September 17 2018
The AERC National Championships at Bilmore (Asheville, North Carolina) are a GO! The rain has been light, the trails are clear!
Based assessing the ride site, any Monday arrivals would be best if postponed to Tuesday morning, then we are a ‘go’. Site will be overall laid out by late today. Park between flags — they will be set 30 feet apart, so generally spacious enough for all your horse and camping needs. We will have a team to help park starting Tuesday afternoon. At most one ‘saved’ space for a present rig.
We always have tractors available, but all should be ok if y'all are reasonably careful.
We have no fuel shortages locally.
I understand a number of riders — especially those driving or being driven (ie everyone) are concerned about aftermath of Florence and its impact on interstates and fuel supplies.
I-26 east to I-95 and west as far as you care to go is fine. I-95 from Florida to I-26 is wide open.
I-81 is clear north and south.
I-40 is clear from Raleigh west
I-85, I-75 all clear towards our part of the world from north to Richmond etc.
Routes from New York City; Richmond, Virginia; Nashville, TN; Jacksonville, FL; Chatanooga, TN — all are clear and open.
We know the eastern part of NC is a mess on I-95 RIGHT NOW. But by Tuesday, even parts of that are likely to be OK.
Fuel should be fine by Tuesday, I would imagine, but you might want to verify on your preferred routes.
Over the weekend, we saw cherry-picker trucks and other utility trucks sheltering in this area from all over the Carolina (look for Sumter, SC on a map — we had their trucks). They are out doing their jobs. They will attend to the main arteries first. Since the Interstates (except I-95) look good, this will be the US highways and state highways.
On trails, teams are out today to clear and check — we had almost no wind, and relatively little rain. One of the joys of Biltmore is they take this seriously. By Thursday, the 50 and 25 mile trails will be fine, by Saturday the 100 mile trails will be fine. We have pre-riders starting out tomorrow.
The trails are designed so one distance does not use any sensitive (ie ruinable) trails for another distance. Good footing is re-used. Look at the trail maps to get a good look at that — a serious design consideration as we were putting this together that caught us a couple of years ago in May, so we re-designed.
And the weather forecast is 80s daily high, 60s daily low — drying conditions! And we are loamy soil, not clay. Loam drys a lot faster.
As said earlier — don’t come early, but come, we have the welcome mat out, and it is looking pretty nice!
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