Bottom Rd Loop

After spending time at the Holiday Market, Eileen, Jojo and I went to the Laughing Planet for lunch. After that Jojo and I headed north on old 37, using Hillview and Audubon Streets to avoid the nasty, curvy ride up the highway.

Just after coming down Firehouse hill, I noticed Jojo was way behind me, and I pulled around to see what was up.  His front shifter wire had snapped and he could use only the smallest front ring, making it hard to stay up to speed after the hill. We decided to go on to Sample Rd, as it was he had no problem climbing hills. We crossed the ridge on Sample, and came down Simpson Chapel to Bottom Road and through Cascades Park.

This was our first cold weather ride, and other than some chapped lips, not a problem. We both overdressed and had to be taking stuff off  as we climbed and then putting it back on when we cooled off riding into the valleys.

Distance: 22 miles

Weather: Cool 35-45 degrees, but with sunshine behind lots of different types of clouds.

Nature Journal: Dandelions, fall purple asters. The pasture just north of Dolan finally has cattle grazing in it, for the past few years they have been scraping the topsoil  and piling it up for sale, I would guess it is quite fertile. Years ago this pasture had brahma bulls and longhorn steers, now it looks like an angus herd has moved in.

Walking on Lake Monroe

We rode to Pine Grove today, and the water was as far down as we have ever seen it. In February we rode on the frozen lake, but today we walked on the lake bottom! We rode the long way, rather than go straight to 446, we went south to Rhohrer Rd., then down Moore’s Creek Rd, and up Schwartz Ridge, a hill that will try anyone. This added about 5 miles and a big climb to the ride.

The whole Pine Grove leg of the lake is now dried out with the channel of Salt Creek winding through as it did before the valley was flooded. We walked all the way east along the lake bed to where it bends to the north, had a little something to eat, and then came back. It was warm (in the upper 50’s), but the only birds we saw were the ever present Canadian geese, and a flock of sea gulls. The lake bed was covered with funny grass and sticker bushes in some spots, while it was all cracked mud in the lower areas. The colors in the trees were great, last week there was green along the creek, today it was all orange/brown.

Color on the ridge, Moore’s Creek valleyLooking across the dry lake bedDried lotus in mud

Gallery of Photos

Distance: 25 miles, plus a hike.
Nature Journal: Canada geese, sea gulls and buzzards. “Brown-eyed Susies” along the shore, and a dandelion here and there

Rainy Pine Grove Mudflats

This Sunday was cool and a little cloudy, but we were prepared, and had a good ride, even though we did hit some rain several times.

Picture Gallery

The waters was still way down, and we could clearly see the channel of Salt Creek winding across the valley. The rain was light until we started back, as soon as we hit the ridgetop, it started to rain, and we got caught in a short downpour, hiding under the porch at Bombers on old 446. We didn’t see many birds, I guess all herons and egrets have already headed south, but there were black-eye susie type flowers growing right along the shore.

The rain was light until we started back, as soon as we hit the ridgetop it started to rain, and we got caught in a short downpour, and hid under the porch at Bombers on old 446.

Distance: 20 miles

Mitch at the channel of Salt Creek Old fence row trees on the mud flatsBrown-eyed Susies

Birdie Galyan Forest Ride

Weather: 60 degrees and sunny
Length: 22 miles
Route: Kerr Creek to Gettys Creek, SR 46 to Birdie Gaylon, east on Mt Gilead to SR 45 to home.

Pictures of the ride and fall in the forest are here

I was starting on the east side of town, and so went straight out 3rd St along the path, till it stops at Smith Rd. I just stayed on 3rd St., the the lanes are quite wide, so even without a lane it was not too bad.

I took a left down Kerr Creek, braking on the hill, it is pretty rough. I rode the 2 miles through the valley, and then took a right on Getty’s Creek to the highway, where I jogged over to Birdie Galyan.

I climbed the long, quiet, forested hill to the ridgetop, then rode down the newly paved road, where it ends at the forest road. I started down the dirt road, but soon came upon Mike Wysong (who lives on the ridge) with his truck and a passle of teenage boys just coming out of the forest after playing paintball.

Birdie Galyan RidgeBirdie Galyon Ridge Rd.Deer Rack on SUV

This was surprising, but not so much as coming to the clearing which was logged last year. It had grown over, started to heal, and I got off my bike was parking it, when I had this feeling. I looked all around, and quickly saw a guy sitting in a tree stand about 200 feet away. He had on his camo clothes and held a rifle. I said “Sorry, I’ll head out”, and I did so quickly. I asked him which way to go, and he told me, and I was soon out of the forest. I saw his SUV, rigged with a deer rack, parked just outside the gate.

I headed north on Birdie Gaylan, and waved at Jen as she was driving home. I turned back to town when I got to Mt. Gilead. I rode into the valley, and back out again, from there it was an easy ride home. It was a wonderful, quiet ride through the woods on a beautiful day.