Day 11 - Boone, NC

So I check into my $25 room at the Boone Trail Motel, and I shower, and I unload the bike and head down the hill to get some dinner. A couple blocks down, a pretty girl closing up a storefront shop says to me "That's an incredible bike!" I say "Thanks" and then I realize the store she walked out of in an Internet service provider! Traffic screeched to a halt as I cut over to ask her where the WiFi hotspots are in town. She says come on in, and she lets me talk to the guys inside. I tell them what I'm up to and the website. One guy goes away and comes back and says "Nice to meet you Drew." They say there are no hot spots in town but there will be in a month because they are doing them. Meanwhile, they set me up my very own hot spot just for tonight, and as soon as I finish typing this I'm walking right down there to upload.

TymeNet, Boone, North Carolina. These guys are the best.

Boone is a really great town. I am so glad to be off the mountain. It's a college town, and the downtown core has a bike shop, a backpacker shop where I restocked my instant dinners, and totally kick ass Mexican food at a place called the Black Cat. I am so happy. I am stuffed with a burrito and tasty microbrew porter, and I had lots of fun talking to the other diners in the restaraunt, who were very entertaining students. They had to go out and check out the bike.

It was sad to say goodbye to the very scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. I ate at the Bluff's Restaraunt for breakfast, which had the wretched spaghetti last night, but the breakfast was quite good. Then it was 10 miles of mostly downhill to get off. Here is the last view of the parkway, featuring one of the uncountable abandoned farms.

EndOfBRP (237K)

Then suddenly there were cafes and stores in abundance! Gatorade whenever I want! I ate lunch at an ice cream shop in Jefferson, and had a 20 mile peanut butter shake.

I'm still up at around 3000 feet, and it's still hilly, but off the BRP, the grades are much less steep, and the roads don't always go to the top of every mountian for an overlook. The weather was warm, but very windy. I'm not affected so much by headwinds, but gusty crosswinds push me around a lot and today was a bit rough. Still beautiful scenery, even US 221 which I was on for a couple hours, isn't so bad for a divided highway.

US221 (170K)

Tomorrow, I should be at low enough elevation that it won't snow. Snow is forecast for tomorrown night. I know this from Allen's cell phone weather applet.

Here is today's actual route travelled.

Actual11 (124K)