Monday, January 30, 2017

Asheville to Jackson: Plan B

There was no way I was going to finish my ride to Jackson, MS.  I looked up the price of car rentals, and it was only going to be $100 for a one day, one-way rental, which wasn't terrible.  In case you've never driven a rental car cross country, they really get you with one-way surcharges.  Like, over a thousand terrible.  Anyway, with Jackson only 600 miles away, I could knock out the drive in 10 hours and spend way less than $100 on gas.  Also, that would all be done from the comfort of an air conditioned car.  Whereas if I rode, that distance, five hotel stays alone would be over $300, plus other expenses like food, water, and postcards.

The biggest push, though, was the fact that I was going to be riding back along a similar route in a little over a month and a half.  When the weather was more temperate, so I could ride during the day as well as camp at night.  I was willing to lose the battle.  I didn't have anything to prove to myself or anyone else by suffering for another week on the road.  Not my first tour, not my last.

With that in mind, I just relaxed and enjoyed my time in Asheville, something that's not difficult to accomplish in a town with over a hundred local beers and less than 100,000 people.  If anything, they would need me to stay and help them with their surplus.  Also, I had a sweet spot to stay at, my tent nestled between spider-filled trees in the backyard of a large house.  And that house had a puppy named Wylie!

Don't let his age fool you, he's still a puppy.  As a wise Tumblr probably once said, "All good doggos are puppers."

So with a week of riding consolidated into a single day, a spot to crash at (more or less indefinitely, as was the feeling I got), a little less financial burden, beer, flip flops, loose fitting clothes, sun glasses, and all of the other things that made days off so pleasant, I explored downtown Asheville for a few days.  Some highlights include buying underwear at a flea market and learning that there is a Harris Teeter chain of grocery stores with the nickname of Hairy Teets.

Hand sewn undies.
The one thing I wanted to do most in Asheville was hike, but once I was down there, I found out that all of the most exciting hikes start a few miles out of the city.  Riding to them wasn't going to be a pleasant option, so I decided to save that for the drive out.  Probably for the best that I waited, because after the ride down, I needed a few days off to decompress.

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