I woke up around 07:00 - another long night of sleep. It rained quite a bit during the night which is not what you want to see when you have to break down camp in the morning. Knowing I had some time to kill, as my drive to Asheville was 6 hours and Alan wasn’t out of work until 19:00, I took my time and enjoyed the morning.. I wish I ran even just a few miles but I didn’t despite the AT being right down the trail. I was unsure of whether or not to wait even longer and have my tent dry in the late morning sun or to just hit the road and see where the day takes me. Ultimately I decided to hit the road around 08:00 and dry my tent out at Alan’s place the following day.
The drive to Asheville was straight forward, but incredibly daunting. I suddenly realized what I had done to myself designing such an aggressive itinerary. These almost daily drives are going to be a challenge mentally. The highways all look the same (considering I haven’t even left the east coast yet - maybe this will change and be more stimulating), and much of the drive was a weird amusement park-esque celebration of everything corporate America. The half hearted interactions with various gas station employees, and rarely knowing exactly where I am is all a bit flattening and disorienting. Hopefully this becomes less unfamiliar as the days continue.
I arrived to Asheville around 15:00 and stopped at Liberty Bicycles as my rear derraillure was way out of wack probably from cramming it into the bed of my truck for my time in nyc. It still isn’t perfect, but they only charged me ten bucks and did it immediately so its all good. I then went next door to a fancy ass whole foods ripoff as they had internet and power where I could kill time and catch up on blog entries, emails, and texts.
I met up with Linnea (Alan's partner) and Alan around 19:00 - we got dinner at Rosetta's and then drove the 25 minutes to Weaverville where they each have a trailer. I slept in Alan's where they stayed in Linnea's and I caught up on blog posts and talked to Mary on the phone and eventually went to sleep around 23:45.