The smell of a home heated with wood lured us out of bed and the views of Grandfather mountain in the distance was like looking into a crystal ball of our future. After breakfast and coffee we decided we would spend the day exploring Boone on bikes. Stephen drove us to the bottom of the mountain and gave us directions to downtown and back.
From Stephen’s house in Valle Crucis we would need to bike uphill to Boone; we chose to take the shorter route into town, saving the long downhill route ride for the end of the day. The ride was quick, taking only an hour until we were off the bikes exploring the town.
After eating and drinking our way through the town stopping for a beer, several coffees, and incredible cinnamon rolls we finally filled the never ending biking hunger. If only Sticky Boy was open… Our wandering took us into the antique mall, the bike & outdoor shops, and an art gallery. At our second coffee shop we realized the sun would be setting in less than an hour and we hurried back to our bikes.
An hour and 13 miles later we parked the bikes outside the Mast General Store Annex. Inside we looked at the ritzy clothes and extensive collection of backpacking gear. We decided that despite the barrels of candy this did not have the general store feel that we had seen before. Down the street we parked the bikes yet again, this time at the original Mast General Store. Inside there was nuts and bolts, cast iron pans and spatulas, barrels of candy, and food to go completed the scene of a genuine general store.
Satisfied with our visit we made our way in the complete darkness back to Stephen’s house. Amazingly we only made one wrong turn, but quickly realized our mistake and we were soon on his gravel driveway. A whopping 100 feet after we hit the gravel we were off the bikes walking them up the mile long mountain driveway. Riding up in the pickup we didn’t realize the length or steepness, but pushing our bikes up to the top we fully appreciated the magic of 4-wheel drive.
Inside the house we ate dinner while watching the Carolina Panthers attempt to defend the undefeated record. Stephen had promised to drive us to Linville, only if the Panthers won. After much yelling and nail-biting Carolina kept their record and we got a ride to Linville!