Cycling, hiking, camping, etc — now back in southern Indiana. Words and photos.

Archive for May, 2012

Mother’s Day Hike

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Several years ago we went for a picnic and a hike with my mom on Mother’s Day, and it’s become something of a tradition. It hasn’t happened every year, but we try to do it when possible.

This year, we went to McCormick’s Creek State Park and hiked Trail 7. We had only hiked this trail once before, way back in 2007 if my memory is correct.

Here is mom, just starting down Trail 7.

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The trail starts out following a ridgetop alongside the gorge that contains the creek and waterfall, with some nice rock outcroppings where you can look out over the ravine.

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Naturally, my nephew, Avery, went right to the edge.

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We also had a couple nice views of the creek.

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Including a great place to throw rocks …

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Next we walked on a boardwalk across a muddy area thick with foliage.

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Before long, we reached the White River.

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From there, the trail looped back toward the start.

I had forgotten how great this trail is, with some diverse views and enough ups and downs to be interesting, but not overly strenuous.

More importantly, it was a fun way to spend Mother’s Day. I hope my mom enjoyed it as much as I did.

Mountain Biking at Brown County

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Saturday afternoon I spent a couple hours mountain biking with Dave. Nothing epic, just a few trails at Brown County State Park, including the Aynes Loop, which has a long climb. This is a climb that both of us have ridden many times, so it’s always useful as a benchmark of what kind of shape we’re in. Let’s just say it was an eye-opening experience — it took longer and hurt a lot more than it should have. We made it all the way up without stopping, but it was rough. I really have to get back in shape, but it was a really fun ride.

One fun story: my rear tire had been slipping around a bit and I was riding along somewhat absent-mindedly, thinking about what was going on with my tire when I stuck my knee out too far in a turn and smacked it on a tree. I heard a CRACK! sound echo through the woods. Oddly enough my knee is fine, so I guess I broke the tree …

Supermoon Night Ride

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Last night was a supermoon –  in fact, it was expected to be the brightest full moon of the entire year. Final exams wrapped up last week, and Dave suggested a night mountain bike ride Saturday to coincide with the supermoon. I of course accepted.

We did a variation on our “secret night ride” route we’ve done a few times before (see here and here). It was an excellent ride. Even though it’s not long in terms of distance, we certainly got our share of adventure as we rolled through the woods on muddy, puddle-riddled trails, listening to the coyotes yipping and howling and the whippoorwills whippoorwilling. We watched toads hopping across the trail in our headlight beams, and later, spider eyes glimmering back at us.

One of the route changes involved climbing up on an old eroded horse trail which we had ridden down before, which was difficult enough. However,  climbing it was another story, as we discovered. The trail was steep and the ground wet and slick and we had to push our bikes up for quite some time.

It was also Cinco de Mayo, and Dave had the presence of mind to bring some margaritas in his backpack. Drinking margaritas in the middle of the woods at night was a blast.

An amazing moment occurred as we flew downhill on a gravel road toward a lake, seeing the supermoon rising over the lake with the incredibly loud sounds of buzzing, chirping insects and croaking toads enveloping us.

It was very much the kind of ride I needed. Fun, with a sense of adventure but without being too epic, and great company to top it off. I need more rides like this one!

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