Fall-ing in Love.

by Jennah Dunham

Kitsbow Ambassador Grant is new to the North Carolina mountains, yet he already looks forward to the fall season the most. And, no matter where we live, it's a feeling many share.

Fall is quickly approaching and gone will be the afternoons of daily showers and getting overheated going both up and down these Southern Appalachian mountains. Though I have only lived here a short time, it has been through the summer months full of heat and humidity (but don’t tell those back in the Ozarks, where it is far more humid and nearly always warmer, that I’m complaining).

We are quickly approaching the time for buttoned up flannels for the thousands of feet of descending that will occur on Kitsuma, Black Mountain, Bennett Gap, and too many others to even begin to name. It’s also time for those flannels to open up for thousands of feet of climbing up Avery Creek Road, Clawhammer, Laurel Mountain, and the hundreds of other miles of road and trail we will be climbing this fall.

Pisgah occupies a space so many other destinations wish they could. Here, we can ride all year with temperatures rarely getting above 90 degrees in the summer and we avoid the snow cover that makes so many other places difficult to enjoy as mountain bikers. We are just about to hit the time now where our weather is almost perfect. The weather is almost always good, but the fall season in Pisgah is something to behold. As you move through the roots and rocks so indicative of Pisgah riding, you also begin to feel the cool crisp air move through your jersey. At first, you only notice that chill once every other week or so. As time marches on it becomes more and more frequent until every time you are in the forest you feel that elation that comes from riding without the permanent dampness that accompanies you with every summer ride.

With the changing of weather we also begin to see our Vermont-rivaling fall foliage going from being encompassed by the lush rainforest greens to crisp and fiery fall oranges, yellows, and reds. This time of vibrant fall colors is short lived and fleeting, but with the loss of the fall colors we begin to see the magnificent mountain views that have been hidden behind greenery since April.

Fantastic riding, fantastic weather, fantastic views… All of these culminate in Pisgah being a place that I am happy to call home and it excites me to get back out in the forest everyday, regardless of whether I am on my bike or chasing a waterfall.