|No tracks in front of me ... first one to this CP.|
The snow was beginning to melt. And so it stuck to my tires and shoes, which made for slow going, both pushing and pedaling. I was still in a happy place, however, looking for the CP. I had to make several stops, checking my map, making sure I was on the correct trail.
|Slate Rock Overlook|
From there, I headed to the next mandatory, taking a short 20 minute detour to grab an optional CP. The last time I was on Cantrell Creek was during the inaugural Pisgah 111. At that time it was wet, muddy, and overgrown. Today I could see the thousands of baby head rocks! I pinballed my way down the trail to the next mandatory CP, Cantrell Creek Lodge.
|Warm and happy!|
At this point I was 4 hours into this stage ... and at the lowest elevation. I had a long arduous climb out of this hole. This was the first time that I began to show signs of fatigue. I made a mental calculation of kcal consumed and determined that I was taking in enough fuel. But I was also into my 12th hour of racing! The longest ride I had done this year was The Snake Creek Gap TT, a little shy of 3 1/2 hours. 1/3 down 2/3 to go. I headed back to camp via Squirrel, South Mills, and Buckhorn. The trails were in awesome shape. By the time I hit the horse stables I was out of water. Not a pressing issue as I just had another 30-35 minutes back to Cove Creek campground.
Once I checked in, I grabbed the Stage 3 passport and headed back to my vehicle to eat again, this time chicken and a sweet potato. I thought I was feeling pretty good and eager to tackle the next stage!
2 down, 4 to go!
Distance: 51 miles
Elevation Gain: 5800 feet
Average Temp: 48 degrees