Monday, June 09, 2008

Ellijay Weekend

Amy and I spent last weekend in Ellijay. Ellijay is my favorite place to ride bikes in Georgia. Unfortunately the drive to Ellijay takes about an hour and a half.

Dreading having to turn around and drive right back home after riding, Amy and I decided to camp out Saturday night and spend the weekend. Amy found a cool place to camp right next to the Pinhoti 3 trail. The place she found Mulberry Gap has both bunkhouses and campsites. If you call ahead, they will even cook your meals for you.

We got up early on Saturday loaded up my car and headed to Ellijay. We parked on Gates Chapel road at the bottom of Bear creek. Then we headed up FS90 to start of the Pinhoti 2. Amy and I rode with our x2cycle tandem all the way to where the downhill starts on the Pinhoti. Then we separated our bikes and rode down to Conasauga Rd at our pace. After the super fun downhill, we connected our bikes again and headed back to the car via Shakerag.

After our fun ride we went to Corks and Crumbs on the square. Amy claims she likes to go there for the chicken salad sandwiches, but I really think it is because of the huge selection of homemade desserts. We loaded up on both and then went over to Cartecay bike's new location right off the square.

I spent a fair amount of time oogling over the bikes and bike toys. I also chatted a little with Kevin and Mike. There are both really cool guys. I met Kevin at the women's clinic earlier this year. His wife was helping chocolate girl teach the class, and Amy was attending the class. Kevin took us on a hard ride up Owltown Rd and over to the River and Boyscout Loop. Mike fit me a long time ago on my bike and spent a long time with me giving me tips and how to pedal and how to do well in a race. After indulging myself with only a small purchase of socks we headed over to Mulberry Gap.

We met Diane there and she gave us a tour of the facilities. They have these tiny wooden cabins called bunkhouses that contain you guessed it bunk beds. They also have fans and a heater. The have a large eating and gathering areas full of books, maps, and board games. There is a huge bath house with showers and toilets. There are a pair of koi ponds and pair of hot tubs. There are two large campsites with picnic tables and electric hookups. There is also a large grass field for primitive camping.

After the tour Diane showed us to our campsite. We relaxed awhile in our chairs then got busy setting up camp. I spent way too much time trying to find the most level spot and rid my spot of any sharp rocks. By the time I got the tent up dinner was ready. Ginni made us homemade organic chicken with new potatoes and green peas. We also had a really good salad and warm bread and even an oreo pie for dessert. It was delicious.

After dinner Amy and I played scrabble. I impressed Amy with my knowledge of two and three letter words. Since I took about 10 minutes to come up with each of my words it was almost time to go to bed by the time we finished our game. I read a little bit, washed up, and then went to bed.

The next morning we woke up early and started breaking down camp. Ginni and Diane had breakfast ready for us before we could finish. We feasted on blueberry pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, coffee, and orange juice. I felt like a king.

After breakfast we hung out a little and talked to Ginni and Diane. There are warm, funny, and a joy to be around. Eventually they had to get ready to go help out at the Carter's Lake race so we said our goodbyes and headed back to our camp. We finished packing up and then headed over to Bear Creek.

We rode up the Bear Creek trail to the Pinhoti connector and then over to the Bear Creek Loop Road. For the first time we were able to stay connected on our x2cycle the whole way up even on the singletrack. Once we got to the start of the singletrack downhill we disconnected and rode back down to the car.

We both had a great time even though we were both really sore and tired when we woke up this morning. I can't wait to do it again.


Amy said...

We had such a great time! We will definitely have to spend another weekend there. I'm just glad we weren't playing scrabble for money!James suckered me into believing he was "really bad" at scrabble, when he's actually a ringer!

The food was great, and it's such a beautiful place to camp!

I loved our rides, and it was so nice to be able to stay up there instead of having to drive home on Saturday night.

I was impressed that we could stay connected on the x2cycle all the way up the trail on Sunday. James did a great job of calling out the rocks, roots and dips that were coming up, so I could get ready for things I couldn't see. Coming down Bear Creek was really fun too.

chocolate girl said...

Sounds like a fantastic wkd. Impressed with Amy and her riding!! Way cool!:-)

Peekay said...

A very enjoyable read. My wife and I rent cabins in the Blue Ridge/Elijay area a few times each year. I have yet to bring my bike along. Perhaps next time I can convince her the hills won't be too bad!

Thanks for the downtown ideas. I now have a couple of places to check out.