Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

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Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby mm9 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:11 am

A few years ago, when I arrived back into Georgia from visits to adventure areas out West such as Crested Butte Colorado, I used to feel a little disappointed. I love those small Western mountain towns where there is a convergence of all types of adventurers. A few years ago, there just didn't seem to be many places in the south where such areas existed. We have the resources - mountains. rivers, good weather etc. It was more of an Adventure culture thing.

I often visit the Blue Ridge Georgia area (Aska etc) and participate in various activities, including mountain biking. Recently met a group of friends up there to go dual sport motorcycling. We met at the fairly new Iron Bridge Cafe, which is directly across from the Shallowford Bridge on Aska Rd. I ran into an old friend there, who is a competitive triathlete and a mountain biker. He started introducing me to several folks. It kind of took me by surprise. The little restaurant was full of mountain bikers, hikers, fly fishermen, kayakers etc. that day. My friend started telling me about all the adventure folks who hung out in the area.

It hit me that day that this area and this little crossroads by the Shallowford bridge is evolving into a thriving outdoor adventure area.

I have to give a little plug for the Iron Bridge Cafe while I'm at it. Again, I was not expecting much when I went in there. I noticed - hmmm, this is not your typical greasy spoon grill in the mountains. This food is really good high quality kind of stuff in a casual environment. I found out the two owners came from the Highlands Bakery (Mary and Angie). They get it. Quality food and experience - and they get it out quickly so you can get on with your adventure.

I think this area is evolving into an Adventure crossroads. I love those kind of areas. Have others been here? Are there other kinds of areas like this in Georgia?
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby scmtbiker » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:02 am

I understand your feelings on the small western towns, I am rather fond of them myself. I think part of what makes them interesting is the peope who live and work there. Most of the town have a bunch of transplants that have come from other areas ofthe country adding a little spice to the local culture. Crested Butte is a town that you just don't end up in by accident. If you are there it is probably for skiing, biking, or retirement. I talked with a guy that worked at a hotel there this winter and he said that CB is one of the last "raw" ski bum towns left out there and that the wages that were paid made it very feasable for a young adult to move there and bum for a few years. He said the problem arises when you meet that special one and decide to settle down and start a family. The jobs just are not there to support that so the people usually move on and others move in.

I think that Asheville is seeing this kind of thing happening now. I also think that families are moving to Asheville along with singles for the Adventure lifestyle and the "almost" year round riding and paddeling. People generally move west for the snow first. But this movement of people also adds to Asheville's diverse culture and who knows, that may sprawl out out into the outlying areas eventually.

I have been through Blueridge but never stopped. Glad to see something happening there to get outdoor folks coming in. May need to plan a trip soon.

Thanks for the post.
Last edited by scmtbiker on Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby bikephan » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:04 am

That is why we live in Fruita.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby MrUnderhill » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:42 am

Evolving, yes, but Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Ducktown have been that way. Just had to look around a little. i think BR is actually losing some of that feel with the influx of weekend tourists from "the city" and the sprawl up HWY 2/76/515 creeping into town.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby u1ockjustice » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:49 am

bikephan wrote:That is why we live in Fruita.


YOU LIVE IN FRUITA? HFS!! PLEASE, CONSTANTLY TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS MAGICAL PLACE AND HOW IT IS SUPERIOR TO EVERY OTHER PLACE ON EARTH IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby iride » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:48 pm

u1ockjustice wrote:
bikephan wrote:That is why we live in Fruita.


YOU LIVE IN FRUITA? HFS!! PLEASE, CONSTANTLY TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS MAGICAL PLACE AND HOW IT IS SUPERIOR TO EVERY OTHER PLACE ON EARTH IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!


my how the tables have turned.....
clearly it's entirely too technical...

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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby tenbsmith » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:56 pm

all caps is what made me laugh. wouldn't have been as funny otherwise.

As for crested butte, I've heard that same kind of economy described as a trap. People can get stuck there with wages low enough to make it hard to move on.

I hear Asheville has a very active music scene.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby bikephan » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:03 pm

u1ockjustice wrote:
bikephan wrote:That is why we live in Fruita.


YOU LIVE IN FRUITA? HFS!! PLEASE, CONSTANTLY TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS MAGICAL PLACE AND HOW IT IS SUPERIOR TO EVERY OTHER PLACE ON EARTH IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!


Having a rough day? Come to CO and ride it is the BEST Of THE BESTEST...........
Last edited by bikephan on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby bikephan » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:04 pm

Crested butte is a rough place. Weather. Location.

We looked real hard at Asheville but housing was rough. We have family on the shore in NC but my wife had a better job in grand junction. The music scene is great and the Christmas Jam has a great following.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby mm9 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:00 pm

My family has been up here (Aska Area in Blue Ridge) for Spring Break this week and I've visited that crossroads area by Shallowford Bridge and Aska Rd, and the Iron Bridge Cafe several times now. I mountain biked the area and ended up there a couple of days ago to meet the family for lunch. And, today I took some friends there for lunch. We were dual sport motorcycling again. Out front were a father and son who were hiking the Benton McKaye Trail They were on mile 37 of 300. The son was being home schooled by the Dad. There were several other adventure motorcycles out front, Kayaks, Canoes, a couple of mountain bikes and someone road in on a 4 wheeler. The guy in line in front of me for ordering food had on a dry suit for kayaking. His shoes were not so dry and he sloshed around as he walked - ha!

In downtown Blueridge there are several adventure outfitting stores, fly fishing stores, a place where a well known (in the fly fishing world) guy teaches people how to make high end bamboo fly rods (Oyster?). And there is a good cycling shop - met the owner there - Sam. Seems like a great guy.

Just feels like its become more of a true adventure area. I like that! I hope it continues to evolve and I hope others areas in the South do too.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby u1ockjustice » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:55 am

iride wrote:
u1ockjustice wrote:
bikephan wrote:That is why we live in Fruita.


YOU LIVE IN FRUITA? HFS!! PLEASE, CONSTANTLY TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS MAGICAL PLACE AND HOW IT IS SUPERIOR TO EVERY OTHER PLACE ON EARTH IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!


my how the tables have turned.....


?? i'm sure i made the occasional weather related quips about winters in FL, but don't think I ever got into the bikephan territory of crapping all over the trails/shop/riding scene in ATL every chance i got. I rather enjoyed the ATL bike scene while i was there, and it looks like the trail options are far greater now.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby mm9 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:11 am

bikephan wrote:That is why we live in Fruita.


I spent some time in Fruita and got caught in the rain there one day. Had to sell my bike as a piece of concrete sculpture after that! :)

Fruita, Crested Butte(summer) , Moab etc. - All mtb and adventure mecca's for sure. No debate there. But, cool to see the South progressing. Plus the beauty of the Appalachians is starting to grow on me.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby clem » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:59 am

mm9 wrote:Just feels like its become more of a true adventure area. I like that! I hope it continues to evolve and I hope others areas in the South do too.

You say "becomes more of a true adventure area" and I hear "gets crowded". Edit: And touristy.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby mm9 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:38 am

clem wrote:
mm9 wrote:Just feels like its become more of a true adventure area. I like that! I hope it continues to evolve and I hope others areas in the South do too.

You say "becomes more of a true adventure area" and I hear "gets crowded". Edit: And touristy.


I hear you. But, the area is going to grow. Close to a major city - good tourism resources etc. I'd like to see adventure tourism and a growing cool vibe take hold there vs. being taken over by other types of gawdy tourism like some towns in the South.
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Re: Evolving Adventure Area - Blue Ridge Ga.

Postby Robert » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:53 am

It is not surprising. If you stay in Blue Ridge, you are 30 to 60 minutes from a lot of trail systems. There are water sports and the area is beautiful. I would love to have a cabin there. I rode all of the Aska Trail System on Sunday and it never disappoints. I never feel crowded there and will go back as much as time permits.
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