Today in Davis it was another caught in a T storm out in the open ride. Oh, watched a black bear sow & twins from maybe 50 feet away. We were just across the Blackwater river from Davis. She was more protected than we were during the storm. Further on the ride I spied one up in a tree and that is where it stayed.
Today i drove from White’s run outside Seneca Rocks, WVA wandering miles of back woods dirt followed by narrow 2 lanes. Small communities sprung up, faltered, and failed. Residents now drive great distances to jobs that aren’t on the land and learning life skills. How to farm instead of running a drill press or clerking in a store. Had to resource extraction of some kind and it played out or lost customers. Steep hillsides in grass. Some cattle grazing but no tillage. Would be small farms. Could you start your own city today? Own the land, sell lots, name it after yourself?
Stopped @ Blackwater bikes in Davis to chat and plan a ride. Learned that there is a 10:30 ride and I was going to be late. geared up and made shop while riders gathered. Todd led it, Brian an electrical engineer working for federal energy dept, Duane active in clubs & organizer near Marietta, Ohio, and another guy whose name I never did catch works for EPA. Riding here is on resource extracted scared land. Todd led out on trails that were new to me. We rode into the forest over some of the nastiest stuff I have ridden all at once: Rocks were sweating wet when not covered w/ moss, roots as it mats, w/ some wet pits mixed in filled w/ black mud. No Sedona step ups but I used Sedona skills. Another plus comment about my Turner DW 5 Spot. Fall of ’08 I rode other trails on my former TNT 5 Spot. This DW allows me to pedal over the stuff while allowing me to sit & spin. I can loft the front end easily. Rocks were subdued here but roots made up for loss. Rode lots over way overgrown railroad lines w/ lumber ties decaying, and logging roads. Some single track but old stuff rode like mild ST.
Ride was shortened by T storm. Wet & muddy again. Being drenched negated the sweating wet from the humidity. My bike has spent more time in the rain being ridden than on the back of my van.
Drove van to front of bike store for pictures for shop web site. Got out of van and a wet rider approached me and said he just read about me. He is a local. He said he is 2 high school graduations away and he is gone. He is a heavy equipment operator that gets sent around the US to work and he always has his mtn bike. As a result he gets to ride distant places to compare to his home turf. Riders like us are rare as most riders stay within so many driving hours, certainly lesser than days.
Meeting sharing locals sharing all kinds of ride ideas is rewarding, sometimes overwhelming. Too many places to ride and so little time. Hopefully i will ride w/ a young local on secret handshake trails. More T storms are forecast.
N of Davis is a wind turban farm. Sue Haywood has a home here. She is a Turner sponsored racer. I met her in Harrisonburg in ’08. Grace raced here several times and knows Sue.
Rambling: July issue has blurb on Grace. She has bike national recognition now. We are now identifying who knows both of us. Grace said someone befriended her that knows us. During Grace’s & my telecon late this afternoon we started rattling off names of people we both know, they are all from the South. Grace & friend John drove to French Lick, IN for a race last weekend to get out of rain in Huntsville.
Drove out of town to another camp down by the river. Settled in when a T storm struck. Then a sucker hole followed by a flat out violent downpour T storm.
Spent last night outside of Seneca Rocks, WVA along Seneca creek, a TH of Allegheny trail I rode earlier, and a trailhead. Gravel road went up creek canyon w/ no off the 1 lane road pullouts. Place turned out to be active w/ several cars b4 dark. After dark a car pulled in, people w/ headlamps & barking dogs took off. They left a dog behind that voiced it’s disapproval of being left behind like almost in my van. Oh well, best to stay inside and go back to sleep. This AM rigs were in b4 I got out of bed.
Sunday i notched another IMBA epic @ Spruce Knob. I parked @ Big Run TH and rode 8 miles of gravel then pavement to top of Spruce Knob, highest point in WVA @ 4836. ST starts on Huckleberry trail on top of ridge hidden by spruce trees. Some sections of flat out nasty rock gardens. DW success again. 3 miles later the trail drops off the ridge down into typical broadleaf forest. Crossed Seneca creek & climbed up Bear hunter trail in a creek canyon. Joined Allegheny trail on ridge back to TH is just an old road: boring. Don’t know how epic status is given. Can’t see it after my ride.
Took 1st solar shower yesterday @ TH. Drove down mtn to Seneca Rocks. Plan is to check out potential rides from the climbing store there. Met Tom the owner. He told me that for a 6 back someone would drive my rig back to town after dropping me off @ upper TH. Ride down was a mix of msih mash followed by a pipeline descent. Decided to pass on it for what I was to experience later in the day.
Sat night after Slatyfork I drove E towards Seneca on rt 33 looking for FS access for sleep spot. Picked 1st gravel road to the South. Passed on cty road and infrequent houses until FS land. I located my sleep spot by GPS and plotted it on NAT Geo Topo scanned USGS maps. Research revelaed that I could drive to Spruce knob on the road I was on. Headed out Sun AM. Increasingly narrow dirt road passed former farms w/o electric. Saw several solar panels. Road cut into mtn side creating no camp spots. Found spur road w/ locked gate that allowed me to get 50 feet from road which had some traffic on it.
Moonshine is not uncommon here but try as I might none has made it into my possession. I nipped on a Pisgah stash served from what else? A fruit jar.
Back outside Davis for the night.