Thursday, May 21, 2015

The DuPont Triple Threat

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This past week, I created and then won the DuPont Triple Threat challenge. 

The Triple Threat is something that my friend Megan and I dreamt up one afternoon while we were mountain biking through Bent Creek. We ride there a few days a week, usually in the evenings after work. We're very happy in Bent Creek, but we were hoping to get a little further out of town and spend the entire day outside. After months of classrooms and textbooks, ten hour shifts three hour labs, that sounded like true luxury. 
My favorite place to ride in the Southeast is the Ridgeline trail in DuPont National Forest. It's a long but pretty mellow climb that zig-zags through the woods, cuts across fields and up an old gravel logging road, followed by the sweetest soaring single-track downhill through a cool pine forest.

Megan and I were talking about going out to ride Ridgeline and then stopping at Dolly's, an ice cream place at the edge of the Pisgah National Forest. Dave took me there last spring after my first hike through Pisgah, and there hasn't been a day since that I haven't thought about it. There are over one hundred flavors of ice cream. For the unfortunate souls such as myself who are cursed with sugar cravings and get a little bit weird around cake (distracted, unable to focus until its been sliced and handed out, the issue of seconds, thirds) it's the mother ship.   
I'd recently written about a place called Hooker Falls for an article on Asheville Swimming Holes, but had yet to visit in person. We got the idea to stitch together Ridgeline, Hooker Falls and Dolly's together into one perfect day and call it The DuPont Triple Threat. I like pairing together and labeling my adventures. It makes me feel satisfied at the end of the day, as if I'd completed a triathlon. 

Our friend Lee just returned from a winter in New Zealand and we invited her along. She's one of those girls who runs insane shit in a kayak, but this was her first time on a mountain bike.
Hooker Falls is a cold, clear, wide open pool deep enough for diving and rope swinging. The best moment of the day was picking our way over the slippery, dark rocks and up behind the waterfall. The pounding, roaring, veil of water sounds exactly like those moments when you're underwater in your kayak, getting hammered in a hole and clawing to get back to sunlight and air. My heart started beating faster and my breath shortened just thinking about it. I never exactly made my peace with that sport.  
I was the only one to finish the challenge, because I was the only one who wanted ice cream, which I guess puts me in first place. I won! 

This was a good idea. A good day. If we're lucky, it will be the first of many triple threats this summer all throughout the east coast. Things go well together in 3's. 
And now, the winner of the summer's first Mystery Prize Monday. Thank you everyone for leaving your comments! Reading about what and where you're exploring this summer was like reading a personalized guide book of the country. So many places to hike and eat and swim. As always, y'all got me fired up! 

Blogger Jaime said...
My dad just restored an old boat. So, we'll be exploring the lakes of North Georgia this summer!

I also plan on trying to find a new job, which will certainly take me out of my comfort zone. Who knows maybe we'll move to a new city. I'm ready for a change.

Congratulations Jamie! I hope you enjoy a languid few weeks floating on the North Georgia lakes before your new job and your new city. Send me an email at and we'll get you all sorted.

Happy SUMMER everybody!! 
find me on Instagram @melinadream


DeNae said...

I read your words, but I do not understand them. . . no one else wanted ice cream? Inconceivable! It does sound like an absolute wonder of a day. Way to take home the prize!

Aimee said...

looks like a awesome day out! and the icecream ... yum
I love all those spring/summery pics as its getting cold and snowy down here (NZ) nearly winter!!

Abby said...

Dolly's!! <3! My favorite thing about that place is the ice cream flavors named after the bazillion camps in that county (Transylvania, I think?).

Anonymous said...

oh I love your life!! Inspires me to be more adventurous in mine.

Rheta said...

Your photos burst with color, light and life! Sounds like a fantastic day.

Marie said...

I am a sucker for sprinkles. How can anyone NOT get the sprinkles? Makes the treat so so so much better. Now, I want ice cream. With sprinkles.