Last weekend was the Pisgah Nation Wilson Creek SWEaTfest but before the Saturday run I made a quick stop in Charlotte for the Dead and Co. concert. I had a drink or two in the parking lot but then had to limit myself to nothing but kool aide for the concert itself. The tour opening show was surprisingly good and much fun was had. After the show I was greeted by a huge traffic jam and wasn't going anywhere fast. The gentleman parked next to me kept trying to get me to keep drinking from his handle of whiskey but I had to decline as I had a two hour drive before my 8am run...
It was 1am before I left the parking lot and 3am before I was turning onto Brown Mountain Beach Road. Driving through the Wilson Creek Gorge at that hour was a surreal experience and when I got to the Harper Creek trail head I almost wanted to just tap the horn, shake the tambourine and keep driving. Instead I pulled in and managed to get a few hours of sleep before I woke to the sound of cars pulling in and knew the run would be starting soon. I got my stuff together and we all chatted for a few minutes before starting the run.
A steep climb up Yellow Buck Mtn. started the run and with the previous night's concert still ringing in my head I wondered what I was in for. The first half of the run would be mainly up hill with a few rollers thrown in for good measure and the first big highlight came on Little Lost Cove Cliffs where big views of Grandfather Mtn. abounded.
From there it was a little more trail and then a short stretch on a gravel road before starting down North Harper Creek trail.
From there I would be following the creek back to the finish where along the way I would pass by several waterfalls and the trail would go back and forth between nice and gentle single track to very rocky stream side terrain as I crossed my way back and forth across the creek. I had stopped for awhile on Little Lost Cove Cliffs and then stopped to explore several of the waterfalls and figured I had to be the last runner out and tried to just keep moving. The previous day's festivities had me a little tired and as I started to get a little chaffing I felt like Black Peter and that the run might never end. I stopped to swim at a few of the waterfalls and let the rejuvenative powers of nature wash over me. The biggest waterfall came just a mile from the finish and was the perfect place for an extended break.
After the run we all sat in Wilson Creek drinking cold beer for a couple of hours. It was the perfect start to what is sure to be a long crazy summer. One Nation Under Pisgah!