and inquired about some cool camping spots and we all left about the same time. They took the smoother better maintained half out and we went in the muddy more challenging direction. At the end of Wolf Mountain Road we needed to try and start heading towards a camp site.
I knew of a very cool place I wrote about in Leaf Peeping Adventure Style so we took a lucky guess and worked our way in that direction. The campsite I had in mind was at the dead end of an old logging road. We camped right beside a waterfall and we got to listen to that running water all night. Talk about some good sleep!
We got to the campsite late in the afternoon so we took a break and then started setting up camp. After the tents were pitched and the bikes were unloaded we started looking for firewood. Everything was wet from days of summer storms and the trees kept it shady so nothing could dry out. We finally got up enough sticks and small limbs to make an attempt at a fire. Thank goodness Mike had a full fire starter log. Without that, we would have been struggling.
With a small fire going and after building an appetite from an all day ride it was time to eat. I tried my hand at making my very first freeze dried meal as Mike unloaded a small grocery store of canned food. I’ll admit, I was a bit apprehensive about taking a camping trip with a guy I had never met before. I was hoping we would get along and well, we did. Actually, it never felt awkward at all, and since we didn't know each other yet we got to tell a ton of stories that I am sure we have told others too many times. After supper we pretty much just sat around the fire having some good conversation. There was no cell signal so even checking your phone was pointless.
As it got dark our campsite was pitch black! The tree canopy was so thick we didn't get any moonlight. It worked out well though. The fireflies came out and they were lighting up all along the waterfall and creek. It was like something out of a fairytale. I know we have all seen fireflies, but this was like nothing I have seen before in my life. It was beautiful!
We got some sleep and the next morning we took our time with breakfast and packing. I actually need to get faster at setting up and breaking camp. I just need some more practice. We thought about adding a little more exploring to our ride home, but since it was Father’s Day we decided to head home to spend time with family.
We had a great time and we got a new friendship going. We got to spend a lot of time in the awesome Appalachian Mountains and it was all thanks to motorcycles and meeting a random guy on the internet!
What I Learned:
- Freeze dried food isn't gourmet, but it’s easy to carry and still tastes pretty good.
- This was my first camping trip with my Green Chile gear. I may be partial, but it worked really well!
Psalm 19:1 NIV "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Sitting at that campsite and being immersed in creation is something I don't think we get to do enough of. Listening to the turkeys up on the ridge scratch around, seeing the hawks and deer passing by, and watching the fireflies light up in waves down that creek just reminded me how much wonder is in the natural world. We often forget to appreciate the nature around us. We get trapped in our fluorescent lighting and cube farms and if we aren't careful we will miss out on the best parts our short lives have to offer.
Have you ever had to step back and make adjustments in life to keep from spending your entire existence chasing a dollar? Have you ever been in danger of being swallowed up by “stuff”? If so, I would love to hear your story and what changes you made in order to maintain balance and keep focus on what’s important in life.