Monday, January 6, 2014

Cochran's Shoals

I went running around the Cochran's Shoals area today. Cochran's Shoals is really just the southern part of the Sope Creek area, but I figure I'll call it something different for variety.

It was a little cold, low-40's/high-30's maybe, but it wasn't windy so it wasn't too bad. I took off jogging away from the lot and within a quarter mile I'd been passed by a dozen actual runners and found myself struggling with punishing shin pain. It's probably been 6 months or more since I last ran. Terrible. Terrible! This will never do. I spent the next half hour walking it off but I found I couldn't jog more than a quarter mile at a time for the rest of the day without struggling again. So it was all day. I kept at it, but it wasn't all that great.

The exploring part was pretty good though. To start off with, there's this gnarly rock overhang right by the parking lot...

Rock Overhang Near Cochrans Shoals

...and good views of the river.

Chattahoochee River From Ovrerlook 1 Near Cochrans Shoals

I learned from one of the signs that the creek nearest the lot that the bike trail runs along, with all the muddy spots, is called Terrell Mill Creek.

Up where the trail diverges from the lot, there was a guy on a bike doing trials on one of the waterline access pipes and some of the rocks in the area. He was an older guy with an older bike but he really looked like he knew what he was doing. I've got decent balance and I bet I could negotiate the obstacles he rode, but not with any proficiency. Not like any one who calls themselves a trials rider. It's funny... I regularly dream that I can do those little pedal kick hops that I see them do in videos. I do them all over the place and it's super fun, but then I wake up disappointed that it wasn't real. I can feel in my head how to do it but then I try and I can't make it happen in real life. Maybe one day.

The trail up to the ridge from the creek was super duper gnarly. I actually recognized it from 2000 when I first rode out there. I tried to climb it on the bike and it wore me out really bad.

They're fighting the good fight with the rock water bars...

Rough Trail 1

...and the wooden ones...

Rough Trail 2

...and more rock...

Rough Trail 3

...and more wood.

Rough Trail 4

All the way up to the ridge.

Yeah, fighting the good fight all right, but I'm pretty sure I know how it's going to end. They might consider a reroute and some switchbacks. Just throwing that out there...

At the other end, I think I found the slickrock that I crashed so hard on when I first rode out there back in the day too.


Bad memories there :)

I'd read on the Sorba forum once that there was a "graveyard trail" somewhere on the property, thus implying that there was a graveyard as well. Kathryn loves old graveyards, especially with old broken down tombs in disrepair. I found the graveyard but I don't think Kathryn will be all that interested. The monuments were beautiful and the whole place was well preserved.

Scribner Cemetery Scribner Memorial Mary Andrews Memorial

The weather was really random. It rained off and on. The sun came out briefly.

A Little Sun

The temperature dropped quite a bit, then rose again and then finally dropped a lot. Random.

Right as I'd finally decided to head home I noticed a trail across Terrell Mill Creek. I figured I'd check it out real quick. As usual, when I decide to check something out "real quick", it led to a network of trails that took another hour to decipher.

There were some cool sights to see though.

In a bend in the creek, it had eaten well into the trail.

Collapsed Trail

There was a busted old dam that appeared to have once diverted water into a pond adjacent to the creek.

Dam on Terrell Mill Creek

The trail led way up to a road in some commercial complex and there were a bunch of little side trails leading to various houses and neighborhoods. I didn't get to explore the farthest reaches of the system though. Maybe later.

The walk out was a forced march. I really wanted to just sit down and rest three or four times. I guess I need to put a little more work or something. Man.

Near the car I checked out another little side trail that led to some apartments, as it turned out. It, in turn had a little side trail that led nowhere. There was this confusing signage down at the end of it though.

Odd Signage


"Indecipherable weirdness, back the way you came."

That's what it meant to me.

And that was all. I drove home, took a shower, ate some chicken, watched some football.

There's still a whole network of trails along Gunby Creek that I haven't explored, and more trails south of the interstate, more across the river, and paved bike trails over there somewhere too. Plenty more to do.

I'll be back.

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