Dupont Forest - Amazing Labor Day Weekend
(updated: Sep 3, 2008)
I took the family to Dupont for a long weekend. Davidson River Campground is always booked this time of year, so Brad recommended a great campsite near Dupont Forest called Black Forest Family Campground, which I highly recommend, especially if you have kids. The place was packed, as I am sure every camping site in the area was. The weather was great - lots of warm sunny weather. I got three rides in, all at Dupont, and took the family to see the waterfalls and ride the new kids trail!
View from Big Rock Trail
My friend Dan from Austin, TX was supposed to join us but after two hours of waiting at the airport in Austin they canceled his flight, just like that. The alternative flight they bestowed upon him wouldn't get him into Charlotte until Saturday afternoon. So he decided to just cancel. The airlines really suck now. They treat you like livestock.
Big Rock Trail
The view from 3000ft.
The area received a lot of rain from Tropical Storm Faye, so the waterfalls were humming pretty good. Brad said that they were down to a trickle before. This place needs a lot of rain, and it hasn't been getting nearly enough. There were a lot of people viewing the falls. All of the parking lots were full. More people than I've ever seen in Dupont.
After I took the family hiking (the kids were exhausted), and went for a short ride. I wanted to see the work they had done on Burnt Mountain. Burnt Mountain is one of my favorite trails in Dupont, along with Big Rock. Amazingly, they made Burnt Mtn work both ways now. They re-routed parts of the trail and added several table-tops and a berm or two. So the climb up is not so bad. And going down is rockier and more technical than ever. It's like a rock waterfall - photos cannot do it any justice. Please take a good hard look at the photo, and then go there and see it for yourself and you'll understand.
The new tables on Burnt Mountain
It's a waterfall of rock. Burnt Mountain Trail.
By the way, where were the mountain bikers this weekend? I saw more horses than I ever want to see for the rest of my lifetime. There are lots of fireroads throughout Dupont, but do they stick to those? No, they go on the singletrack the mountain bikers built. They constantly crap all over the trail, tear it up, but worst of all, you have to stop when you see them because the horses will freak out and potentially throw the rider. Not only do you have to stop, you have to get completely off the trail and often dismount and walk or at least wait till they go by. And if you don't you will get attitude from the rider. Sometimes you do regardless. Horses are so stupid. And there were a shit-ton of them this weekend.
The new kids bike loop was awesome. I took the family there on Sunday and let them play around in the skills area. I wish I had something like this when I was a kid. Check out these pics.
Kids' Bike Trail
On the previous day I got to ride an awesome reworked trail called Ridgeline with Brad and Ed from Trail Dynamics who actually built the trail. This trail was super flowy and fast. Ed also built Greenslick in Bent Creek, and the kids trail. You get to know a Trail Dynamics built trail vs. one built by another trail builder. I really like these trails.
Flyin' down Ridgeline
Photo by Brad
On Saturday after hitting some of the new trails, Brad and I went on an uphill death march to get from one side of the park to the other. It was a three mile uphill battle against loose slippery rocks. It seemed to take forever. We got a bit lost for a while but eventually made our way back by 6pm after starting around noon. It was an all day epic.
Death march up Grassy Creek Trail, an obviously inappropriately named trail.
Photo by Brad
Happy I made it to the top of Grassy Creek
Photo by Brad
Brad on Reasonover
Sir Bikes on Reasonover
Photo by Brad
So I brought my RIP 9 for Dan to ride, and even though he wasn't coming I still didn't ride it. I rode my RFX/Six Pack the entire time. I had made a couple of modifications to it that I wanted to test out. It rode better than ever. I had no trouble climbing, and I could rip the downhills a bit better because I lowered the bottom bracket height slightly.
Photo by Brad
The airstrip. Ready for takeoff.
Photo by Brad
You know, I try to find places where I don't hear any of the sounds of fossil fuels being burned, but these days it is almost impossible. Even in the deepest part of the forest, I still hear jets and planes overhead, and occasionally a vehicle on one of the forest roads. There are a lot of roads throughout Dupont, and some you can drive on, which irks me, because there are so few places where cars are not allowed to go. If there was any place where they should not be allowed, Dupont Forest should be one.
I have a need to get away from the sounds of the constant churning of economic growth and consumption, our primary objective, our fundamentalist religion. I like to connect to the environment, not disassociate from it. We have a majority of the population now so removed from the natural world that they have no concept of the sheer amount of raw materials it takes to enable our survival today, and no concept of the raw waste we generate in doing so. There is very little land surface of the earth that hasn't been impacted in some way by humans, and the percentage dwindles with each year. The ever increasing loss of the Amazon is but one example, and Indonesians turning their forests into fuel farms is another.
It is my belief that we have already gone too far, and have reached runaway climate change. There is nothing we can do about it now. And even if there was still time, we are not going to, because it violates the aforementioned primary objective. Even if we knew with certainty that we had, say 50 years to reverse course, we still would not. It's as if we are on the Titanic, staring at the iceberg, and not only making no attempts to avoid it, but running the engines faster and faster towards it. So as we further increase our numbers and exhaust our oil and gas reserves, making energy more and more expensive, rather than finding ways to use less energy and cleaner sources, we will switch to burning more and more coal to survive. As the arctic ice melts away instead of taking a step back and figuring out ways to fix the root cause of the problem, we use it as an opportunity to find more of the stuff that got us into this mess into the first place.
My point is that nothing addresses the root cause, and thus nothing can protect a place such as Dupont. Dupont was saved by a group of concerned citizens from the ravages of a greedy developer. But imagine what were to happen if they discovered oil or coal reserves here. If oil ever shot up to $200 or $300 a barrel I can assure you they would be ripping this place to shreds to get at it. Even the people who manage this place and visit here would help out. And if that's true, think about what the non-outdoor-oriented majority of the population would do. Alaska National Wildlife Refuge? Has anyone been there? That's the point. As much as some of us enjoy nature, we enjoy our living standards more. The earth cannot be protected, and thus will not protect us any longer.
Covered Bridge on Buck Forest Rd.
A bat found a home
Photo by Brad
Google Earth (.kml) files and GPS eXchange (.gpx) files.
TRAIL GPS COORDS (4)
1. Sir Hike a Bike said...
Very nice! I took my wife to Brevard and we biked Dupont Forest and some of the Pisgah trails. We both enjoyed the biking and the restaurants. It has become my new destination site, ahead of Tsali. It's also closer than Tsali. I would suggest avoiding the weekends, if you have a choice.
Sep 3, 2008 @ 9:04 AM
2. Mike said...
A friend of mine's parents live just outside of Brevard and the view from their backyard and the backyard itself looks just like the first photo. They are really lucky people. Here's a thought about the state of the world and where we are headed: In any ecosystem where resources are bountiful and a species' population is allowed to grow exponentially, there will be a big die off, and in the human case, the ecosystem will be destroyed. So, even if everyone converts to a conservationist mindset and gets off the fossil fuel addiction, unless there is some sort of population control laws/strategies we are all still headed toward that die-off. Very few people would be supportive of such measures though.
Sep 3, 2008 @ 10:28 AM
3. Jonathon said...
Good Report on Dupont!
Glad you like Burnt, I think it is better than ever.
Sorry I missed ya this time.
Sep 3, 2008 @ 11:18 AM
4. irvintat said...
There is a picture of me coming down the "waterfall of rock" taken from the other direction here.... http://www.sirbikesalot.com/forums/index.php?topic=1294.0
It's the last picture in my post (about 8 posts down).
My picture doesn't do it justice either, but a different perspective. Burnt Mountain trail was so much fun!
The waterfalls were just trickling when I was there. Good to see they are starting to flow again.
Sep 5, 2008 @ 1:46 PM
5. SBA said...
You must have gone there right after they finished it. You know, now they don't let you ride or walk your bike up Bridal Veil Falls anymore. But you can still hike up. Tell me how that makes sense.
Sep 5, 2008 @ 5:48 PM
6. irvintat said...
What? That doesn't make any sense. They had the wooden bike rack next to the falls when I went. Is that where you are talking about or do they not even let you go that far any more?
Sep 5, 2008 @ 8:13 PM
7. Long Tooth said...
Great review of rides, enviromental concerns and family weekend.I'm from central Fl and Dupont and Brevard area are one of our favorite places.I loved riding with my grandson on that "eastern slick rock" and visiting the waterfalls.As to cars allowed on the forest road,I'm surprised to hear that because we had to get a permit and meet a park worker at the gate at the appointed time and show exactly where ere going in order to drive my wife to the falls when she was disabled due to a bad heart.She has gotten a heart transplant and hopefully we will be hiking to the falls this Oct. Keep up the great reports.
Sep 7, 2008 @ 1:39 PM
8. utahbiker said...
Our favorite bike ride in Dupont was Reasonover. My sons and I have biked all over Dupont and I miss it. We moved to Utah last summer and since then have been hitting some alpine rides such as Mid-Mountain at Park City, SnowBasin trials in Ogden and the Wasatch Crest west of Salt Lake City. And I forgot, we also have been to Moab. I like all of the SirBikealots videos. They remind me of all the fun times back in SC and NC. We also miss racing the mid-week Charlotte series with all the great trailblazers. If you are in Utah look us up and we can give you a tour of our new favorite trails - most 8k to 10k feet above sea level.
Sep 10, 2008 @ 9:22 PM
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