Sunday, May 16, 2010

Paying for Black

While everyone else was out celebrating and having a good time this weekend I was trying to be responsible and take care of some of the things I spent all winter putting off. Saturday I went out for a quick little trail run.

Art Loeb > Connector > The North Slope.


The climb almost killed me and I was praying for any reason possible to stop running when a tree branch snatched my sunglasses off my head and forced me to stop briefly. A little more up and then it was downhill from here. The heat and initial 50 minute climb had taken a toll on Duma as well and as soon as we hit water I stopped and let him cool down for a full five minutes. He let me know when he was good to go and we took off running again. I love my pet!

While I was out running my little 10k route Toby was out doing the May Mountain Madness Marathon. They basically started from the North Mills River Campground and then ran up Big Creek and then out and back to the top of Mt. Pisgah before coming down Laurel Mtn. How long would it take you to ride that loop, skipping Mt. Pisgah? I'm guessing 5-6 hours. Toby ran it in four hours and change - no wonder he was able to hang at pmbar without having touched his bike for a year!

Running is fun. It is different from biking. There is no coasting. Nothing comes easy and you are in tune with the forest with every step. After the p36 my biggest question was, Where do I go from here? The answer I'm beginning to think might be to loose the bike and see what I can do by myself.

I still like riding bikes and with a little time today I decided to do just that.
Where do you ride if you have just a little time? Ooh, I Know! The Top of Black of course! I took the easy way and went up 477 and Clawhammer. A little short push and I made the first overlook and snapped the obligatory pic.


I noticed that the pressure was dropping rapidly and a storm was brewing so I made haste and worked my way across Black Mtn. As soon as I hit Turkey Pen the heavens opened and the storm hit with a fury. It was raining down hard and thunder and lightning was crashing all around. It was a little scary but also a little fun. I knew my best option was to get down the mountain so that is what I did. I took it easy and slow and when I hit Pressley Gap it seemed to be clearing up some. A little pushing and then once again some thunderstorm descending.

I made it through the first technical spot fine and then on some of the tight twisty stuff I slipped and fell. I was going very slow and it was a completely unspectacular crash. Nothing hurt and I got up and went to get back on the bike but noticed what looked like a cut on my knee. So I flexed my knee and blood started gushing out and I got a good look at my knee cap. My unspectacular crash resulted in a two inch serious laceration across my right knee cap. It was still storming and I was covered in dirt and blood with rain falling all around and lighting crashing here and there and I knew I had to field dress it and then get down off the mountain.

So, that's what I did. I pulled out my emergency kit I always carry but have never used and was able to get the wound fairly clean (well, all the rocks were out but Pisgah mud is stubborn!) and then wrapped in gauze and duct tape. It took an eternity to inch my way back to the truck and by the time I made it the sun was shining and the birds were singing. It doesn't look like much but it is a bad cut. I have it super glued up and am praying for the best but it looks like I'll be out for a few weeks.



  1. Good post - nothing short of the adventure we all expect from you. Get that knee better. We have a rock to climb in 2 weeks. If not you can pin that bib on Duma.