More Pilot Rock ... bigger and badder
(updated: May 7, 2013)
More Pilot Rock than you can shake a stick at, or throw a rock at, or fall off your bike at. Actually, the route was Laurel Mountain to Pilot Rock to Slate Rock to Pilot Cove. Details of the route can be found here: mtbikewnc: laurel mountain ride.
If you try to climb it all you will need extensive trials skills, massive lungs, and an EPO injection or two. Alternatively, you can do what I do and attempt it, fail, and then hunch over your bike for a while until you're somewhat sure that you've not blown an artery like a botched Stan's Notubes job. But how would you know anyway? If you die, you don't know you've died. It's not like you're going to realize you're dead and then go, "Damn! I died. Well this sucks." For the most part I'm barely sentient anyway. Oftentimes it helps to have an electric cattle prod handy to jolt me conscious. Except when I go mountain biking in the mountains.
Then I feel alive. Sometimes I get so stoked that I am unable to sleep the following night. I know it's crazy. Same thing with snowboarding. And when I was younger it was skateboarding. But now skateboarding just hurts my knees. Sucks getting' old.
I'll be heading back soon. Probably will miss the 111k race again because I have a lot going on this year. Plus I'm fairly elusive nowadays. It won't be long before you are on a ride in the mountains and you spot a big ape-like creature off the trail out of the corner of your eye. Bigfoot? A Yeti? No, just the Sir Bikes-a-lot ... Beware.
And now for some pics -- now with 4x the resolution, so you can be 4x as unimpressed. Just click for larger images. I know that's a lot to ask, but Josh took some good photos. And you can use the arrow keys to go through them too. So much clicking ... so little time.
SBA on Laurel Mountain Trail:
Josh on Laurel:
Icicle on Laurel. This was March 29.
Navigating the rocks:
The big log:
You could still find snow on Laurel even at the end of March:
Josh enjoying the view from Pilot Rock:
Josh taking the harder line:
Focus, or f--k up:
This is actually a tight S-turn:
The rock garden:
View of Pilot Rock which we came down. I think I had some weird Instagram type filter set by accident, but it came out good:
Carolina Hemlock, which only grows in certain conditions in a limited geographical area:
Another view of Pilot Rock which we descended earlier.
I hadn't been to this spot since I first moved back to North Carolina in 2004. This is when I knew I had found my place.
SBA on Pilot Cove:
1. Michael said...
Now those are rock gardens! Did you take the long hike-a-bike section on Pilot Rock or did you find another route? (Perhaps you reserve the hike-a-bike route for your Wilmington and St. Augustine buddies!)
May 8, 2013 @ 1:46 PM
2. Josh said...
That was in March man.... It's now May! When we goin back?!
May 9, 2013 @ 8:32 PM
3. DTate said...
The Carolina Hemlock bough is actually a Table Mountain Pine. You only find them along dry, rocky ridges. Great pictures & it looked like you had a great time.
May 20, 2013 @ 3:12 PM
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