In addition to loading and firing the anagama, there are plenty of other activities very close by. You can plan about 4 firing shifts, giving you time to enjoy the abundant fishing, hiking, cycling (both paved road, and off road trails), golf (nice course 10 minutes away), exploring the 300 acre farm and it’s wildlife, Raleigh (30 minute drive), etc. Justin and Logan will be taking advantage of the extensive road bike trails in the area, and we welcome others to join the ride. If you need to “ship” your bike, visit your local shop for details (it’s worth it for sure).
We will organize studio visits with artists Mark Hewitt, Daniel and Kate Johnston, Ben Owen, and the list goes on and on. It’s impossible to visit all the wonderful artists studios within 90 minutes of of the farm. You are free to explore studios on your own (Seagrove is about 75 minutes away) as well.
Bill Schell (engineer extraordinaire, husband to May Wong, OmniTemp creator, endurance cyclist, etc.) had this to say about cycling during Ashfest 2014:
Cycling in Central N.C…. (by: Bill Schell – May 2014)
There are a number of cycling opportunities, as an adjunct to the “AshFest” celebration near Bailey. – I suspect the first decision the cyclist must make is ‘rural roads’ or ‘urban greenway’. There are definitely both and both have their pros and cons. The “rural roads” can be accessed directly from the Dan Finch Pottery / Nursery property by using the north-south trending State Road 581 as access to the rural roads. Further there is the North Carolina Bicycle Route 2 just north of the Finch property less than a mile. The North Carolina Bicycle routes are an extensive range of paths through the rural – mostly farmland (mostly very lightly travelled roads (most with NO bicycle lane)).
From the Finch Pottery location one can easily ride to many local small towns, in rides of up to about 30-40 miles (round trip). I would stay away from the ‘larger’ municipalities like Wilson, unless you like
the traffic and congestion…
Just east of Raleigh (Wake Forest and Knightdale to be exact) there is also the main, “Neuse River Trail” (a mostly north-south-trail) less than a 30 minute drive away. This trail connects to several others and has those characteristics of most urban trails in that it is ‘dedicated’ to cycling (and walking) and there are no automobiles, and the Neuse River Trail is heavy in it’s wildlife, serenity and shade. The Neuse River Trail runs about 27 miles in ONE direction, if you don’t visit the ‘connected’ trails, and almost 50 miles in ONE direction if you DO VISIT the ‘connected’ trails.
There are a plethora of cycling – trail web-site – links that one can use. However, some of the ones that I ‘thought best’ seem to have disappeared…
Several that ‘seem’ to have stayed are: http://www.traillink.com and http://www.mapmyride.com as well as http://www.bikeroute.com. Each requires different ‘criteria’ to find a certain trail, I’ll leave that ‘detail’ to the reader… I hold no connection to any of these, and they may disappear before this gets published, so don’t blame me…