Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Been Slack

Havent posted in a while. but that doesnt mean I havent been getting out in the sun for some fun, so i will take this opportunity to recap the last week of adventures and possible post an image or two. Last night, was my first trip out to Fairland and the Pits since winter and the ICC construction project got under way. Andy, Bob, Nate, Jom and myself departed at dusk and kept a pretty fast pace. It was good to be back out there and Andy played the role of a good host, showing us some new trail and has obviously been hard at work doing some clearing of old stuff. The Pits loop is much shorter due to construction and police patrolling, but that doesnt mean there is not some fun to be had. The pugs proved to be a very worthy pits bike, floating nicely through the sandy and muddy bits, but I am definately going to have to invest in a better light as I sketched out on the regs due to me out running my light. A shorter loop than I had hoped, but folks were on a tight leash and had to roll out. It would be nice if we could make this a regular tuesday night thing.

Sunday was back out to the G-dub, starting by climbing the Signal nob single track track to Maneka peak, before dropping down Bear Wallow aka 31 Flavors, then crossing the valley and climbing Sherman Gap to the ridge then dropping down Shawl Gap. Pat, Tony, Andy, Ann and Tim were in attendance and Tony and Andy headede up the climb first as they were on single speeds. I was with them for a while, but dropped back to play on some of the tricky sections and snap some photos along the way. Tons of hikers were out there and several groups passed us and were surprised to see us on bikes. Flat #1 for the pugs on the climb up Signal. Ann took several gnarly crashes, but shes tough and just shook them off. Rumor is, Tim took a bad one too, but I was elsewhere at the time. Bear Wallow is a fun descent with a bit of everything to satisfy all. One flat for Tim and 2 for Tony here. Lunch and water refill in the valley before heading up Sherman. It started off fairly mellow, but as you climbed further, it got steeper and rockier. Flat #2 for the pugs on the climb, but it was mostly hike a bike so I hoofed it to the ridge and patched up there. Not 5 minutes into the ridge ride flat #3 which took all the wind out of my sails. Three holes in the tube and I just bummed one off time as there werent enough patches to go around. The ridge was over grown with thickets and poison ivy that we had to walk through as it covered the trail in spots. I pumped up the tires hard and suffered on the descent. I was able to clean all of the stair sections, which was cool, but I hated the rest of it. At the bottom we all scrubbed off in the stream, which seems to have saved me from reaction to the poison ivy. Wasnt feeling super inspired, but I got a couple shots to share.

Tim working his way through the climb...



A tricky section gets even trickier when everything is out of focus...



Pat assesses the damage done by briers on the ridge...



Last monday, I headed out to Shennendoah National Park to hike with Raeray. We decided on Whiteoak Canyon Falls which is a steep up along waterfalls, then we hiked across the Whiteoak Fireroad and down Cedar Run Trail. A good day out for sure, other than those awful sandwiches we bought from Wawa. We saw 3 baby water sankes along the trail. Never noticed the youger ones have a gold band around their necks.

Having fun on the falls...

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