Last night I got out for a nice little spin: Starting at 8:20PM from Bent Creek Gap->FS5000->FS1206->NC276->Blue Ridge Parkway back to Bent Creek Gap. I was feeling a little slow and only took one real break, at Yellow Gap, and was out for 3:20.
As I was preparing to leave the sounds of owls could be heard throughout the forest. It was a beautiful sound. When I arrived at the top of NC276 there was no mistaking the ooowww--ooowww-ooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww of what sounded like dozens of coyote down in the valley. That was not a beautiful sound. It was downright spooky.
The first 18 miles were on gravel: