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July 29, 2011 – Little Switzerland

Ride Little Switzerland Loops










Today we rode in the area known as Little Switzerland. We parked at the National Park Mineral Museum and ride from there, through town, across 7 Mile Ridge Road, then back along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the car. We aren't having many pictures from this trip as many of the rides are in the trees and the views either aren't there or are occluded by the "smoke" of the Smoky Mountains.



We all have lights for our bikes as they are required to ride though the tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Paul has this head light that he is using. Here, he was modeling it for Tom in the parking lot. Notice the one shoe on one shoe off look.


Once again, another view of Paul and his light.

Here is a good look at what the views have looked like on this trip. The mountains are spectacular, but very different than we have seen in our past trips.


This is a cool little tunnel that we rode under heading towards 7 Mile Ridge which was fairly remote and pretty. The road passing above the bridge is the Blue Ridge Parkway which we'd be crossing on the return trip.

A second video by Tom as we were riding on Chestnut Mountain Road. It was a descent climb.


Here is a picture of Bill, Tom and I catching some shade and trying to cool down after a pretty serious climb up to 7 Mile Ridge Road. Along the way we had some fun as we were chased by a nasty little dog. Tom and I were up from and took the initial attack from the pooch, Tom took note of the limiting lines of approach and raced off leaving the little bugger to change his focus on me. I had to apply a bit of trickery to avoid him by slowing down and then blasting my full spring wattage of 815 watts to get by. He was persistent though and I almost went too early as that monster seemed to think he owned tow or three yards away from his house! I think Tom and I tired out the bugger out as Paul got close to a free pass. He was recharged a bit when Bill came by but all in all I think Tom and I zapped all the energy from that windbag!

There was no free lunch thought as my good legs turned to stone on the first big climb because of the Menacing Mutt.



After the ride we stopped into the Mineral Museum to clean up and had a good conversation with the Park Ranger about the Emeralds and Rubys that they mine in the area. According to the Ranger, the company Tiffany's used to but their stones from this area.

The ranger gave us a great recommendation for lunch which was the Little Switzerland Cafe which was back near that bridge we rode under. The food was great and we even got desert before we left.

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Next to the cafe was a General Store where I bought the customary trip T-Shirt.

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Gotta love this sign that was on the wall across from the cafe .. kind of sums things up doesn't it?

While we were driving back home after the ride we came across this doe and her two fawns walking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The fawns were amazing and we were able to watch them for a few minutes. I had Tom pull the SUV up a bit so I could try to get a better picture but that ended up spooking the remaining fawn. Still a very cool thing to see.

Ridge Ride 7-29-2011, Elevation - Distance Ridge Ride 7-29-2011

Tom filming his daily trip video as we were heading into Little Switzerland