I manage a good night’s sleep under a flannel sheet in this hot humid weather. This AM I woke up and as I am scratching myself I discover a small tick belly up in my navel. It took my tweezers to extricate the feaster. Apparently they cling to my riding clothes then “jump” off once inside my van. How they are getting into my bed is unkown. I pull them off w/in 8 hours that lessens the likelihood of transmission of their bad juices. I suppose if I get sick it was because one spit too much.
Today I will ride Bad Branch loop then drive for adult beverages and a shower.
I ride out from Scrappy Mtn TH where i am camped on the jack’s Branch trail past the closed sign that i was told was old and not applicable. I rode around a corner and heard a chain saw and a skidder. Shit. A cutting operation blocking the trail. The sign was correct and the info wrong. What is wrong w/ the FS that they don’t know which foot the shoe is on? I back track out to the road to ride to Bad Branch TH. I spy a FS rig exiting a spur road and i pounce. She is a contract administrator for a road project. I was kind. To me it seems that the FS has contempt for the public. Here is the Syllamo trail system, an IMBA epic and well known and there are timber harvests over the trail, next to the trail, at the trail heads. She said that sales might take years to finally be cut. The trail map was published in 2006. I wonder if there is conflict between timber and recreation and timber won in this case w/ a cut over the trail. Might stop @ the ranger station tomorrow.
Bad Branch is the easiest of the loops. Flat out fun pedaling. Part of the forest was burned for fuels reduction completed in March. Amazing regrowth except where the fire burned too hot. Even the poison ivy regrew. Parts of the trail needed brushing while some had been brushed. I like the trails here. 91 degrees when i finished w/ above 50% humidity.
Bought filtered h2o @ new establishment. Talked w/ owner. Sophisticated treatment facility and expensive equipment. .25 per gallon.
Drove back to same TH for the night. I set up my chair, poured a shot glass of the ‘shine, deployed the awning, then set down to read Calico Joe. What a jolt: Joe gets his nickname from Calico Rock town which is about 15 miles from here. Tomorrow after my ride I will drive up to the town just to go there.
Tomorrow I will re ride Scrappy mtn because it was so enjoyable. Do laundry in town, then drive over to jasper to check out new trails in the Buffalo River headwaters. The river is a national park but the trails are on FS land.
Ran into one biker @ the TH. He is from Baton Rouge where it is summer time hot already. He said the cotton mouth snakes sun on the trails. They hold their ground when approached. Nasty.
Next up was a drive to Big Flat to Junction Liquor store for beer resupply. Nice drive on RT 14. Drove thru town named 56. Years ago these little towns were communities, today deserted buildings are reminders of their past. Store had 1554 from New Belguim, my current fav. Bought a quart jar of 50% blueberry flavored moonshine.
On way back stopped @ Blanchard springs XG which is closed due to previous flood damage. No poached FS shower again.
John Grisham’s new book, Calico Joe, is about baseball. I went seeking it @ local WalMart. Gotta love those stores. The customers are a trip. Scored the book.