Sorry for the lack of posting folks everything has been on hold for the last few days. Last Friday I got the call, my Grandma passed away. We knew it was coming as she hasn't been well for some time. Luckily for me I had just started my monthly 7 days off so traveling to the Lone Star State was not a problem as long as I could score a good deal on my travels. Fortunately I was able to score cheap tickets on a flight out of Knoxville and was able to save even more money by staying with family.
I was really only there for a day and a half so I don't have much in the way of good stories to tell. I will say that I had a hard time recognizing my home town with all the changes it's gone through since my departure. I used to make return trips once a year but as I get older I seem to travel south less and less. I felt a bit embarrassed to admit that I did not know my way around town when I was asked to drive my Uncle's car after the funeral. I moved away before my 16th birthday and what used to be farmland is now peppered with shopping centers.
Upon arrival I was expecting warmer weather but other than the lack of mountains to block the frigid wind it felt about the same. I did manage to eat some good Mexican food, something that is hard to find in east TN despite the fact that there are quite a few Mexicans here.
One thing I found interesting were the street signs that instructed motorists to "Share the Road" not with cyclists but motorcycles. I was surprised to see this but I guess it does make sense since they share the same dangers as cyclists, maybe there needs to be a double duty sign for motorcycles & bicycles alike.
Despite the fact that a majority of my trip was centered around a funeral I did get a rather interesting tour of my Uncle's collection of antique trucks and cars. My Uncle has a fascination with 1950's era Fords. In his collection I counted 6 trucks and 6 cars all ranging from the late 40's to the late 50's. Had it not been freezing and I not been wearing thin slacks and funny black leather shoes I could have spent the entire afternoon in his backyard listening to stories about each vehicle.
My sister and I flew back in town late last night and it feels good to be back in the mountains even though the Mexican food is below average but I feel like it's a more than fair trade.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program of singletrack, bikes & big stinky dogs.