Laurel Mountain to Pilot Rock - massive photo Internet-toilet-bowl clogging edition
(updated: Feb 5, 2013)
You know one of my favorite sayings is "The journey is the reward." It's on my RoadID even. Most people are going through life so fast you just know they are going to wake up one day and realize way too late that this reward or goal that they are seeking is not what they thought it was, and they've been had. If you take life to its logical conclusion, the reward is basically sickness and death. That's where we're all heading. I don't know about this heaven stuff. I didn't get a ticket, or invitation, so I don't know. So yeah, I'm trying not to head there, and fighting it every step of the way by riding my bike like the grim reaper is chasing me. But I'm still heading there, but maybe a bit more slowly and less direct, like just swirling around the toilet bowl instead heading straight down the drain like most folks.
I saw a bumper sticker last time I was in Brevard. It read, "Every old person is a young person wondering what happened." Well, at least I can say rode my bike.
Laurel to Pilot was an awesome ride. So awesome that makes me wonder just how things can get so distorted and out of sync that the thing you are doing itself becomes meaningless. Take bike racing. When athletes such as Lance Armstrong resort to such systematic and institutionalized measures to ensure victory, then the fact that you are on a bicycle or a sit & bounce ball doesn’t matter. It truly isn’t about the bike. I mean I think bike racing is all fun. But when it becomes more about winning than racing and having a good time and enjoying what nature offers, then you are lost.
By the way I think Strava is one of the worst inventions ever to happen to mountain biking. It gets trails dumbed down and shut down. It puts the focus on a meaningless number rather than the path that gets you there. And some folks just lose sight of what’s important, like Lance. I really can't understand this behavior in cycling, simply because I think cycling is special. I like to think that cycling is special because (1) it is completely human powered and anyone can do it, (2) you don’t have to build special buildings or infrastructure to do it (you can pretty much do it anywhere), (3) you get to enjoy nature while participating in it, and (4) you are more efficient doing it than any other animal on the planet (I outran a deer once on a bike). So, that makes Lance a real dope in more ways than one. Too bad, he could have gone down as one of the greatest cyclists in history without all the cheating. The whole sport just sucks now. The doping itself doesn't even bother me. I mean, if you want to fight death and stay as strong as you can for as long as you can, then go for it. It's the cheating part that gets me because he institutionalized it in cycling. What a legacy to leave behind. Focusing on the reward rather than the journey will get you that.
So that’s why I have to be the counterbalance. Except for the Crabon. I could just have a simple machine. But no, I have state-of-the-art crabon. So here is your counterbalance for the week: Laurel Mountain to Pilot Rock -- Nothing is safe from the Crabon!
Aluminum, Aluminum, Aluminum, Aluminum, Crabon:
Jason, Randy, Zach:
Release the Crabon!
Jason up the hike-a-bike section:
SBA approaching the massive log:
Rocking over the log:
SBA approaching the other way. Gotta love my contorted face. I knew there was a slim chance of making it from this direction.
Nope. Not gonna work.
Sequence shot of Randy on the log:
What dead trees are good for:
Zach. I love this photo.
Snow on Laurel.
View near top:
Randy coming down Pilot:
Randy coming down the gnarly rock section:
Zach, Jason on Laurel Mountain:
View from Pilot Rock:
Zach, Jason, Randy, Blaise on Laurel:
Greetings from Pisgah:
Google Earth (.kml) files and GPS eXchange (.gpx) files.
TRAIL GPS COORDS (4)
1. Michael said...
Great photos! I agree about "The Journey". When we rode Pilot Rock last year I remember thinking to myself that this ride was going to be different in some way. I knew right away that 1) It would challenge my skills and fitness level, 2) I would probably crash at some point, 3) I was going to give it all I got! Well all 3 things did indeed come true and it proved to be the grand finale of a great weekend in the mountains. I didn't care about how long it took to get there, the hike-a-bike section, who was in front of me or behind, or how long it took to finish. I was in the MOMENT! That's what it's all about!
Feb 6, 2013 @ 7:00 AM
2. Eric W. said...
Excellent. Great job documenting one of the best trails in Pisgah.
Feb 6, 2013 @ 4:17 PM
3. Nanna- Jo said...
Beautiful eye! Great shots! Cute boys!
Feb 6, 2013 @ 8:33 PM
4. Sir milfs-a-lot said...
"Every old person is a young person wondering what happened."
yep, i've been chewing on that one all day. thanks for sharing.
Feb 9, 2013 @ 9:03 AM
5. Mike said...
My dad used to have a t-shirt that said "The older we get, the better we WERE!" But I've never really agreed
with that. I've always thought of getting older as a way of collecting experiences and memories.
Wonderlust is excitement about where you are going/could be going.Nostalgia is looking back with admiration on where
you've been. As we go from young to old, (say, from 0 to 100 years) we (some of us, anyway) go from 100% wonderlust
to 100% nostalgia. But without much attention to the present moment,there won't be much nostalgia to enjoy later.
I would really hate to look back from 90 or 100 and see nothing but: "hurry, hurry, hurry. Take the quickest route,
Take the Interstate, <
I am never sure where I will end up, what route I will take to get there, or what I'll see along the way. And now my
kids enjoy riding along with me. It's one trait I am proud to pass along.
Feb 11, 2013 @ 1:40 PM
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