Thrift Cove/Black Mountain and the Case of the Lost GPS
The first ride of the year took place this past Saturday on the Thrift Cove/Black Mountain trail. It is a loop configuration thereby making it a safe and simple way to do a little trail ride. Kim gave me a GPS unit two years ago for Christmas upon which time I had to purchase a handle bar mount for the bike. I use it to keep track of where the parking area is and basically to tell me how to get back to my starting point if I get bewildered temporally. Once the ride is over than I can dump the data into Google Earth and get an aerial view of the ride.
The day started out with trying to decide where to ride and which trail to take. I love it when life has these difficult challenges. But we (I) managed to make an executive decision and off to Pisgah Forest we went for a beautiful day of riding. Thrift Cove was the first trail we ever rode in North Carolina it does have some enduring qualities for us.
I have this new gadget known as GPS, for most of the die hard outdoor adventure types a GPS is looked down on and even cursed. Real adventure seekers don't need technology to guide them. I use it more or less as a easy way to keep track of where I have been rather than where I am going. The track feature drops a digital bread crumb at pre selected intervals along your line of travel thereby leaving an accurate marking of your journey. Once I get back to the computer I can then download these tracks and do a black magic and then dump them into Google Earth and see exactly where I have been in the grand scheme of things. So suffice it to say that my GPS is near and dear to me.
I have this mount for the GPS to go onto the handle bars of my bike giving me an easy look at my progress or lack of in most cases. At each stop we made on the Thrift Cove ride I made certain to give a look at the GPS to first be sure that it still there and second to monitor the route. At each of the many rest stops along the way the GPS was firmly attached. One last stop with less than half a milt go and Mr. GPS was still attached. So we point downhill and head for the parking area. Once we arrive and prepare to load the bikes up, I look down to check the route and the GPS IS GONE! My heart sinks and my lungs begin to heave in pain as the realization sets in that I'm going to have to go back and turn over every leaf on the trail to try to find it. So I tell Kim that I'm going back and look for it and she tells me that she would be glad to wait for me at the car. One trip around was enough for her. So I head out slowly scanning every inch of ground as I ride back into the mountain. I know I had it at the last creek crossing so that is where I am heading.
As I get closer to our last stop my hopes are slipping that I will ever find it. Several bikers had passed as we were coming down and I began to believe that one of them was feeling good about being the owner of a slightly used GPS unit. My heart is on double time, my lungs are in shut down mode and hopes fade quickly as I go far beyond our last stop and still no sign of a GPS. So I stop. I begin to dread the thoughts of telling Kim that I lost the GPS that she gave me for Christmas. That bothers me more than anything. So as I am standing there beside the creek, I hear........MARK........Mark!! It was Kim just fifty or so yards behind me. I FOUND IT, she yelled! My heart slows, my lungs expand and down the hill I go. Sure enough, there she was holding it in her hand. My first thought was....Thank you God! My second thought was.....where the heck did you find it? I had rode all this way back into the mountain, UP HILL, and she found it about two hundred yards from the parking area.
The ride back out was just as fun as it was the first time! The lesson here is this.....sometimes, sometimes the downhill is worth doing at least twice and always, always take your wife with you when you go riding. You never know when you will need her to find what you have lost. Sometimes women folk see things that men folk can't.
Pisgah GPS Thrift Cove Black Mountain Google Earth