It was a fantastic weekend. Starting early Saturday morning, I rose to a breakfast at Ijams Nature center, then across the street for the Fall Festival. When I say across the street from my house, I mean, across the street.
This is the largest gathering of mountain bike enthusiasts in Knoxville’s history. I have long described Baker Creek as “Christmas in my backyard”. If you don’t know about Baker Creek, then this article will bring you up to speed. I am fortunate enough to be able to ride or run almost daily on that trail system. It is the best present of the year. http://archive.knoxnews.com/news/local/new-downhill-mountain-biking-course-creates-national-venue-3569f26f-8a76-7515-e053-0100007f421e-383446291.html
After enjoying a huge party across the street with about a thousand of my closest friends, I rushed off to intercept Laurel, Terri, Tom and Sarah at Injun Creek. Since I knew the Manway, it was but a short 40 minute walk to camp. Laurel took off to capture miles towards the Dudley trail and I walked about and made the pilgrimmage up to the Engine, aka Injun.
We had a delightful evening, devoid of fire, of course because of the fire ban. Ahem, Ahem.
Tom and Sara were waiting for the sun to fall before meditating upon our imaginary fire.
It was a shame because there was so much wood lying about.
There was that awkward moment when no one seemed sure of Laurel’s intentions here. Come to think of it, I believe Terry was aware of Laurel’s intentions.
But someone did get a new chair for their birthday! (not me)
The next morning we cruised out and gassed it back to Knoxville for some Indian food at Bombay, the best in town. Outstanding weekend. I cannot remember the last weekend we weren’t in the woods, I am thinking this has been a two month run of consecutive weekend outings. It brought me back to a time in the 90s when Ed Lee and I would do strings of weekends. The biggest one Ed and I did was 34 consecutive weekends. And I wasn’t even clicking miles in those days. We just grabbed a park map and hit the road. It was incredible. I have enjoyed this past year because it brings me back to a simpler time when the Smokies were a mystery and every corner held some new amazement. Escorting Laurel brings me back to that simple time of good company and respect for the environment. Gone are the days of backwoods bacchanals or outshouting owls and coyotes. (although Eagle Creek this year may have some of that) Again, there is a time and place for everything. A new era has emerged and I am liking it more and more each outing.
As a salute to the old times, I am reminded of this song.