Short damp turkey ride

Jojo had to get to Greene County by 5, and it rained all morning, so we set out about 1pm. We stopped by a picked up Holly on the way, and then headed east on the Park Ridge path, then to the 446 intersection, and headed out 46 to Kerr Creek Rd. We headed down and even though it was wet and bumpy, that last steep incline pushed the speed up, and we sailed down the cool quiet valley. As we were on short time, I did not stop for photos, except when we saw three turkeys browsing the fields to our right. Jojo and Holly kept up a good pace, especially up hill, while I lagged behind, taking in the scenery while they chatted. We came to Getty’s Creek, headed north to Mt Gilead, then climbed the hill, which according to Google Earth, goes from 665 feet to 800 feet amsl, a climb of 135 feet.

Total miles: less than 20, I realized I need to recalibrate my computer, and when I did it was set way wrong, I should have checked when I got it.
Wild Turkeys on Kerr Creek

Wed evening ride and swim

June 20
I started out alone about 6 pm and headed to the the lake, went down Harrell and Handy, I stopped down at the Moore’s Creek boat ramp, I thought it was possible I had dropped my wallet while out there on Sunday, but no. So climbed the hill and moved back north, but took a side road off the ridge and hit the lake for quick swim at sunset, very refreshing and amazingly quiet, no boats, just me and the herons. I came back up the hill and back up Handy and Harrell, riding through the evening chorus of birdsong into the setting sun. Just after cresting the hill, I got a call from Eileen she had found my wallet in a pair of pants, I was saved, and the ride was well worth it.
Low water at the LakeSwiming at the LakeLake Monroe just before sunset

Summary: 32 miles, 14.5 out, but 11.5mph back, I had to walk up a gravel hill.
Sightings: 2 Great blue heron, ducks and daisies, and the elderberry is still blooming.

Another day at the Lake

Sunday June 17
Summary: 40 miles with only 2 big hills (one gravel) and 3 hours in the water. Turkeys on Handy Road, great blue herons flying over head all day, and a pileated wood pecker leading us down Handy Rd. avg 11.3 (we had to walk up a gravel road from the lake.)

We took Harrell to Handy Rd, and down to Moore’s Creek Boat Ramp. Riding down Handy Rd Jojo spotted some turkies behind a house and I stopped to watch as they perambled into the woods and disappeared in the underbrush. We again rode through the woods to our path to the rock beach we were at last week. We had been drifting around on our cushions for a while we we saw big white boat coming right at us and we headed out of the way, assuming they had not seen us, but as we moved towards shore (we were a few hundred feet out) it followed our trajectory, and I felt they were delibarately coming towards us. I asked Jojo if they were cops, as I can’t see much without my glasses. He said yes, and they pulled up to us. We were told that we could not swim except in the low idle zones, it was too dangerous where we were. We had to admit there were speedboats everywhere, running wide open in many cases. It was kind of galling to be thrown out so that people can run their boats at high speed with no regards to the fumes, water pollution, noise pollution, especially in the water, and carbon release. We didn’t use an ounce of gas to get there or on the lake, yet we have to make way for the fools who run around the lake like they are in a Miami Vice episode.

We move along as they say, found a nice secluded area in a low idle zone and swam for for another hour or so. We shared the lakeside with kayakers and a family picnic, but with no high speed boat traffic. We could hear the birds and under water was quiet as it should be. We saw a heron fly over the bay and somehow, with his 7 foot wingspan, disappear in the the tightly packed trees on the hillside.

Hot hazy dayLake Monroe Water PlantMud flats
Purple and yellow vetchesElderberry flowersButterfly weedTrumpet vineTwo old vehicles

Lake loop w/ longcuts

Thurs June 14
I stopped over and picked up friend Holly in Eastgate, and we headed south to Jackson Creek School and over to Harrell and Stipp Roads. We took a couple of longcuts that make for lower stress bike riding. It was as hotter than it has been this year, I was worried about bonking, but we kept a good pace and did not overheat. The ride down Stipp was great as usual, fast (60 mph) and cooling. The lake was busy with families fishing, the creeks feeding it are dried up, and the bridge over Moore’s Creek was dismal, with stagnant, fetid water covered with green algae. We found a few clear pools farther up the stream bed, then rode up Schwartz Ridge and back to town on Knight’s Ridge Road.

Summary: 25 miles, hot weather but the wind kept us cool. No running water in any creeks, and no wildlike sightings to speak of. Avg speed 12.5.

Kerr Creek Garlic June 10

Jojo was out this weekend with back problems, and I had to spend most of my time working on the walnut tree that went down in our back yard. So I was a bit whipped to begin with, but knew I had to ride.

I stopped and Bfoods on 3rd St for some lunch and headed out SR 46 to Kerr Creek Rd. This is a find down hill that spills out into a long valley, but be careful the bottom third of the hill is patchy and I had to brake through that are after hitting 50 mph on the upper section. The wildflowers were great, I found the first wild bergamont of the season, it flowers before the more colorful garden plant. At Gettys Creek I headed north to Mt. Gilead Rd., then took that NW to SR 45, and home via 10th St.

Distance: 20 miles, avg 12.5 mph, weather warm and breezy, 80 degrees and sunny

Sightings: Wild bergamot, pasture rose, wild garlic and bindweed, plus tons of red clover and a really green beetle. The elderberrys are flowering as well, I try to remember where they are, you have to get to them early, or the birds eat them all.

Dry Kerr Creek bedIridescent Green BeetleWild Garlic

Pasture RoseWild Bergamot

Path to the Lake Ride

We decided on an easy ride after work, so we went west on Allen (not that easy after 5pm), then south on Weimer Rd. to the Multi-use path on Tapp Rd. We rode it to the end, then went west on Church Lane over to Fairfax and the up to Harrell. Harrell to Stipp, and on down to the Lake, where we watch the herons, geese, deer and fishermen around the lake. We rode back up Moores Creek, then down Rhorer to Jackson Creek school and the bike route back to Elm Hts and home.

Distance: 28 miles, avg 11.5, not bad for after work and a tough hill.
Hot on the hills, cool coming down, it was a great evening.

The Clear Creek path is easy riding, flat and smooth for several miles, but it is quite busy with walkers, runners, skaters and bikers all passing through. We saw this heron fishing on the far side of the bay from us, he took off when brought my bike out on the little bluff for a picture.

Clear Creek Path, June 07Great Blue Heron fishingPurple Rans at Moore’s Creek

Swimming with the Snakes

June 3, 2007

Jojo has been working demolition on his own house, an old one to be sure, and he had insulation and black soot in his soul, so we decided a lake ride. (After all we were surfing just the week before.) Jojo hooked up the trailer and brought his waterproof duffle and 2 floating pads to play with, as well as towels, food, sunblock the whole thing. I had both of my wateproof saddlebags, packed similarly. We wanted to test our ability to travel while fully loaded. As it turned out swimming and sun took more out of me than traveling with weight! But it seems quite possible to pull a load at least 50 miles a day, I am sure we could do more, I have done more, but I was not my best the day after. Right now I think I could do 50 miles/day for a few days, perhaps I would get better as I went, but then again we could bonk. We are hoping to make some 2 day trips with equipment to see how it goes, I think a ride to Spring Mill is about 40 miles, and very scenic. I would love to go the longer way back to the west and stop at the rise of the Lost River in Orangeville.

This Sunday, there were heavy clouds in all directions, we started about 10 am. It felt damp and cool, I remember wearing my light shell. We had a quiet ride to the water treatment plant, and then road downhill and past the big parking lot. We looked at the beach by the yacht club, but then move on to a path in the woods. My recumbent had the advantage in the woods, most of the branches went over my head, while Jojo’s face was perfectly aligned to meet them. As we rode the first hundred yards, a doe leaped across the path right in front of us, and disappeared in the trees, even though they were only 30 feet thick before dropping away to the lake. You just can’t see them once they stop.

We found a path down to the lake and took our gear to the stoney beach. We waited a few minutes, hoping that the sun would emerge, it was warming up a bit, but the cloud cover was still heavy, big moving boomers in every direction.

The Buzzard Chaser at the yacht clubYacht Club BeachMonroe view-cloudy haze

We started into the water with Jojo’s floatation pads, I jumped in though it seemed cool with no sun, but after paddling about a bit, the water felt fine. We floated around for a while, relaxing in the cool clear water. There was a log mostly submerged that stuck out into the lake. I checked around it for underwater hazard, but it was clear and about 6 feet deep. The underwater portion was covered with green gunk, but we tried and succeeded in walking out to the end and diving into the water, big fun!

Da logMitch gets his footingHidden help, the log had 2 slippery branches

Ready for anythingJojo DivesThat’s me underwater!
Western Cloudy Skies turn to...Blue Skies

Yep, hard to believe but while we were in the water, the clouds parted and the sun shone through. We swam out from shore a ways and I tried to touch bottom, but could not. I freaked, I admit when I was down 12 or 15 feet, and I could not see the bottom, only green water. WHAT’S DOWN THERE? screamed by old brain, I came back up, twice. It is much easier to dive when you can see!

We ate lunch, and watched a pretty little water snake swim along shore line and disappear the other side of our dive log. We swam some more, but finally had to come in due to the number of boats cruising near us. We packed up and headed back home. The ride was easy other than the climb from the lake, and we took our time, swimming and sun can put the burn to you.

Route & Distance: Bike route to Jackson Creek, Rorher to Harrell, and over to Handy Rd to the end, and then down the hill to the boat ramp. Totals miles:30
Weather:75-85, Clouds, some rain, blue sky and sun, a typical Indiana day.
Sightings: Water snake, deer on the path, buzzards, peacock screams, the smell of wet pine on a warm wind, one squashed turtle.