Went biking today. Finally.
And I found the coolest place!
I sort of knew it existed–a couple of times, when passing over the railroad tracks at Augusta Water Works, I’d noticed people biking down a small trail alongside the tracks. I’d wondered where exactly it went, but I’d never braved it.
Today, as I approached the tracks, I realized that I was on the verge of turning around and riding back after a mere 20 minutes of biking. I wasn’t interested in going forward and trying to get downtown today. It seemed too far for not much payoff–I knew I would be too tired to do much exploring in town. And I was in the mood to explore. As I told Brooke, exploring is the best way to burn calories ;>
So I turned and went on the trail.
It went along the tracks for awhile, then cut off into the woods. It forked, and I rode down a euphoric drop to a clearing with a few railroad ties dropped in it. There was a view of the river below through the trees. Glancing around, I discovered the continuation of the trail, and headed off.
I honestly have no idea where I was. The trail wound around and around, occasionally coming out alongside the water and then plunging back into the trees. It was BMX to the max…twists and turns, hills and gulleys. There was even a tiny little footbridge that I rode over in a rush of adrenaline.
At one point the trail finally broke free of the trees and curved along an enclosed body of water. I’m really not sure what it was, but there was a road just beyond it. I don’t know what road it was either, but I do know that I had turned right to get to that point, away from the water I’d been riding alongside before. The train was ahead at that point; I heard it sound its whistle. As I continued along, I noticed that I was riding along the train tracks, and eventually I made it back to where I’d first gone in.
Time in the forest: 30 minutes.
It was so beautiful, all of it. Leaves and pine needles covered the forest floor. Trees bowed over the trail. Dark, fallen trunks peppered with white mushrooms had chunks sawed away so that I could pass through them. Vines hung down and occasionally smacked me in the face :)
There were two colors of wood sign everywhere the trail forked, a red one and a white one. I think the red one meant “rough trail”; for some reason I always went towards the red, and I always ended up on a hill that was way too steep (up and down, both), or catching my pedal on a root, or careening around a curve that would have deposited me in the river (after a long fall down a tree-covered hill) if I hadn’t braked properly.
Syuusuke was awesome…he handled everything without a complaint. Braking on pine needles wasn’t nearly as slippery as I expected, either.
I kept talking to myself while I was in there, shouting, “This is so much fun!” and “Brooke will love this!” and “HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!!!!”
All in all, I had one hell of a time. I was so ecstatic as I finally emerged from the trail that I yelled at the first person I saw, “Have you ever been back in there? It’s crazy!” The person, an older gentleman in a camoflage jacket riding a very tall bike, and I got into a conversation about the trail, and then my bike (it’s got a unique shape, after all), and then we wished each other well and headed off in separate directions. I was giddy during the 20 minute ride back.
I definitely have to take the camera in there sometime.