Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mill Creek Road, Franklin, NC

What a difference a few days of R&R make! Just a week ago (plus/minus a few hours), I was driving in the middle of the night to the venue of USA Cycling's Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships, not knowing what to expect (or anticipating 47.5 hrs of recorded work in four days). Now I am in the south-western corner of this interesting state, in Franklin, where my old friends Miles and Judy live on Mill Creek Road.

Despite Miles' assurance that the local Wal-Mart features not only the usual, well-documented Walmartians but also a healthy dose of FLKs (oh, it is so politically incorrect, but I must annotate for my foreign buddies: Funny Looking Kids—remember the movie "Deliverance"? Heard of, ahem, inbreading, aka incest? Get the drift?), I wasn't scared to enter the "squeal pig—SQUEAL!" country. Franklin is bordering the middle of nowhere, and listening to M&J one gets the feeling that Deliverance could have been filmed here. As Miles like to say, it's where the pavement ends and the dirt begins. Hallelujah!
The roads always seem to go up, hardly ever down...
The two picked me up at the Charlotte airport on Monday, and we spent the rest of the day driving to and then inspecting (some) of the brewpubs in Asheville, self-proclaimed Beer Capital USA. Well, sorry to say, but what I tasted at the Wedge, Lexington Avenue Brewery, or the Barley Taproom did not put them on the top of America's beer cities, at least not according to Mister Jürgen himself. Was the beer good? Oh hell, yes! Was it great? Well, only one approached that status, but I didn't encounter the equivalent to Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Elder, that's for sure. But it's a cool place, nevertheless.
Miles relaxing on his porch
After our night in Asheville we drove the remaining 85 or so miles to Franklin. Miles used to live in Lubbock, where he was a staunch supporter of the TTU cycling team (including the lovely coeds, as he wants to have chronicled). Even after he moved to Franklin, he maintained his ties to the Hub City through his annual pilgrimage to the Buffalo Springs Triathlon. He found the love of is live, "his" Judy (as he always called her to distinguish her from "my" Judy), at one of the many tris that he did in the south-eastern region, and we (=my Judy and I ) were privileged to host them whenever they came to Lubbock.
Another fine meal on Mill Creek Road ....
After arriving here on Tuesday, we've mainly been relaxing and not doing much. And then, in the middle of the day, we suddenly decide to commence riding our bikes in murderously hot and humid temperatures, approaching about 158 F "real feel." Holy cow! It is positively uncomfortable here whenever you step outside of the cocoon that air conditioning provides. Yesterday's 28-mile up-and-downathon damn near destroyed Miles, and even a passing nubile who was doing track workouts (not kidding—she was the only reason for me to turn back around to check on my buddy) was not able to "connect to his brain," as he later told us. In other words: It's stinking HOT!
A beautiful home on one of our rides
Apart from near-death experiences (Judy and I clocked another 30 miles today while Miles safely resting at home) we cook unbelievable meals and try to decimate the stash of Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA that I brought along from Nats. I am relaxing and I am dreaming sweet dreams in the quiet Blue Ridge Mountains that surround us. Most importantly, I am reconnecting with two dear friends whom I hadn't seen in about six years.
Judy taking a break on Wide Horizon Road
And if you still don't know what FLK is about, well, here you can see how they look when they are adults.

Miles' brother Everett (left), and the other one is a cousin
Jürgen

1 comment:

  1. Great update! Tell Miles and Judy that the Everett's from next door say HI!

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