Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Elachee Nature Center

Sunday it rained. I considered riding my road bike, but that thought lasted about 10 seconds.

I still hadn't seen everything at Elachee, and with my family in Baton Rouge, I didn't have to worry about whether dragging the kids around in 40 degree rain would get me a call from DFACS or not. Torturing myself, on the other hand, is fine, per Georgia law. Seemed like a good idea too.

The rain kind of let up a little on the way over. When I started walking it was barely sprinkling. But it was still wet, and the bridges were slick.

 Ed Dodd Bridge

Apparently I was in beaver territory.

 Beaver Damage

I started out just hiking the "short trails". They're close to the nature center, well marked, family friendly, and offer some nice views this time of year.

 Geiger Overlook View

 Ed Dodd Overlook View

Speaking of family friendly, I ran into a family and their dog, also braving the rain. The short trails took around an hour to explore, maybe less. I'd figured as much so I had a plan for how to spend the rest of the day too...

I've got a mock adventure race coming up in December and I need to practice navigating by map and compass. I do a good bit of that most weekends, but not with the same precision that I'll need for the race. Before I left the house, I put 6 checkpoints on my map and my goal was to navigate to each dot and mark a waypoint with my GPS. Then later, back at home, I'd see how close I came. There are also some old trails and roadbeds that I wanted to check out. 2 birds with one stone.

The first checkpoint was on a little spur off of the West Lake Trail. I had more trouble than I'd expected locating it. I realized I rely on already having knowledge of the terrain more than I thought I did. My waypoint was off by about 100 feet or so on that one.

The second was on a little knob off of Old Johnson Road. Or at least, what I call Old Johnson Road. I don't know what it's real name is, but according to USGS maps, it once connected to what is now Johnson Road, but a high school and neighborhood have long since obliterated that connection.

Before hitting that checkpoint, I followed Old Johnson until it ran into a fence at the back of somebody's yard, then followed a trail from there that led all the way to the corner of two fence lines, one from a house and one from the high school. It was odd. I'd expected the trail to at least follow the fence or something, but it just dead ended right there at the corner.

I did find some interesting artifacts along Old Johnson...


 New Yorker 1

 New Yorker 2

 New Yorker 3

What's a Lew Nonken Deluxe? More on that later...

At this point it was really starting to rain. My rain gear kept my body warm and dry, but my socks were starting to get damp and wet feet are miserable.

The second checkpoint was easier to find and I nailed it dead on, but it was still a little more difficult than I expected. I appear to have an easier time going somewhere random and then figuring out where that is on the map than knowing where I want to go on the map and then getting there in real life. Seems like those should be equally easy, but for some reason, to me, they're not.

The third checkpoint was down along a creek and I ended up overshooting it. I figured out where I was, but it was starting to get dark and I needed to get out before that. I figured I wouldn't get all 6 but I didn't expect to only get 3, and not really even get those. Looks like I've got some work to do.

I met my folks for dinner and went back to their place to help move some furniture. We also looked at the photos of the car. Who the heck is Lew Nonken, why is the N backwards in his last name and why was this car his "Deluxe"? Google knows nothing about any Lew Nonken, and if Google doesn't now about it, it must not exist. My mom had a hunch that it was a Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth, so she started looking. I don't know how, but she figured it out. It was either a 1953 Chrysler Windsor or New Yorker and part of the trim was missing... Oh, wait, New Yorker not Lew Nonken. Part of the first N was broken off, the backwards N is a Y and the little N's are little R's. Duh. How is it that I didn't see that before?

We'll here's the complete car:

Lew Nonken, hah!

No comments:

Post a Comment