What a ride I had today ! Iím an old roadie whoís been getting his legs back and today I got muddy, endured a couple of "forced dismounts" (I fell off...) And basically had a real good time.
No specifics as to the location here sorry but this is prime hunting ground and I donít want things spoiled. I went out to one of the local WMAís (Wildlife Management Areas) and unloaded the bike and began my usual ride. I noticed an overgrown trail off to the side of one of the access roads and on the spur of the moment turned and threaded my bike between the boulders blocking the entrance.
The trail started nice, wide & flat with a narrow path of worn vegetation in the center. There is a good sized stream which parallels the trail for a few miles as it leads deeper into the WMA.
Another trail soon joined the first and tracks from ATVís and horses were now visible. Now traveling through deciduous trees and open fields the trail began to narrow and climb. I came to an intersection where the ATV tracks parted from the hoof prints and it looked as if the ATV trail was looping back to the parking area.
I followed the horses.
Things began to get interesting now. I was climbing up in through the conifers, looking down on the stream. I saw a couple of beaver dams with active beaver swimming. (Have to remember where once trapping season starts.) I stopped for a brief rest & a drink and managed to see a great blue heron on the banking below me stalking frogs in the shallows.
The trail was narrow here, rutted with roots cris-crossing the pathway. Had to grab the granny gear a couple of times and endured my first forced dismount (crash) when I failed to look far enough ahead on a switchback, ...at least I didnít go over the handlebars.
After about a half mile of this I came out atop the hill and had a long stretch of flat yet twisty single track meandering through the pines and some small open clear cut areas. I stopped to check out the open areas and there was deer scat everywhere, they are obviously feeding on the low browse vegetation there.
Found a fair amount of coydog poop too. Why would I care ? Because they might be feeding on the deer. How did I know itís coydog poop ? Because it looks like dog poop but its smaller and is full of fur & bones. I doubt iffiní a coyote would take down a deer by itself as they are solitary hunters, but itís probable. Anyway coyotes donít bother me, itís the coydogs. Coydogs are pack hunters. They will go after a full grown deer and they are often the source of what are mistaken for coyote attacks on humans round these parts. There have been several documented attcks in this area recently. I had my friend JMB with me so I wasnít overly concerned.
I threw the chain off the front rings twice because of botched shifts as I went up and down several short steep hills, splashed through a mud hole in the middle of the trail and just barely got out of it without dismounting.
(Note to self - get basic tools.) There were a couple of sections where I managed to stay in control only by the use of adrenaline and foul language.
After two hours going in and not finding the other side or any signs of civilization and several more mud holes, I turned around and headed back the way I came in. I briefly explored some of the side trails and except for a very few hoof prints didnít see any evidence of any other humans, no tire tracks, no foot prints, not even garbage. Only things I saw or encountered on the trail were the beavers, the heron, lots of frogs, a big black snake and a spikehorn buck on the edge of one of the open areas.
I got back to my truck dripping with sweat, splattered with mud and with a serious case of rubberlegs. In short it was a perfect morning. I havenít felt this kind of elation since I completed my first century ride.
So pardon me iffin' I donít disclose the exact location of this place. Itís fairly perfect and I want it to stay that way.