March 3, 2006
Jojo and I decided to ride around the Lake Monroe this Saturday. We rode down 446 and across the causeway, stopping for a few minutes at Cutwright. We headed up th hill and made quick work of the miles to Chapel Hill Road, we headed west into 30 mph wind, buddy it was colder than riding on Lake Monre 2 weeks go. This is when the snow really picked up, we had heavy flurries all the way back. This was actually quite nice, the snow would come and go, but did not stick to the road, it seemed to be blowing sideways, and so stuck to one side of any upright item, fence posts, cows, trees, bikers, etc.
We stopped at the dam and watched the water from the lake become Salt Creek again. We then headed up Strain Ridge, and instead of using our normal route back (Ramp Creek to Handy to Harrell and then Rhorer.) This time we came back up Fairfax Rd, which I normally avoid due to traffic, but there was little traffic. We came up old Walnut, and then home.
Avg mph: 11.8
Sightings: 1 Hawk, dozens of vultures, domestic fowl, and wild ducks.
Temp: 20 degrees with wind from 10-35 mph blowing from the west. I was the hardest riding the ridges, but the coldest was when we stopped on the dam and the wind whistled across the frigid lake.
We got excited when we saw this frozen leg of the lake, it looked like we might do more ice riding. But when got to the causeway, it was obvious that would not be an option. There was a rolling mass of broken ice pushing up against he causeway, with the high winds and regular waves, it was quite hypnotic.
We stopped at Cutright, we wanted to see where we had but in 2 weeks ago. We saw a a large flock of buzzards flying low, and we went over to watch. I couldn’t get close enough for a good shot, but they were on the ground hopping around, spreading their wings and jumping up and down, landing on a nearby sign. We thought it could be a mating dance, or possibly a fight, who knows. We then rode up the ridge and on to Chapel Hill. We stopped to buy some nuts and Krazy Joe’s and took a snack break, and I took a picture of one of my favorite subjects, a water tower. It is because these incredible pieces of technology that we have water, even if the electricity is down (way to go hydrolics!)
Here are some sights along Chapel Hill Road. The picture of the duck pond should have sound, it was just amazing, especially since there were turkeys and some exotics across the road, it was stereo fowl sounds.
I just have to mention the lumbering fools who removed so many trees on the norht side of Chapel Hill, this land has been raped. According to state law, loggers are not allowed to leave the tops and other “scrap” in the valleys, yet the fines are so low, they almost always ignored. What a waste!
We continued along Chapel Hill and took the right on Guthrie Road, which tees at Mission Valley, where we headed north to the alps and the dam. The alps are are good name, three prety steep climbs, only to come plunging down the road at 45 mph past the dramatic stone walls left when they removed the hillside to build the dam and make the spillway. We stopped to watch the water pour out to reform Salt Creek, and took in the ice all along the dam. We stopped for a picture at the Sanders store and gas station, and then headed home.