Salt Creek fall ride

Monday, Oct. 29, 2007

Pictures of Salt Creek Valley ride

Miles: 22 Weather: Blue skies, white clouds, 60 degrees, perfect riding weather.

I started out about 4:30 pm on Monday, riding east, taking the bike route along Covenanter and Bill Mallory to get to 446. I headed south on old 446, riding most of the way to Pine Grove Church, but I first turned left (east) along Gross Road. It follows a long ridge into the Salt Creek valley north of the lake, about 2 miles. After a bit, it turns to gravel, and becomes forest all around before descending into the valley. It ends at Friendship Rd, also gravel; it follows the course of Salt Creek to the lake from SR 46. I took a picture of the creek, it was down, but still a third full.

Gross Road, along the ridgeRans in the woodsSalt Creek

I rode north to the bridge crossing Salt Creek, and then on to SR46. I made a quick sprint to Gettys Creek Road just about sunset, and took a picture of the ridge. I rode to Kerr Creek and took it up to SR46 and home via the Polly Grimshaw Trail, it was dark by 7:30 pm.

Bridge on Friendship RoadBirdie Galyan Ridge

Moore's Creek & Pine Grove Ride

One of our favorite things to do while riding is visit some water feature, be it lake, creek, waterfall, or spring, water is a destination both Jojo and I appreciate. So the ride down Harrell Rd to Stipp Rd, and then down that great no breaks hill (47 mph this day), and on to the lake at the intersection of Moore’s Creek Rd. We talked to a guy who had his kayak ready to hit the water, but he decided to just walk around and watch the birds, the wind was strong enough from the south to create whitecaps. We rode on the bridge over Moore’s Creek, and even though we had a good rain the week before, it was still as dry as it was in September.

Jojo eyes a kayakDry Moore’s Creek bedFall at the lake edge

After climbing Schwartz Ridge hill, Jojo had to get back to tighten up the house, rain was coming, so he rode north when we got to 446. But I had some time until the Bloomingfoods meeting, so I headed down to Pine Grove. There weren’t nearly as many herons and egrets, so I guess they have started moving south. The lake was still amazingly low, you could clearly see the channel.

Low water at Pine GroveMare and Foal living along old 446Sumac growing along SR 446

Hilly Forest, Low Gap Ride

The starting point for many ridesWe started out about 9:30 from the BBC, and we went out through Cascades Park, crossed Old 37 and made the 2nd left going up Hillview Rd. to Audubon, and thus back to Old 37. This is the safest and easiest route up the ridge, staying on Old 37 with its blind curve on the hill is dangerous going both up and down. We rode through familiar countryside, hitting 37 mph coming down Firehouse Hill into the Bean Blossom Valley. We continued along until we joined the 5000 or so other bikers who were turning onto Old 37 from Sample Rd. I can’t imagine the scene at new 37! Anyhow we got in with the crowd and pedaled to Anderson Rd, made the right turn and took it to Bean Blossom Rd.

Bean Blossom Rd. runs through a beautiful valley and then rises nearly 300 feet over 1.5 miles of quiet smooth blacktop. There were so many riders Jojo had to pull over for a minute while climbing, he got squeezed by slower riders to the right, faster ones on the left and then a SAG car came down the hill. I was surprised by the number of folks who just straight off got off their bikes and walked, but there was a much larger contingent who charged up the first steep incline. I was passed by all sorts of folks, but except for stopping to take a video, I climbed the whole way. Although it is a long climb, there are spots where you are on the level, or even on a little down hill as you ride along to the main ridge, but it seems you climb forever.

[youtube 6EMnAc_ZGRk]

This is the same road where we found the Yellow Ladyslipper and Geraniums last May. I took some videos at the the top, you can see some folks plodding, others trucking and everyone happy. Note the unicycle on the ground, I did not see him ride, but Jojo did, he made it up everything but the steepest par of the hill, and was doing the whole route!

Everyone has a different attitude on reaching the top.
[youtube -x7dg7cxuqg]

[youtube pd_ZDSvebKU]

Hiking the forest trail
[youtube IqQbwDYeQ5o]

The Hilly went west on Forest Rd. at this point, we headed east and had some lunch at the fire tower, then took a short hike along the trail. Then we took Forest Rd. north, we saw no one for miles. After a while we came the Hatfield Ridge timber cut, this just does not make sense, why do we cut timber on public lands? The DNS takes it seriously, the notice we read said you could get banned from the forest if you don’t leave when told to! We then took the right fork onto Rosenbaum Rd, and followed it to Catholic Cemetery Rd, which is a pretty rough surface, and we dropped about 250 feet into a little side valley feeding Indian Creek. I took a shot some cows with incredible black faces and brown bodies, I don’t know what they are.

Hatfield Ridge Timber HarvestHatfield Ridge NoticeIs this really necessary?

View of the Hoosier Hills from the Catholic CemetaryView to the north of Catholic Cemetary, corny ain’t it?Black face cows

We turned right (south) on Low Gap Rd, and started up. Low Gap means you cross the ridge at 833 feet amsl, whereas most tops in the forest are around 900 feet. We stopped near the bottom and took some pictures at C.F. Scheiffer’s Sculture Garden, then kept slowly climbing till the last steep grade to the top, where the Tulip Trace Trail crosses the road as it heads along the ridge.

Scheiffer’s Sculpture gardenMore Limestone SculpturesTulip Trace Trail

It was a long beautiful ride down the long quiet valley to Anderson Rd. We turned west, and headed back to Old 37, up Firehouse Hill, (it was a good thing we had that 2nd lunch), and we then into town down Hillview Rd. and through Cascades Park. Though I still had some push in my legs at the end, I got home, took a shower, and slept for 2 hours, I felt like a blackboard that had been erased, then washed and left to dry, totally blank, I was lucky to get the recycling and garbage out.

We looked for the last of fall’s wildflowers, here is what we found.

I think these are some kind of asterYellow fall flower

These daisy-like flower are greatChicory, looks at the incredible blue in the stamens

Last Swim of Summer…in October!

Sunday, October 7. 2007
The temperature was predicted to be 90 degrees, so Jojo and I headed out at 9 am for Lake Monroe. We decided to test our luck at the point near the Moore’s Creek Boat Ramp, although we have been kicked out of the water here by the Conservation Officers. (They were right, high speed boats were whipping around the corner close to the point. So since then we have found spots that are in the no wake zones of the lake, the CO’s don’t seem to patrol there.)

But this was the 2nd week of October, and we figured they would not be out, and we were right. (Guess which departments the governor has decided to cut to save money? IDEM and DNR are good guesses.)

We found the log we had dove from in early June and it was now 2 feet above the water, so I swam around it, the water was deeper in one direction than another, but bottom at the end of the log was 7-8 feet. There was an underwater branch between the fork, Jojo shot a picture of me standing on it. We dove and swam for more than an hour, diving deep, flipping, cannon balling, the whole nine yards.

The first picture here is a familiar sight to many riders doing the down and back on Handy Rd. This is where the water from Lake Monroe is treated and pumped to the water towers that dot the county. The site is only 740 feet amsl, so water must be pumped uphill to the various towers. For instance, the water tower at SR 45 and Leonard Springs is at 943 feet amsl. I’d like to know the name of the small shells that I find all around Lake Monroe. This one looked normal on the outside, but had an unusual blue-green color inside.

Bloomington Water Treatment PlantLake Monroe ShellLake Monroe Shell 2

Here’s the log; when we were here last, the highest parts were just above the water.

The Log!On the get readySplash!

The water is 7′ deep hereCalm LakeWhoa, now that’s a cool sailboat!

Here’s a couple of Videos of us diving into the cool deep channel water.

[youtube w6QmrnF1ReY]

[youtube Nx09Xwtacgo]