Monday, August 1, 2011

Dry Creek

Yeah, I rode Dry Creek again Sunday, what about it?

The Dry Creek trails are really, really nice. So nice, in fact that despite being 2 hours from my house and having ridden there twice in recent memory, the frere and I met up for some additional Dry Creekage yesterday morning.

On the way out, I discovered an error in my memory of things too. Apparently the way to spell the name of the community out there and the roads leading to and from it is "Armuchee", not "Amurchee" or "Armurchee." I had struggled with that way back and actually gone out and verified the spelling by looking at a street sign, but apparently I was mistaken because I'd come away with "Amurchee" and called it that ever since. Well, I got it now.

There was one other car in the lot and some folks pulled up in a horse trailer right after we got there.

I always forget that it costs money to park there, so I had to dig around in my change pile. Luckily, my change pile runs deep and there was like 8 or 9 dollars in silver money floating around in there. I only needed $5.


 5 Dollars in Change

The frere was wearing his West Side Bike League kit. Big-up yourself West Side.


Literally, the second I took that picture, he said "Don't do that." Ha! I did it.

Enough screwing around though.


I've finally kind of figured out a loop, or I guess actually a double-loop around the place, so we rode that. The left hand loop was Connector -> Loblolly (north) -> Pinhoti -> Turkey -> Dry Creek -> Mount Joy and then a little backtracking on Dry Creek, Loblolly and the Connector back to the lot.

John declared the trails to be "marbley" which is probably a good description. The soil up there, on that side at least is decomposed limestone, and the trail is strewn with little chunks of it. Sometimes it feels like riding on marbles. The little chunks are squared-off, but occasionally they roll out from under you.

Marbles or not, you can really fly on those trails, even uphill. They roll and flow and there are long lines of sight.

Dry Creek and Mount Joy were anything but joyous though. The underbrush has really grown up in the past few weeks and thorn bushes have come in everywhere. There was no hope of dogding them and we got shredded. They were some kind of special, burning thorns too, where you get scratched and then it burns like you got stung or something. My bro managed to pick up a bit of locust too, which stabbed through his glove when he tried to pull it off. Yay, thorns.

By mid-ride, it was in the high 90's so we stopped where the road crosses the creek to cool off and have a bite to eat. As usual, little schools of fish were hanging out over the road. Some folks were camping nearby. I turned over some rocks to see if there were any of the same bugs that the girls had gotten covered with yesterday - there were.

But the break didn't last long and we spun around the right hand loop: Wheat -> Armuchee -> Saddlehorn -> Armuchee again -> Stirrup -> Loblolly -> Connector. We had meant to take Bridle back up, but I never saw it. I also made a navigation error in there somehwere, thinking Stirrup was Bridle and that it had been mismarked. If I'd looked carefully enough, I'd have realized we crossed the creek already though. Woohoo! Don't trust me to get you anywhere.

We rode for just under three hours but neither of us were up for much more.

Time for a swim.

We'd only passed two riders on horseback all day, but on the way down the creek, we passed a train of maybe ten or more. They were headed back to the lot. I recognized the folks at the back. They'd showed up right after we did and I'd talked to them for a while before we left.

It's such a shock getting into the water. It almost hurts even, but then you just don't want to get out. John was joking about getting covered in bugs again, and I must admit that the thought had crossed my mind, but there were no bugs and I was very happy about that.

If getting into the water was physically painful, getting back out was emotionally painful. "Man, it's gonna be hot..."


The real pain of the day was in my sit bones, or more precisely, the skin that gets pressed between my sit bones and the seat. Garneau bibs are great on the road where you're sitting still most of the time, but the chamois is almost like terrycloth and on the mountain bike, where you get bounced around left and right all day, it might as well be sandpaper. No amount of Chamois Butt'r makes any difference. It hurt to sit in the car on the way home. It hurts now even, a day later. I've got to find a solution to that.

We grabbed some lunch at Chili's in Rome and split up from there.

When I got home, we milled around the house for a few hours and grabbed some dinner at Outback. I was so full from lunch that I just had soup.

With hours of daylight left and the weather finally cooling off, we tried to catch a few fish at the lake. My family caught dozens of tiny fish.


I'd been trying to catch something bigger. I got one nibble, and then I ended up having to drive Sophie to the bathroom. When I got back, I started seeing fish hit the surface all around and I even saw a small bass hovering over the rocks near the shore. It was cooling off, the fish were starting to get active, it was looking good, and then Sophie had to go to the bathroom again. Ok, never mind, time to go home.

The fishing sucked, but the ride was good. I should be able to do some more good riding with my brother again next weekend. It's been a while since we've gotten together regularly, so I'm kind of looking forward to it.

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