Friday, December 23, 2016

Jake Mountain

Goodness, this was almost 2 months ago. Where does the time go?

On November 5, I finally made it to the first work party I've been to in 4 years, I think. Or nearly 4 years. It's been a tough 4 years and trail work has unfortunately been pretty low on my list of priorities. Sadly, so has Adventure and writing about Adventure. Work and Money have been near the top and have been occupying all my time. Like 14+ hours a day, most days.

But, on November 5th I managed to steal away for a few hours and get some work done up at Jake Mountain.

Man, it was good to see Debbie again. And Nancy, and Kathleen, and I even saw Cindy for a few seconds before I left.

It was also good to see Raven the dog, and Debbie (or Nancy, I forget)'s new dog Buddy. Here they are, a-wrastlin, as dogs are prone to do.

Raven and Buddy

It's funny because I called Buddy "Buddy" when I first saw him, like "hey there Buddy", and that turned out to be his name. I think that's why they named him that, actually, because it's what people tend to call foreign dogs.

There were like 20 riders getting ready to ride when I got there. Among them was Lisa Randall whom Kathleen noticed. I got to say hi to her too. It was just like "old times" - where every time I'd go somewhere in the mountains, I'd randomly run into someone I knew.

After a tricky coordination process, made inordinately complex by the navigation of some unusual circumstances, I managed to join Debbie and Kathleen's group that was heading out to do some work on the Bull-Jake Connector.

The work itself was standard fare - cleaning out and restoring turn-outs and rolling dips. Nicking. De-berming. etc. As I began the work, I recalled fond memories of swinging the tools full-force, indefatigably, for as long as they needed to be swung. It's a hell of a thing to remember how to do something in your mind, but then not be able to make your body do it. It's like when it's been too long since the last time you played guitar, or like trying to kickflip a skateboard. I grew tired quickly, and had to rest before I could get back at it again. I can't remember that ever happening before doing trail work.

It's like I've grown old these past few years.

On the upside though, all the concepts came back immediately. It was always clear what to do. I guess it takes longer to lose that. We really did get a lot of work done too, and it was all soccer-ball approved, no less.

And, man did I get dirty.



I had to take off as soon as we got back, so I didn't get to hang out and chat, but maybe I will next time.

I think I grabbed some Zaxby's in Dawsonville on the way back, but I don't really remember.

I do remember that there's a new gas station on the corner of 136 and Highway 9. It was so new that it wasn't even done yet.

New Gas Station

Man, how many hundreds of times have I been through that intersection over the last 15 years? The sudden appearance of the gas station might as well have been the sudden appearance of an alien spacecraft, it seemed to oddly out of place.

It'll be nice though - a good place to grab some drinks or snacks on the way in and gas on the way out, without having to get on and off of the highway in Dawsonville and contend with red-lights.


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