If it is not obvious, I have been a bit busy with this thing called life. Not necessarily doing anything exciting, but just busy. It is amazing how busy someone can be owning a house, having a full time job, and then the other adult responsibilities involved with this. Needless to say, my camera took a back burner. I do miss taking pictures.
I wish I could start this post talking about all of the great photos I have to show everyone. Sadly I have only grabbed my camera a few times this year. Please don’t judge me harshly when I admit this, but May was the first time my camera was used this year. So of course it would be of one of my favorite things to photograph. My brother Copper. I am a bit amazed about how crazy he still acts. He is a child at heart. So I guess we are twins in that manner.
I also still have a love of cars, but I think I am over spending money on this. (I hope, but probably not).
I do think I am over my desire of wanting a motorcycle. Just a bit too dangerous for me. That being said, I do love how this one looks.
Then I took another 3 month hiatus from taking pictures. Why do I do this to myself? In August I got around to attending one of the weekly criterium races. It was something I used to attend on a weekly basis a few years ago. The crit racing season was practically over by the time I started going. So I deeply regret waiting this late in the year because it was nice getting to be around other cyclist.
Then over the past weekend I went to Gatlinburg. I realized that most of the year had gone by without me using any vacation days. So I planned a 4 day solo trip filled with hiking, cycling, photograph, and just chilling. The hiking/photography was minimized due to poor weather. Thankfully the rain did not keep me inside the whole time.
I bought an Eno hammock a few weeks ago, and I have become slightly obsessed with it. I can’t think of anything I have enjoyed more lately than just laying in it reading a good book. (Not Harry Potter series for once)
As you can tell, the weather was amazing on the day I drove up. So I spent the afternoon enjoying it the best way I know how. Hammock, bike, book, and camera.
The first day was the last day I would see good weather. Early Friday morning the rain started to arrive. I set reservations at a mountain bike trail to ride in the morning to avoid the afternoon/pm storms they were predicting. I was very wrong. It was just sprinkling at the beginning which was refreshing. Then around mile 4 the skies unleashed. So much for a clean bike.
The trail was short, but it was lots of fun. (Outside of my crash) That being said I think I spent more time hiding from the rain talking to the staff member working the shop/trail. Dave was a great dude to talk to about cycling, and he didn’t seem to mind me and the two other riders annoying him while it was pouring down.
I highly recommend checking out ClimbWorks whenever you are in the Gatlinburg area. They have a zipline course and a fun mountain bike trail. It is only around 1.5 miles a lap, but the pro is you can do as many laps as you want.
After riding I decided to head to Clingman’s Dome. The initial plan was to go hiking and set up the hammock. When I got to the park entrance I saw how poor the visibility was, so I figured it would be a bad decision going out on the trails by myself. So instead I just walked up to the observation tower. Hindsight that was probably not a good thing to do after mountain biking all morning.
Saturday I tried to ride around the cabin some but my legs wanted nothing to do with it. The road goes up to 26% grading, so it is steep. So I took the short ride to the top at maybe 1/2mph, or so it seemed, only to realize the view was horrible. (Did I mention I had bad weather) So I packed up the camera and headed back down to the cabin. Thankfully I got a few photos of how dirty the mtn bike was.
I am going to be finding mud on this bike for months.
It was a short trip, but it was much needed. I certainly can’t wait to be back in the mountains.