Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for the 'Mixed-Mode Adventures' Category

New year, new terrain

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

My friend Dave and I had been trying to connect for a ride all last week, but schedules and conditions conspired against us. We did, however, get out for a New Year’s Day ride. He came up with a great idea that would take mixed terrain to the next level. Here’s a map.

Even though temperatures the day before had climbed to nearly 60 degrees, it was in the 30s during our ride. However, the strong south winds remained.

We rolled out.

DSCF3190

DSCF3191

Along the way, we ran into Doug, a friend of Dave’s who I’ve ridden with a couple of times before. We talked to him and his wife for a few minutes before going our separate ways.

There were some good hills, and nice views, along Ketcham Road.

DSCF3200

DSCF3208

DSCF3216

After about nine miles, we reached the Cedar Bluff Nature Preserve.

DSCF3221

We locked our bikes in a ditch …

DSCF3296

… and headed out on foot to hike the trail. I guess you could call this a mixed-mode adventure!

The creek was high …

DSCF3237

With pervasive evidence of beavers …

DSCF3228

DSCF3231

The trail became more rugged, involving careful rock-stepping alongside the creek.

DSCF3246

Here I am making my way across some rocks (photo by Dave).

photo

Looking up at the bluff.

DSCF3248

The bluff is a very narrow point.

DSCF3250

I was testing some new hiking/biking shoes. I’ll write about them later. First impressions are positive.

DSCF3253

This was my first time on the trail, while Dave had hiked it many times before. His knowledge came in very handy. He knew the best place to stop and skip rocks in the creek.

DSCF3254

DSCF3255

Now we had a scramble up the back side of the bluff, on wet, leaf-covered, mossy rocks. Needless to say, they were quite slick. We made it up without incident, with Dave making it look like a breeze.

DSCF3257

DSCF3260

The top afforded us excellent views.

DSCF3261

It’s odd to see the cedars growing right out of the rock.

DSCF3267

DSCF3270

DSCF3274

The back side of the bluff had a ravine with a creek in it.

DSCF3279

We enjoyed a snack while we took in the views. What a great spot!

DSCF3280

DSCF3282

DSCF3283

Now, it was time to walk back down the way we came. Once again, it was tricky.

DSCF3288

Here I am coming back down (photo by Dave).

photo (5)

Once again, Dave made quick work of it and got down off the bluff well before me.

DSCF3289

Now we had to retrace our steps back on the rocky creek shore.

photo (4)

Dave pointed out this very funny pair of trees, known as the “upside-down lady.”

DSCF3295

It wasn’t a long hike, mileage-wise (maybe 1.2 miles) but it was a tricky one, and we took time to explore.

We got back on our bikes and rode back, taking a different route that added a few miles but had fewer hills.

DSCF3301

DSCF3302

Soon, we had a tailwind. Sweet!

DSCF3307

DSCF3309

DSCF3310

DSCF3311

We turned onto Gore Road, a new road for me and a great find. Thanks to Dave for showing me this alternative to Old State Road 37!

DSCF3316

DSCF3319

DSCF3332

DSCF3339

We still had to spend some time on Old 37, but Gore Road avoided a few miles of it in fine fashion.

DSCF3340

DSCF3343

We made our way back to my house. Ride + hike togetherĀ totaledĀ 21 miles or so, but neither part was easy. This was a lot of fun, and we already have ideas for other, similar outings.

I took a break from biking and hiking the next couple of days, and spent some quality time with my wife. The break was much-needed, as was our time together. Now I feel refreshed and ready for all the craziness that this year has in store for us.

I hope everyone is having a Happy New Year!

Ear to the Breeze is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).