Today we decided to go north on Bottom Road, a common route for cyclists as there is a long flat stretch of about 4 miles that you can really hammer the whole way. We often stop at the the Muscatatuck Wildlife refuge just past Lawson Rd., but today it was crowded, and we just rode further up Bottom Rd, and then turned left onto Woodall Rd., which winds around behind the reserve.
I found a great example of Polyporus squamosis, a shelf mushroom known as the Dryad’s Saddle, which I’ve identified in years past. We crossed a little plank bridge and explored a little on land which is part of the Sycamore Land Trust’s Bean Blossom Bottoms Nature Preserve. I noticed my friend Dawn Hewitt’s name on the dedication sign, she has been really helpful in helping me identify the birds I don’t quite know, including the snow goose we saw on the way back from the ride. I also got some photos of our native swamp buttercup
Ranunculus septentrionali, not as I first feared, the invasive creeping buttercup Ranunculus repens).
I didn’t have a map this trip, but Jojo was curious as to where Woodall Rd. went, and so we followed it along the valley floor to where it intersects with Woodland Rd. This quiet gravel road went west and up a quiet little valley to the ridge, then up and down until finally arriving on Mt. Tabor Rd.
On the way we found whitewater on the Bean Blossom, it is looking more and more like we will have to canoe it to the White River this year. We took Mt. Tabor north, it was way cool to ride down Mt. Tabor hill, I’ve come up a few times in summer and once on the Hilly Hundred, it’s a bear. So going the other way, and knowing we didn’t have another climb till we got back home was great. We turned right where Bottom Rd. tees into Mt. Tabor just east of the confluence of Jack’s Defeat and Bean Blossom Creek.
Bottom Road is really beautiful here where the Bean Blossom’s wide valley meanders towards the White River, and riding “upstream” was no problem. We came upon a shady flat land that held half an acre of bluebells and phlox, there was an amazing calming vibe in the blue forest floor.
We crossed the mile of gravel that got us back to Muskatatuck, and then rode the smooth bottoms all the way back to town. Total miles were about over 30, under 35, I don’t really know exactly has my speedometer has be acting wacky. All in all a great farmland ride.