Woody's Gap Conditions Report

I just returned from Woody's Gap, a key mountain pass in Stage 4 of the Dodge Tour de Georgia, that's about 14 miles northeast of Dahlonega. I drove up there in my rental car, trying to join Josh Hallett the writer of hyku | blog.

When I crossed the line that said KOM (King of the Mountains) on Woody's Gap at about 12:30pm, it began to rain. Then it began to pour. Thunder and lightning started about 20 minutes later. There are some reports of hail at Woody's Gap as well.

After realizing that there was no place to park within 2 miles of the summit in either direction, I turned the car around and came back. I got back to the Media Center in Dahlonega about 1:45.

I would call the conditions above Dahlonega "inhospitable" rather than truly treacherous, but there were places on the descent from Woody's Gap (which must be crossed twice) where it looked like moss and flower buds had fallen from the trees. If riders come upon those stretches at high speed and on an unfavorable line, they may have trouble.

I told Kathleen that the crowd up on Woody's Gap was not as large as you might expect at one of the classic summits in the Tour de France, but it was large. The areas where cars could be safely parked off the pavement were filled for at least five miles on the Dahlonega side of Woody's Gap. I didn't see any people camping up there, but I was not able to look closely since I was driving.