So last weekend I did a 30 mile ride around Blackwater starting with the Red Rock Loop. Actually before I did the ride I sunk two posts in the ground near the trail head, one for a trail head sign and another for maps and such. Then I loaded up and went for a ride. I did the loop backwards (Seprentinas first). The shaping of the trail was a huge benefit when it comes to riding through the turns. The first ones I cut were starting to look aged like they had always been there. The others worked very well. They are subtle enough that the aren’t intimidating to the casual rider. The further back I went on Serpentinas the more of the clearing I saw. It isn’t bad, just different and I think it will only take a weekend to get the trail fixed where the crossed it or inadvertently knocked stuff onto it. The burned areas were stark (after the rain this week I figured they would have disappeared but they were still visible today) but they should green up quickly. I did a casual loop and then headed up the road to the intersection of Pleasant Home Rd and Red Rock Rd. They did some fuel wood cutting there so I wanted to see how it looked after the fact. They created a nice road that runs maybe a half mile with several finger roads into the forest. It looks ravaged but it will be different in a year. I don’t know that it would be worth looking into a trail there but it is nice and open. I headed up Sandy landing road and took a new fire break that had recently been cut. It just made a loop around some private property but it rode nice. It looks like they used a small bulldozer so maybe next trail I can rent a bobcat and build a trail in a weekend instead of a year. Then I just roamed northward looking at the dogwoods and pine forests. There are a lot of beautiful roads that just dead end. It would be sweet to tie them together somehow. I saw two fox squirrels, one tan and the other black and one largish snake. About 25 miles in I stopped for lunch which consisted of a Nutella sandwich and a coke. I was hoping to continue on afterwords but I felt instantly weak and sore. Maybe all the sugar or maybe too much sun and antibiotics. Either way I headed back to the car. I felt fine the next day but I definitely got more sun than I needed.
On Wednesday we broke with tradition and instead of going to sleep in front of the TV at 9:00, we went to see Robert Earl Keen at Vinyl Music Hall. I can’t say it was worth the $90 we spent on tickets and beer but it was a really good show. His band was tight and the crowd was enjoying the show. He covered a Grateful Dead song (Rider?) and Bob Dylan’s ‘Tangled Up In Blue’. We stayed up past midnight.
Saturday We did trail work at UWF. I made it 6 hours but we got so much done. Sunday Barbara and I took the dogs to Blackwater to look at the trail and play in the creek. Beautiful weather and it looks like there are people riding the trail in spite of the work and the fire. Barbara found a native azalea in bloom down by the trestle. The creek was cold and the Schnauzer is getting old so we didn’t go far. There is a lot of fuel wood cutting going on in the forest. Must be a money maker.