Cades Cove Ride

I took the Monkey out to Cades Cove in the National Park. It’s an 11 mile one way road. It starts out rolling downhill. Most of the hills are rolling, but more than I’m used to! If you can see in the above pictures, there were horses in the field. You can go horseback riding in the cove.

Thought this sign was kind of funny. Sorry it’s out of focus. I did wear my helmet. But it didn’t help me do a nose wheelie like the picture shows!

All along the route are cabins and and a few churches. It was a settlement back before the National Park. In fact, I believe that the last inhabited cabin (not anymore) is in this loop.

The cicadas were out. When I first got to the ranger station, I heard this overwhelming noise. It was kind of like a fuzzy car alarm going off continually. It took me awhile to figure it out until I saw the bugger above.

One of the cabins on the loop.

There were several bicyclists out there, too. Two guys riding fold-up bikes. A couple on mountain bikes and a guy on an older mountain bike. I talked to him on the other side of the loop. He was encouraging me when I was trying to get up the hills. Oh, and the hills. Well, I got up some and the ones I didn’t I rode up half to 3/4’s of the hill before I had to walk. Next time!

When I got to the halfway point by the little store, I saw a bunch of deer. One crossed the road in front of the car that was in front of me. It was a buck. There is a little set up of a cabin, barn and mill there, as well. I rode through the area, but took off because it was too crowded.

The second half of the loop is in the woods more than the first half. Whenever I stopped or walked up a hill, I could here the woods better. Animal noises, the breeze, the cicadas. You just don’t see or hear the same stuff in a car as when you are on a bike or walking.

At the last pull-off, I saw a bunch of cars and everyone had cameras pointed the same way. We locals unaffectionately call this a bear jam. Cars just stop in the middle of the road and I mean all over the road. The bear was at the edge of the field. It’s head was in the trees, probably eating, so all that could be seen was it’s butt. I didn’t stop to take a picture. I have a deal with the bears. I do not take pictures of their butts and they don’t of mine. We all have big butts! Ha! And, I usually don’t anyway. I don’t like to add to the harassment of bears. Besides, supposedly they are a totem animal of mine. So, I rode or more to the point weaved through the parked cars and was on my way. I met up with the guy, I think his name was Mark, on the older bike. And I rode with him to the end of the loop.

I loaded my stuff up and headed back through the park, with a stop at the store. The soundtrack for the day seemed to be the Smashing Pumpkins. It fit driving through the park. Twas a good day!


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