The infamous "Archery" corner, where you often first encounter ice (sometimes black ice) on the way up. We stopped briefly so I could get out the camera and we could collect our senses.
Traffic downhill is a lot heavier than uphill in the morning, with the result being a lot less snow on the downhill lane. It's also obvious that the snow is very, very fresh, with just one set of tire tracks on the way up.
We got the strangest looks from people passing us in cars...
Beautiful, yes, but I look at this shot and wonder why I didn't frame it just a bit more to the left. Part of the problem was that it was almost impossible to turn my camera on or off, much less play with any of the settings, while wearing winter gloves.
Would you believe that there were no other tire tracks up here except ours?
Chris pondering the unusual scene at the top of Kings Mtn.
Taking a short break at the top of Kings Mtn. There was a brief discussion regarding the wisdom of heading back down the hill, but I was determined that we make it to the Skeggs Point parking lot, just a couple miles south.
Chris powering up Skyline, with Kevin behind. It was a day like no other on Skyline; there's something about recent, dry snow that is quite pretty.
Chris showing that you need not fear fresh snow!
Kevin stays on the pavement, unlike Chris, who'd made the tracks seen in the snow. Strange as it may seem, riding on the snow actually works quite well; bicycle tires are narrow enough that they drop right through the snow to solid pavement. Care tires, on the other hand, are more likely to slide around on it (as we saw).
There was a moderate (normal) amount of traffic this morning, about half of it people driving up to see the snow.
This really is how it looked. Snow that defines the color white. My camera (Fuji F30, set to ISO 400, 1/210 second, f2.8) did a very good job of capturing the scene. I was a bit worried about condensation on the lenses, but that doesn't seem to have been an issue.
Approaching the intersection of Swett Road & Skyline. Because this was an open area without tree cover, the temperature was a bit colder, making an iced-up road a very real possibility. If the temperature is near freezing, it's important to realize that ice is far more likely to be found in open areas than underneath trees (which tend to keep in the heat).
The taller trees here are keeping most of the snow away from the road.
What you can't see here is that it's 34 degrees. It didn't feel too bad at this point, but sure did on the descent!
You look at scenes like this and wonder, could it really have been this beautiful? Yes, it was.
Approaching the Skegg's Point parking lot & scenic overlook. Riding in a straight line isn't so tough on snow & ice. But turning a corner can be challenging!
The humble beginning of a humble snowman. There is something irresistable about fresh snow, even for seasoned cyclists.
Chris working on his snowman, while Kevin (in the background) is working on a very non-functional snowball. Snow this dry is very hard to get to stick together.
Making a snowman is apparently very serious business for Chris!
Frosty probably didn't last too long after the sun came out!
Playing around in the snow. Is it any wonder that our hands froze on the way back down the hill? Apparently IQ plummets along with temperature.
This woman works for Verizon, and was waiting for a crew to meet her. She took a couple of the photos where all three of us are shown. Hope that's not an AT&T iPhone she's carrying!
Do I feel like a dork, dressed a whole lot more than Kevin (middle) and Chris (far left)? Nope. I just feel warmer. Although if I had to do it over again, I'd have skipped holding onto that large cold snowball. Dumb.