Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, support, and interest in our ride.  Knowing it was a shared experience was a great pleasure, and added sweet dimensions as we pedaled along, through some of the glitches and challenges as well.

A couple of people have mentioned that it was an inspiration, and I’m really honored and warmed to hear that.  I can think of so many people, places, events, reports, poems…that have inspired me, and I believe that inspiring and being inspired is one of the important ways we enrich each others’ lives. If one or some of you take heart and go for an adventure you’ve dreamed of, or some challenge you’ve wondered about, or just something simple you’ve always wanted to do, I would be thrilled.  It really is surprising what one foot in front of another, one pedal round after another, can accomplish over time!  As we were getting ready to take our first extended bike trip some years ago, Mike and I read that it’s myth that you need to be in shape to start such a venture.  Truth is, you will get in shape as you go along.  Start slowly, take it easy, don’t set goals that cause you to push too hard, and you’ll be surprised how things get easier and just unfold.  And when there are difficulties, angels show up!

The last couple of days, before and after the cycle up to Sam’s Gap, had some delicious moments.  The night before we stayed at ‘The Resting Place.’  The name had jumped out at us as we were looking at our route on the computer.  It was a short cycle to get there, which we thought would set up us well for the pass the next day.  

Well, the sweet, simple cabin, nestled in the Tennessee Smokies, on the edge of a beautiful, babbling creek, exceeded our expectations by far.  It was heavenly, and we enjoyed the afternoon on the front porch swing, walking the creek, the gracious welcome of the hosts, basking in the sunshine, watching butterflies.  Come evening as we were preparing to scrape together our last bits of camp food, a neighbor came by and brought us a jar of freshly made chili!  A perfect supper it made, and enhanced our already warm feelings for Tennessee.  The stars that night were the brightest I’ve seen in recent memory.  Standing outside, listening to the creek and watching the Milky Way, Venus and Jupiter, and the waning moon, are engraved in my consciousness.

Off to an early start the next morning, we were most pleasantly surprised.  The ride was never really difficult.  (Our very last hill, on Riverview Dr, in Asheville, blocks from where our family lives, was shorter, but much steeper, and we had to laugh that that last push might have been the toughest hill of all!)  In contrast, the climb up to the pass was slow and steady, through tranquil forests, fields, by pastures, cabins, gardens, following along quite a while up a Nolichucky River tributary.  It didn’t seem long and never was hard, and we were startled and elated when we discovered we were close to the Gap, and the North Carolina state line.

The downhill was steep and cold, we warmed ourselves at a little cafe, and then continued along toward Asheville, following our Google Map directions to the B&B a couple of hours north, where we spent our last night. The folks were welcoming, and gave us some tips for our ride into town, in part along the lovely French Broad River (cool name, eh?). We had sunshine and fair winds for the short hop to our destination, and the rest is history 🙂

Here’s a shot of the reward in Asheville:  beautiful weather, and lovely time with family!
Again, it was a pleasure to have you along.
May you have a lovely fall, fine weather, good spirits, Happy Hallowe’en, and transition to the dark, quiet, reflective time of year.
Blessings, many joyful moments, hugs and love to you all.

Fondly and with appreciation,    Jill

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Your feedback is most welcome.
Share this: