Fog. Thick, heavy, zero visibility fog had rolled in this morning eliminating hampering our riding plans for the day. The ride today would take us up several switchbacks over the mountain and downhill 13 miles to the bottom of the creek valley, but only when the fog lifted. While discussing weaving cotton and the processes behind dying on a small scale, Eileen prepared us coffee with hemp milk, a first for us. Wanting to be out of the way before her morning loom lesson, we were delighted to see the sun had not only burned off the fog, but the temperature was climbing unusually warm for December.
Never caffeinated enough we wanted to check out a coffee shop we had seen last night. We shared a coffee and a few baked goods outside while people watching. The ride started climbing immediately outside of town, first a wide sweeping switchback, followed by another this time much tighter nearly doubling back onto itself. On our final switchback we stopped to talk to a fellow tourer from Warm Showers who offered us a bed in Spartanburg should our adventure take us through there. She gave us a tip on a public spring ahead and wished us good luck.
No more than 20 minutes later we crossed the public spring and filled our water bottles with water filtered through the mountains. The remainder of our ride took us across the Eastern Continental Divide where we switched from climbing switchbacks to coasting past rural farmlands. We enjoyed the sunshine and beautiful 65° weather. Our free ride stopped in Bat Cave, a town no bigger than the gift shop we stopped at. After regaining some elevation, passing scenic barns and apple orchards; we biked into the sprawling town of Hendersonville. A town that was once on our list of places to consider, and removed minutes after entering thanks to the massive traffic mess we rode through.
Over yet another mountain at Laurel Park, we bemoaned every uphill pedal stroke we had to push. The road snaked on forever hiding the switchbacks in the neighborhoods of mansions upon mansions. Hendersonville’s traffic and Laurel Parks climbs had worn us out and the crest could not come soon enough. Night was quickly approaching and Ginny, our warm showers host strongly advised against biking in the dark. Luckily for us our route was mostly flat and empty as we sped past farms on the French Broad River to our pulled pork dinner with chocolate Hanukkah gelt for a treat!