We got up bright & early on Tuesday. Another local guy, Tom P. was going to join us & show us around the area. But Tom's thumb, knee, & other assorted parts weren't feeling too well, so he decided to pass. That left Tim, Me, & Tom to ride.
Here we are, ready to go.
Tim began kicking his xr, but it was being stubborn. Finally after much cajoling, it fired up. We gassed up & hit the road. Right before we hit the dirt, Tim was feeling less confident in the xr. He didn't want to have bike problems while out on the trail. So he decided to go back to the room, check on Tom, & see if he needed to go home. That left Tom P. & i for the ride. Tom has had his kawasaki 250 for about a year, & he's already got over 15k miles on it. It is his commuter bike & he rides it! It's a peppy little bike & he controls it very well.
We climbed up a few mountains in the area.. this first one had a spotting tower on it & was occupied by a ranger.. he invited us to come up, so we did!
The views were great.. you could see a long ways off, & there wasn't too much smoke from controlled burns, yet.
There was a family of woodpeckers flocking around the top of this tree.. there were swarming ants there & the birds were having breakfast. I only got one of the birds to stop & pose.. the other were flitting about too much.
We chatted with the ranger for a while, then headed out for more riding.
Here's some of the roads we were on.. they were pretty easy early on, & many of them opened up onto high meadows. This is the approach road to Green's Peak, which is a little over 10k'.
Here we are at the top. Scotty & Tom.
Green's Peak is one of the higher points in the area.. you could see the sunrise ski area, & had 360* views.
Here is the descent from Green's Peak.
We continued riding in the area.. stopped by a nice lake where fishermen were trying their luck, then got on pavement for a few miles & went to Greer for lunch.
We finished our lunch & Tom wanted to show me some nice quad trails in the area. He said they were narrow, a little more rugged & went through some nice pine forests. We got to the trail, but it looked like this:
Loggers had entered Tom's trail & made wide logging roads. They were thinning the trees & had the area pretty torn up. It would recover, but we'd have to look for another more interesting riding spot.
So Tom thought it might be fun to go spelunking. He knew of a lava tube nearby, so we stopped for a bit of caving.
It was a small sink hole with a tube going back.
The main room only went back 30-40', but Tom said it went back a long ways further, if you weren't too claustrophobic.
It was very dark, & i only had a small light. When i took a picture, Tom's eyes glowed with a manaical gleam.
We got out of the lava tube & continued down the road. We were getting into some smokey areas.. controlled burning..
Then Tom wanted to show some of the more gnarly trails.. we got on a powerline road & followed it for a while.
We came to a long, steep hill on the powerline road. I tried to climb up, but about halfway i lost traction, started fishtailing, slid in a rut, bounced sideways & came to a stop.. i don't know how i stayed upright. Tom had to stop while i blocked the trail. I knew i couldn't get enough traction to climb from a stop, so told tom i'd have to go down to get another run at it. I knew if i were to climb to the top, i'd need all the momentum i could get. Towards the top, the trail became more 'v' shaped, with loose cinders on top. It also got deeper, & off camber. I graciously offered to get out of the way so Tom could finish his climb, but like a good riding host, he insisted i go first. I studied the top some more from my halfway point, then decided i would not push my luck.. i hadn't gone down, yet, but another climb attempt would likely result in a fall. Plus, Tom still had to work this afternoon. We needed to get back so he would have plenty of time to clean up & make it to work. These are all fine excuses to not climb this hill, so off we went on an easy forest road back to town.
We parted, Tom making his way to work, & me going back to the room, wondering if tim & tom b. would still be there. They were!
My drz doubles as a clothesline..
Here is our cozy little man-cave.. i got the rollaway.
I'm not sure what Tom & Tim did all day while Tom P. & I were on a grueling ride.. they said they went shopping... shopping? I wasn't sure i wanted to spend another night with these guys.. shopping? So they spit & scratched some & wanted to get some mexican food & margaritas.. ok, that's better. We went to a mexican restaurant a few blocks down & watched the all star baseball game on the big screen.. no shopping for us!
Hard core drinkers like us can go all night. Tim didn't care for his margarita, but Tom & i ordered another with our dinner. About halfway through the second one, i started to slide under the table. Tom wasn't faring much better. We finished our dinner & margaritas, then Tim thought he'd better get us back to the room before we passed out or tried to pick a fight with the waitress. We staggered back to the room, & turned on the tv to watch the rest of the game. I made it to the bottom of the 8th, before i faded. Tim & Tom had already crashed. We are party animals & Pinetop was trembling. But hard partying like we do is very tiring, plus it was a little past 8. We all fell asleep with the tv on. Tom woke up about 10 & turned everything off.
Dramatic end of day 2.
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