Ice Biking 2010-11

This was a long and cold winter, but I got in only a few good rides this year. My biggest was a 6 hour tour of Lake Monroe that included Moore’s Creek Bay, the causeway, Back Creek and Potter’s Cave, and finally to Axom Branch, where the stone cabin ruins are to be found. On the way back, just rounding the corner opposite Rush Ridge, I went through the ice where a spring had thinned the 6 inches of ice. Fortunately, I was riding my long wheel base recumbent, and only the front wheel went in. I was up to my armpits in the water, but it was easy to roll off onto the ice. I watched a second and realized it was wedged in, but would soon enough sink, so I grabbed the handle bars and pulled back and up but it was stuck. I realized I should not put extra weight near the hole, but there was little I could do about that. I pushed a little to free it, then pulled back and the bike came out. I stood around for about ten minutes, drying my Iphone and waiting to see if you was going to go into shock or get really cold.

But neither of these things happened. So I got back on the bike, and moved closer to shore where I knew the water was not deep, and made my way back about a mile to Pine Grove. Climbing the hill back to 446 warmed me up, and I only noticed the cold in my feet as I rode the 9 miles back home.

From Ice bike ride, Dec 28, 2010
From Ice bike ride, Dec 28, 2010

Owls at Griffy

Barred OwlLast night (Friday), I was walking around the Griffy Creek valley just before sunset. As I descended the ridge a Barred Owl, Strix varia, started hooting from the other side of the ravine, and continued for about 5 minutes. I walked into the main valley and was watching the sunset sky through the silhouetted trees, when I saw a large bird fly from one ridge to another, rounded wings tips leading me to think it was the barred owl. But soon the unmistakable sound of a great horned owl, Bubo virginianus, filled the valley. Soon a second started hooting, but a bit more quietly, from the other side of the valley.

They called back and forth for 15 minutes, moving ever closer together, each with its own particular tonality and resonance. They were still calling as I left the valley after dark, and as it seemed like date night in the valley, I was happy to leave them to their good times.

From Mitch's Bike Maps