Grayson Highlands 2014–Day 6 (Sunshine Returns and Country Dining)

After a wet windy day, the sun coming out in the morning was a welcome sight…

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Still very windy however!  The evening before a park ranger stopped by to inform us of a tornado watch until 1am.  Gusty winds and the knowledge of storms in the area didn’t do much for a good night’s sleep.  But thankful for an otherwise uneventful night.

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We joined Park Interpreter Brooke again for a “Moth Magnet” talk at the campground field.  Yesterday, she had setup a container designed to catch moths for our nature talk in the morning.

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Of course I can’t remember what these guys’ names were …

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I remember this one for it’s habit of settling down into a little crouch when it wasn’t active:

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Finally she had a little game with the kids, to match caterpillar and moth pictures.

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Then it was busywife’s turn to attack the mountain again!

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While the kids and I enjoyed the sunshine again around the campground.  Also this little lady visiting the feeder …

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Early afternoon we took a trip to West Jefferson, NC for a Wal-Mart run.  From GHSP a good shortcut (instead of taking US 58 east all the way to highway 16) is to turn right onto Tucker Rd, taking you past the big white barn.  At the T, take a left onto Rugby Rd and then shortly thereafter a right onto Grassy Creek Rd.  This takes you up and over a ridge at some very steep grades.  Based on RideWithGPS routing I looked at, there are plenty of double digit grades on this road, maintaining 13% in some places.  Makes me wonder if I could handle it on the road bike…

At the top of the ridge:

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At Wally World I had to find a way to fix my mountain bike tire situation … and I was surprised that they had Presta valve mountain bike tubes.  Not only that, they actually had a decent selection of spares for the “I would never buy a bike at Wal-Mart” crowd.  Presta road tubes, even “real” mountain and road tires (at least something that would get you through a bind).

I also walked out of there with a portable 12v air compressor made by Slime.  So far it’s working as advertised…

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For dinner we continued our GHSP tradition and stopped at Shatley Springs.  My son was immediately drawn to the John Deere at the side of the restaurant:

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While busywife and daughter went “shopping” …

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I had to get some of the fudge.  What good is riding if you can’t eat, right?

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Speaking of eating, bring your big boy appetite when you visit the restaurant.  After a passing glance at the menu, we went for the family style country dinner for the 7th year in a row…

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Sippin’ on some water and then before we knew it…

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The piles of food come out.  Fried chicken, country ham, coleslaw, pinto beans, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, creamed corn, cinnamon apples….

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Save room for dessert!  Strawberry cobbler for me this time around.

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After dinner we filled a few jugs with spring water and drove back to the park.  As the sun was setting, I caught this view back towards the park on the Grassy Creek Rd ridgetop.  From here you can see headlights of vehicles descending the park road far off in the distance.

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