It’s a beautiful day here at the base of Paris Mountain. The elevation is 1,200 feet and I plan to climb to 1,400 feet. It may not sound like much but the climb is about 2 miles. And the gradient is pretty steep. The downhill fast and sweeping. Last week, I was on the trails, and now the road. I have my ipod and will be listening Bvdub’s new cd “Born in Tokyo.”
I just got the Galaxy Note II and I love the painting software included. For this “variations | a day in the life” series, I will be using either Paint Sketch or Picsart. I will not post daily, however I hope to explore elements such as architecture, objects, personal experiences all within the constructs of my personal vision. This series is the continuation of “images for Android phones” tag. 2013 has been a year of mostly new video work and the “variations” series. I am also in the final stages of completing my 200 page book of digital art. It too will focus on this year’s “variations” series. A book of poetry, prose, and imagery. With all this going on, and with work it has been difficult to keep up with everyone’s blog. Please accept my apology. I do appreciate all the support.
But here in the South biking takes on a whole new dimension. It explodes with energy and beauty. Both road biking and mountain biking provide a means to an enriching and trans-formative end. This post entitled “Biking to a Place Inside and Out” includes a gallery of images that records visually that magnificent end. And it is an attempt to express the color, beauty, emotional, and physical essence of biking. It is difficult to say what I enjoy most–road or mountain biking. They both provide their own unique challenges. The mountains of Western North Carolina, and the forest areas of South Carolina harbor great recreational parks such as Tsali, DuPont State Forest, Bent Creek, and Laurel River in NC and Paris Mountain, Southside and FATS (Forks Area Trail System (named one of the top 10 machine-made trail systems in the country)) in SC. These are moderate and difficult level trails with hundreds of feet in elevation changes. They are comprised of single track, access roads, and some, like the Left and Right Loops at Tsali, a single track that the rider navigates around a large man-made lake (Fontana Lake). In a recent conversation with a fellow rider, we discussed the horrible consequence of making a riding error and going over the edge into the lake (not good). In the winter the lake is drained and in the summer it is at full capacity. Until then, it had not occurred to me that the prospect of losing one’s bike to the lake could become a reality. But a challenge is a challenge, and in mountain biking especially, there can be no room for fear. Both the Left and Right Loops are each approximately 12 miles in length, and any lapse in concentration could be costly. In contrast to the obvious hazards, Tsali is a very beautiful recreational park located on the borders of Swain and Graham counties with the Great Smokey Mountains as its magnificent playground. One can only marvel at the beautiful surroundings that become infused with every fiber of your being as you push, pedal and commit yourself to go one yard farther—to make that climb. Throughout most of these parks are rivers, gorges, tree roots, rocks, creek crossings, ravines, dead drops, imposing trees everywhere, and some that provide mountains summits that climb to 5000 feet. Expect to fall, expect to get hurt. These and numerous other challenges test the will, the level of oxygen deprivation to the muscles, balance, hand/eye coordination, timely decision making, and your overall physical stamina.