By 10:00 AM Friday, Art's bike tire was repaired and he was on the road headed to Lake Hartwell, GA. And Ricardo and I were in Brevard, NC revisiting Rivardo's youth. Forty two years ago, at the age of 15, Ricardo spent the summer at Eagle Nest Camp, in the Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard. That summer, at Eagle Nest Camp, was an important time in Ricardo's life, so we are going to revisit it.
Arriving early Friday, the camp leaders were excited to welcome Ricardo and really threw out the "red carpert" for us. Noni Waite-Kucera, Executive Director, and Paige Lester-Niles, Camp Director, dropped everything to take Ricardo on a tour of the Camp. It had greatly changed over the past 42 years but in many ways was still the same. I was terribly impressed and hope some day that I can treat my grandchildren to a few weeks at this camp. Horseback riding, fishing, canoeing, music, hikeing camping, great food--what is not to like?
Just before lunch, we bid our farwell and were off through the Pisgah Forest to the Nantahala River Gorge. A beautiful day's ride, but finally we headed south to reunite with our friend, Art Smiley at his family's beautiful home on Lake Hartwell.
Arriving at dusk, we were greeted by a relaxed and smiling art Smiley. Attired in shorts and sandals, he was at peace with the world. Within an hour his son and daughter in law arrived and we enjoyed a great night. I immediately loved Art's family, such a nice and interesting couple. A peaceful and good nights sleep! Saturday morning, I will be off to Bessemer, Al to visit my son and two grandsons, Brandon and Justin. And then, I will swiftly ride back to Texas to attend to personal responsibilities.
And Art and Ricardo? The will be off to Savanna, Ga and later to Florida and New Orleans! Their adventure continues. And now we have ridden over 10,000 miles, through USA, Mexico and four provinces of Canada and an unknown number of states (TX, NM, CO, UT, NV, CA, OR, WA, MT, SD, MN, WI, MI, NY, VT, MA, NY, NJ, PA, WV, VA, MD, SC, Ga and AL).