Thursday, September 20, 2012

Olde Rope Mill

My family was fairly insistent that I go for a ride today. Oddly insistent. One might even wonder if they were up to something. Either way though, I'm not going to say no, and around noon, I kitted up and jumped on the road bike...

Only to find the chain hopelessly seized.


I recently overhauled the drivetrain on the mountain bike. Looks like the road bike'll be getting the same treatment.

I thought about going for a hike, but that overhauled drivetrain I just mentioned started whining like an under-walked puppy and I couldn't ignore it.

To the Olde Rope Mill!

Once again, it seems that I know every cyclist in Georgia... I ran into Trudy in the lot.


Both of us were like "Hey, I thought it was you, but I didn't want to be that creepy guy/girl creeping up on you..."

It was funny. She was going for a ride here, then a run at Boling Park in Canton, and she gave me the full rundown on the trails there, including a map!

I love little else as much as maps of nearby trails that I haven't been on. Mmmm. Maps.

I was on a mission to explore all the old trails on the other side of the river and the various roads that cross-cut the trails on this side.

We split up, but I eventually ran into her again.

Hi Trudy!

 Trudy Again

I spun a lap around the Explorer Trails and headed across the river, which was incredibly low.

 Low Little River

Normally people are fishing in that water.

Not today.

Last time o meu Padre and I rode here, we took in the broad strokes but I just made note of all the little side trails. This time, I checked out every one of them, or at least as many as I could.

Many of them were garbage.


 Wretched Trail


Several-foot-deep ruts everywhere. It looked like the whole area had been an ATV playground for some time.

Elsewhere, it looked as if maybe the roads just had been built in bad locations and then abandoned to the elements.

 Deep Ruts

Most of the trails were short little dead ends, or led to what seemed like probably private property.

A few were interesting though.

One led to the railroad, where just up the tracks, they were doing some kind of maintenance.

 Railroad Maintenance

One was a crazy downhill, dropping over old farming terraces and ultimately down a 20 foot hill.

Two others just dead ended, prompting a little freehand navigation to get out.

During one of those forays, I discovered an old beech tree with a ladder of nails leading up to its lower branches.

 Beech Nail Ladder

I also discovered the foundation of what I later learned was the warehouse for the old mill.

 Olde Rope Mill Warehouse Ruins

And there was a USGS marker.

 USGS Marker

And a cool snake.

 Brown Water Snake?

At first I thought it was a red-bellied water snake, but maybe it's just a brown water snake. It might have been the disgusting water that made its belly look red.

I followed the trail along the river as far as it took me.

It took me across the river.

 Little River

It took me to the fields of some random park, and to a trail system at that park that I'll have to come back and explore on foot some day.

 No Bikes

But that was about it. There wasn't much else out there.

It was cool to check out the old trails but it'll be even cooler if SORBA and the city carry out their greenway plans. It'll mean replacing the old trails along the river with paved trails and the ones running all up and down the hills with purpose-built single track. I'll miss the gnar of the crazy downhill and the warehouse trail, but in the end, it's the right thing to do and I guess I'll be glad to see it happen.

I guess though, that I'm also glad that I got to ride these today while they're still here.

Damn you right brain and your incessant duality!

On the way back, I crossed the Trestle Rock, just for the heck of it.

 Trestle Rock

Dozens of little darters fled my approach. I'd read about darters before but never seen them. They're really cool. They remind me of gobies but they live in freshwater and they definitely live up to their name.

I noticed a new sign as I approached the lot too.

The story of the old mill.

 Olde Rope Mill Story

Humm, it was an actual rope mill. Ie. they actually made rope there. I'd figured it was a saw mill or a flour mill or something and the owner's name was Rope.

Ha! Shows what I know.

Interesting little bit of history there.

My new drivetrain was satisfied that I'd taken it out for a ride. The one old part that I hadn't changed though, the little ring, was not so happy. It was used to the old and busted chain, and sucked as often as possible all day. No good. I've let chains stretch and gears wear until they skip, but never have I had to replace a little ring until now.

Well, that makes two bikes with problems. I guess I know where I'm going first thing in the morning.

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