I loaded up the ol’ Ranger with my Raleigh, a camelback, some ratty gloves. My clipless shoes and Giro helmet, two hours before I had to turn back. I was ALONE in seventh heaven, going riding in the wild outdoors…
If it sounds like The Best Day song by George Strait, it should…except my version’s better because I’m the luckiest human alive.
The leaves were changing, the air was cool and I had no idea where I was going. I followed the road to the first parking area – ‘lo and behold’ – a TRAIL MAP!
Nearly 13-THOUSAND acres
The leaves are changing!
The arrows pointed me to a roadside trail deep into the woods, where I went I have no idea, just down the hill into darkness. The sun disappeared behind the mountain and I heard nothing other than my chain clanking in terrain-related angst. Pretty soon, I was hurtling down the road at astonishing speeds, my brakes squealing and tires skidding over rocks to avoid mud holes – this wasn’t the trail I wanted. Where was the single-track? I raced to the bottom of the mountain, knowing I had to pedal back up – this would be where my workout came in.
The dark side
It took me all of ten minutes to get down the mountain because I got scared and turned back around. Then it took a good thirty minutes to get back up barely pedaling in the lowest gear. I figured out I had explored this place backwards, as I ended my ride at the outlook, where most people begin, I still captured the most spectacular sunset over Morgantown.
this River is wild…
Here’s hoping for more seat time next time!