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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Exploring Like a 10-Year-Old

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The day was hard to beat in so many ways! For starters we are having what may be the last really warm days of the season. It made 70 degrees in mid afternoon. And where was I? For once, NOT stuck inside on such a glorious day.

I have this dream of an adventure loop that encircles our county. Pieces of it are already in place and it has occurred to me that if I just figured out some connections that would work for the rest of it that it could be publicized.

So aided by maps and some suggestions from Ramona, my favorite Forest Service person, I headed to the woods with my bike. I wanted to explore a workable route to ride on forest roads in various stages of abandonment. Most of them have no marking.

I parked at a known intersection and followed what looked like a "nothing" path into the woods. It came out where I expected despite being a pathway not on either of the maps I had, and I just kept wiggling my way west on pathways, and I DID connect right up with a known trail system that I was looking for. Sweet!

Then I rode back and went the other way. I wasn't sure that this road went through at all. It got pretty faint, and came to a creek. I explored on the other side, and the road did continue so I carried the bike over and rode on. The road got better the farther I went till it was a nice sand forest road that came out right where I expected.

So I rode back to the car via better roads, moved the car, and continued to ride the "route" on more civilized roads (there is a section in the middle with no National Forest land so it will have to be just a road ride). Made it to US31, turned around and went back to the car.

Total time on the bike- about 3 hours, with more "off road" riding than I usually do. It was really great. What more can I say? I'm doing it again tomorrow on the next section, but there won't be quite so much serious exploring.

I have to say that I've rarely gone in search of forest connections with so few dead ends or curious twists that don't go where I expect them to. I did check out a few dead ends, but all my hopeful connections worked on the first try. Everyone needs a day like this once in a while, eh?

(Did you do the puzzle? Note the three big oaks.)

See Ellen and Joan Sneak in an Adventure
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