Monday, April 12, 2010

Exploration





I set out from Mulberry Gap yesterday with four other riders to climb up to the Bear Creek Overlook. It's just under 5 miles with about 1,800 ft. of climbing, took us just under an hour. From there, they were planning on doing almost exactly the same ride that I did the day before. We parted ways, and I continued up the mountain to Lake Conasauga. It was another hour, 8 miles, and another 1,000 ft. of climbing to get to the lake.




It was a tad anticlimactic. It was a ton of climbing for such a small lake, but it was pretty. From there I headed down a new to me trail, Tibbs. On the map at the trailhead it showed the trail dumping out on a forest service road that would take me home. The map I was carrying showed the same thing. I still don't know exactly where I missed a turn, but after bombing down the mountain for almost an hour the trail dead ended. I started working my way back up the trail, riding slowly and looking for the turn I must have missed. Consulting my map, I rode up and down the area where I thought the turn must have been. I couldn't see it anywhere. There was however a hiking trail (Emery Creek) that headed in the general direction I wanted to go. I knew I wasn't supposed to ride on a hiking trail, but there was no way I was going to climb all the way back up to the top of the mountain. Plus, I always figured I could play the whole "I'm from out of town" card if anyone gave me a problem. I did encounter a couple of hikers headed down the trail, and they very pleasantly informed me that I was heading in the right direction. I'm sure as soon I was out of sight they started laughing their a**es off. There is a reason the trail is for hiking only. Mainly that you have to cross an ever widening creek/river about a dozen times before getting to the bottom. Doing this with a bike in tow and with stiff plastic soled riding shoes got trickier and trickier as the crossings got wider and deeper. The last crossing was probably 50 feet wide and waist deep. Sarah, you would definitely not have enjoyed this ride. So I made it back to the road, and after another long climb I was back home to the cabin. Note to self: do not return to the Tibbs trail without someone who's ridden it before. I don't know where I'm going to ride today. I got pretty beat up hauling my bike across all those crossings, so it may be a good day for an easy ride. Although situated where I am (mountains in every direction) there may not be such a thing as an easy ride. Over and out.

1 comment:

Matty said...

Sounds like you had fun all the same. I hope the conditions stay nice, they sure are here. Have a fun riding, I'm of to Boyne now. We'll pour a little out to you on Wed.
MN