Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Powder, Powder, Powder

Well the powder is falling and wont stop! It is ridiculous and fabulous all at the same time. I have finally skied real powder, knee deep+ , It's not so easy at first but I'm starting to get the hang of it.
For those of you wondering at just how good a skier I am, I will tell you that Skiing dose not come as easy for me as biking, motorcycling or any other thing that I'm pretty good at. I am able to get down the slops with some style, just not good style. I am getting better every day I ski so there may be some hope for me yet. I just need to get over my fear and point the skis down the mountain more and turn less.
I will just have to keep skiing until I get it, that might take a few seasons so I will just have to suck it up and stay here.

Tin Can update: Coldest temp so far, 12 degrees outside and 67 inside the can. I have not used the propane furnace yet just an oil filled electric heater and a small cube heater in the bedroom. I feel like all of the expense and effort with the insulation was completely worth it. All other systems seem to be working well no freeze ups yet.

Now let me tell you about the motorcycle riding in the desert. Holy sh** WOW Freaking incredible! The speed and thrills are indescribable, It's like the best rides on my mountain bike times ten. At times it's outrageous fun and then scary as hell, it all happens so fast you stay in a constant adrenaline rush. I will tell you that I had a few crashes, really more of fall overs in some of the really technical slow spots where I just couldn't stay fast enough to keep upright. Very slow speed stuff seems to be the hardest to ride, along with the steep, loose, rocky and sandy climbs. If you don't make it to the top and stop short it is all most imposable to get started again. You either dig yourself a hole or slide sideways and fall over. I think that was the absolute hardest part of my first rides on the bike. I have ridden three time now with Brian and Patric and they have been great at showing me the ropes so to speak. I will tell you now, that the day after two consecutive days of riding, I have never hurt so bad in my life! Every muscle from the top of my head to my toes hurt and ached so bad I went home early from work. You just don't realise how much effort it takes to move a 250lb motorcycle around when you ride. It's not like a 30lb mountain bike! I got so worked over, using muscles I didn't know existed much less have ever used. Luckily I got over the pain before the next ride. It wasn't as bad on the pain side as the first ride.
Unlike skiing, I have taken to the motorcycling almost without effort. All the years of mountain biking have paid off making the transition from pedaling to twisting the throttle much easier. I will still mountain bike, probably more then motorcycle riding, because it is less difficult to facilitate and I really love it as well.

Picture will return soon as the PO PO have not found my camera yet, I will be buying a new camera today.

So yall give me a shout when you want to come out skiing, It is truly the best snow on Earth out here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let it snow Let it snow let it snow

OK as you all know I am working at Solitude ski resort, what you don't know is just how cool it is. All of the people I work with are great, we have a lot of fun and pretty much laugh most of the day.
Now for the important word from our sponsor. I skied my first turns on Sat. Skied for about an hour and it was fantastic. The first couple of turns were not the tightest you have ever seen but I got back in the groove quickly. I can't wait for it to start snowing again. It's about 55-60 outside here in the valley and not much cooler on top, I hope the cold comes soon, I'm ready to ski!!!

Now you all know I'm in the year of Rick--maybe the two years of rick? Well since this is all about me I decided to do something I have always wanted to do.
Are You Ready for this!
I bought a Yamaha WR 400 dirt bike to ride in the desert. Many of the guys at work ride and that gave me the incentive to get one for myself. I have Mon. and Tues. off and two of the guys with bikes have the same days off. You see where I am going with this. I will be able to ski in the afternoons, after work and ride the motorcycle on my days off. I just don't think things could get any better than this.

Overall things are as good as they could possibly be. I hope everyone who reads this is doing well and remembers to enjoy life while you can.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Too much time, not enough Blogging

Well you know it's time to update when you get phone call asking whats going on.
I will now tell you of the last months exploits, but first a side note. There will be no photo's for a while, you see it seems that someone wanted some things in my truck more than I did. Some kids, I think, broke into my truck a few nights ago and stole my red North Face jacket, OR gloves and worst of all my camera. The jacket, gloves and camera can all be easily replaced but the memory card in the camera can't. I had over a thousand photo's on it and only about 400 - 500 had been downloaded to my laptop. So unfortunately there will be no new photo's for the foreseeable future or until I get a new camera.
OK now that the side note is over I can get on to what you all want to know. After leaving Zion I made my way over to Brian Head ski resort for some fun and exciting mountain bike action, you know the downhill kind. You take the chair lift up to the top, jump on your bike and banzai down the mountain like an idiot. Sounds fun right? Well it didn't work out quite the way I had envisioned it. I thought I would ride up the lift and be a superstar on the downhill, but instead I was out of control and out of my mind, literally. I rode up the lift for the first of four downhill rides and at the top, which is at 11,000 feet elevation, I didn't feel quite right. I couldn't seem to get on my bike right and had trouble getting going, just trying to peddle was difficult. i finally got going and rode over to where you start the down part, I figured I would ride slower and with more caution than I usually do, because I didn't know the trail and mostly because I was having trouble staying upright. I made it down that first run with out much problem but when you are only going about 4miles an hour you can't screw up too bad. Back down by the chair lift it dawned on me why I felt so odd on my bike, I had not been wearing my camelbak. You know a pack that holds you water and whatever else you would want on a bike ride, tools, spare inner tube etc. I just knew now that I had my pack on all would be right again. Well not so much. I did manage to get down the mountain a little faster and with out crashing but I was just not right. I had tummy issues and just felt really weird. I went for a third try and more of the same, no control all over the trail and definitely not my usual self on the bike. I am usually pretty good on most downhills, always struggle on the climbs but really fast down. This time though I couldn't seem to grasp the concept of going down the mountain with any amount of control or finesse. By this time I was stating to feel really bad, stomach not good, head in the clouds and nothing made sense. I rode the lift back up to try again more determined than ever to conquer the mountain. I got on the bike with confidence and determination, this was my run. As soon as I started down I realised that this was not to be my run, I pretty much white knuckled my way down, completely out of control trying to just stay on the bike. I couldn't even slow the bike down, try as I might to pull the brake levers the bike just wouldn't respond. Too much speed, not enough control, disaster looming ahead as I tried to focus on the turns and jumps only to run right off the trail and flat on the big rock I decided to use as a convenient stopping point. Now I'm sitting there with a flat tire, halfway down the mountain, completely shaken from the near death experience and I figure walking the rest of the way down might be a prudent choice at this juncture. So here I go the rest of the way down dragging my bike with me right past the lift and straight to the truck. I put the bike on the rack and got away from there as fast as I could.
On the ride back to the camp ground I was still feeling terrible headache and all the rest. When I got to the Tin Can I went straight to bed for a couple of hours and when I awoke I was feeling fine. I really think that I had gotten altitude sickness while at that 10-11,000 feet altitude. The gist of this story is my first chair lift downhill was a complete disaster. I will try again but at a much lower altitude. The end.
OK, so after my failed biking adventure I cruised on over to Brice canyon, This is another one of those WOW places that just blows you away. I spent the day hiking the canyon, about eight miles of the many trials, just getting blown away by the rock formations. There are so many spires and hoodoo's, Google Brice Canyon, that will keep your attention for hours on end. Brice is not as big or grand as Zion but offers a tremendous amount of very cool scenery. I do wish I would have taken a horse back tour there, I think that would have been a great way to see the canyon. Brice was fantastic but a full day there was enough for me. I was starting to get a little burned out on the canyon scene but had one more to see before heading to Cameron and Travis's place.
Onward and north to Capital Reef where when I got into the park at 6:00pm there was no room at the inn--- I mean campground. This was a Tues. after Labor Day. Who would have thought that there would be so many people there? Well I turned around and went back to the little town of Torry Utah. I had past this nice little campground on the way to Capital Reef so I hoped there would be a spot for me. As luck would have it there was room at the campground and I got a nice spot with a 10foot tall tree. It had a great view of the road and free wifi. It really was a nice place clean and well kept. While I was filling out the paperwork an older gentleman, 68 I found out later, was asking about firewood for the group fire pit...the only fire pit. He said he was with the biker group and they wanted a campfire. I was thinking, this could be cool a group of motorcyclist hangin by the fire drinking and telling lies, this could be fun. I offered a bundle of firewood that I had in the truck if I could join them and Jim said that if I hurried that I could trade wood for chicken and other food stuff but I would have to bring my own beer. I thought this was a good deal for me as I wouldn't have to cook. So I hurriedly set up the Tin Can and rushed over with my bundle-o-wood. Jim told me to get a plate and get to eating. When I was looking for the plate I asked this very attractive girl where I might find said plates, she immediately asked me if I was part of the biker group, to which i told her of my deal with Jim the whole firewood for food thing. I'm not sure she really believed me but she did let me get a plate and some chicken. After eating as much as I could, two large helpings, I walk over to the fire pit. Now I must tell you that when I initially walked over I didn't see any motorcyce but instead a whole lot of road bikes, the bicycle type, It hen realized it was some sort of bicycle rally. It turns out it was a seven day or something like that ride across Utah, some five hundred plus mile ride. Anyway I sat around the fire talking with everyone and then, miss are you with the group girl shows up, and we get to talking. She turns out to be a very nice person and interesting to boot. She happens to be a professional Racquetball player, I know I didn't know there was such a thing either. She gets to travel all over the place playing a sport she loves, we should all be so lucky. I really enjoyed getting to know her and wish her nothing but good things in the future.
Well the next morning when I finally crawled out of bed I drove back down to Capital Reef. I parked and went to the Mormon settlement which was really cool and looked around a bit bought some homemade pies and decided I had had enough with the parks for a wile.
It was time to move on to the winter planning stage of my trip, plus I was running low on funds and needed some more work. So off to Salt Lake City Utah. Home to Cameron and Travis Treat and there two boys Parker and Harrison. Cameron and I used to be roomies at NCSU we were also in the outing club there. Cameron taught me how to climb an paddle and we spent a lot of time out in the wilderness with the outing club during collage.
So hear I am, the Tin Can parked snugly next to Cam's house, happy as can be. I have all ready been mountain biking four or five times, and yes I can go downhill very well here, and climbing twice. I have even done a little work for Cam and his workmate, enough to get me through.
For those of you who have not been to Utah it is an amazing place, it offers so much for the outdoor enthusiast that it is a little overwhelming. It dose not have an ocean but it has the great Salt Lake.
The good news is that I am now employed by Solitude Ski Resort. I am one of the two Snow Removal/ mechanic peoples. It seem to be a great job so far, great people and very very laid back. That might all change when the snow flies but we will see when that happens. Now that I am almost an official ski bum I expect a few of you to come out to ski with me, so let me know when you can come and we will make it happen.
For now everyone pray for snow and be good. I will try a little harder to keep up to date so you wont have to read so much.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Zion, Refuge in Hebrew, should mean Oh My God!! What an unimaginable place so grand in scale as to be completely overwhelming to me. I spent about 4 or 5 days here I’m not really sure. Anyway the hiking here is just amazing, first they have a transit system to be marveled at, you can take the shuttles all over the park which really reduces the vehicle traffic. OK the hiking trails are super maintained and some are pretty difficult to hike. Steep and many with very scary cliff drops to the edge of the trails. I did a couple that actually had chains for railings that if were not there I may not have been able to hike because I am chicken shit when it comes to exposed heights. I hike to a hidden canyon that had the chains but getting past that was worth the hike. The dcanyon went on for ? miles and I hiked in about 2-3 miles with the last two hrs. being half climbing and bouldering up the canyon. This was one of the dry slot canyons and was just amazingly beautiful. The next day I hiked up the Narrows a wet slot canyon where you basically walk up the river at time up to you waist in the water. Believe me it is just as cool as you can imagine it. And yes the water is cold as !@#$% but oh so worth the ten minutes of pain before your feet get numb.
I did take a day off from hiking to ride at a place called Gooseberry Mesa, It’s a combination of Moab slickrock and desert single track. This trail was very technical in places with some of the slickrock sections almost impossible to climb on the bike. What a great trail though. The Rim loop trail that goes all the way around the mesa is about 12+ miles and a great ride. Thank goodness there was not much elevation change because the technical sections wore me out. There are some spots along the rim of the Mesa that you literally ride with your tires just a few feet from the edge of a 1000 foot vertical drop. I found it less scary on the bike than off, I’m not sure why but maybe if I’m peddling my brain cant figure out what to think about the drop? Unfortunately I forgot the camera so no pics of the trails this time.
After a good ride I felt like I could explore more hiking in Zion, so off to Observation Point another strenuous trail that goes up through another spectacular slot canyon to an overlook. It is all really so grand it can’t be described by me or the pictures, you just have to come here for your self.
The only pitfall to this magnificent place is the tourist. I include myself in this group. This place is easy to access but you can’t see the really cool stuff without putting on your hiking boots and working for it. I came on Labor Day and there was a mass exodus of people but it was still very crowded after that. On the upbeat side is that I met some really great people there. Chan and Jason were staying in the same campground, which was very nice by the way, rite in the canyon. We had a great time in the evenings sitting around the campfire talking and meeting others as well. I met a great German family that were on a long vacation, it seems that there were a lot of foreign tourist from all over the word there.
All in all a fantastic place to go I will return one day to hike all the trails I didn’t get to this time.

Snow in the Desert

Snow Snow Snow everywhere!!!!! In the desert!! Ohhh wait a minute it’s not snow it’s bright white,……..SAND Welcome to the White Sands National monument. If you are ever in New Mexico you need to come and go sand skiing/sledding. This is a pretty unique place. Just be sure to put sunscreen under your chin, the reflection from the sun will cook you! Not much here, just miles of white sand. Well been here have the stamp to prove it so now off to Tempe AZ to see my uncle and aunt.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A big little mountain in Texas!

The Guadalupe Mountains are part of one of the finest examples of an ancient marine fossil reef on earth. This extraordinary natural phenomenon formed around 260-270 million years ago. During this time a vast tropical ocean covered portions of Texas and New Mexico. Over millions of years, calcareous sponges, algae, and other lime secreting marine organisms, along with lime precipitated from the seawater, built up to form the 400-milelong, horseshoe-shaped Captain Reef. Eventually the sea evaporated. As the reef subsided it was buried in a thick blanket of sediments and mineral salts. The reef was entombed for millions of years until a mountain building uplift exposed part of it. This ancient reef complex now towers above the Texas desert in the Guadalupe Mountains.
(Copied from the National Park handout.) It seemed to be the perfect way to describe the mountains there. I stayed at the base of the mountain in Pine Springs campground for the night and hike to the “Top of Texas” or Guadalupe peak. This peek towers over Texas at 8749 feet. The trail is very steep with 3000 feet of elevation gain from the campground in 4 miles. I hope my legs will recover. The hike up was great the sky was cloudy with a few sprinkles along the way which really helped to keep me from dying in the summer heat. It being the rainy season and all I had a great view of a green and lush desert. There were so many flowers and grasses not to mention trees and shrubs. I hiked this trail with the park ranger that was the guide for my Carlsbad Cavern tour and a couple of the other rangers Mike #2, Steven and Dan. Mike was extremely knowledgeable about the Guadalupe Mountains as well as the Caverns. It was a joy to have a free guide on the mountain. Thanks Mike!
Now off to stay another night at the Wal-Mart.

Let's Get Deep For A While

Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico; What can you say about a natural wonder so grand, that when you see it you feel like you have stepped into a movie set of Journey to the Center of the Earth. I tell you it is something to behold. Mere pictures or words can ever describe the magnitude and beauty of this place. I would try but it would sound pathetic, so I will show you a few pictures and give a brief rundown of it all. The bottom of my chin is still a little sore from it hitting the cave floor so many times. Around every corner is a formation that is awe inspiring and so beautiful that it makes you feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I suggest that when you go, and you should go, that you take a guided tour of one or more of the special caverns that are not open to the general public. The guides are very informed and give a great history of the cavers. I loved it!
So now it’s off to the Guadeloupe Mountains for some hiking.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Where are the Space ships?

OK Roswell New Mexico is a bust. I did however stay at a nice little campground, very clean and Quiet. I did ride my bike the 4 miles into town and searched in vain for the Aliens, I did find the UFO museum which was actually pretty cool. They have a lot of info about the 1946 Roswell crash and it seems to me that the government is hiding something from us. I know you wouldn't believe something like that. Any way it was a short visit and probably my last one there.

So up up and away, or at least I'm outa here.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Austin :) :) :)

Austin, Austin, Austin, what can I say? I love this town! If you love the outdoor lifestyle, getting out on the town, sitting at a coffee shop, listening to live music, biking, kayaking, jogging, swimming, playing with your dog and everyone else’s dog then this is your town! I think I could have just stopped and stayed here for a while. I had the chance to do all of the above in just three days. This is a town I could get used to, I really liked the atmosphere and the fact that everyone got outside and is active. Austin is a very bike and dog friendly place I was able to ride my bike everywhere. From the Pecan Grove campground I was able to walk to any number of restaurants, saloons, coffee shops, food shops all of which had live music at some point. I tell you this town rocks! They say it is a small town in a big city and they are right.
Austin being a college town has 6th street which is a hundred bars in one place, I’m not kidding there are so many you can’t even look at them all. I only sampled a few but found 4th street which has a more age appropriate setting for me not to mention a bar that served my favorite beer Victory Hop Devil IPA the best beer I have ever had!!!
Austin has a series of Green Belt trail systems that follow all of the rivers in and around town. They simply rock and are used more than any I have ever seen. I was able to ride a few of them and they are really fun and LONG. I rode about 15 to 20 miles and never saw the end. On this ride I met another biker Larry and he showed me some of the trails to ride and I tagged along with him for a little bit. So hi to Larry. The main trail follows both sides of the river that flows through the middle of Austin (Town Lake) and has many parks and places to get to the water. There are three or four places to rent kayaks, canoes, and rowing skulls. And yes I did go kayaking and it was fantastic!
Now Austin even has some mountain biking right around the corner from the Grove. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever ridden but it was a lot of fun. I was able to get in about 16 miles on the trail- out and back. It was however a very technical trail with mostly cat and baby head rocks with a little smooth trail thrown in for good measure. There were even a few natural climbing walls along the trail. I met a couple of guys climbing a 5.11+ rout. No I didn’t try to climb I think my climbing days are done.
But there is still more that Austin has to offer, I know it’s getting a little much with all of the things there is to do there, but there is more! How about a natural spring fed swimming pool? Well Austin has one, Barton Springs. This spring puts out 68 degree water year round and flows thousands of gallons out to Town Lake. The pool is huge somewhere around 300 feet by 100 feet. You could swim for days and not get to the other side. I thought about trying but I swam just below the pool where all of the dogs swim, more of my kind of place. In the end I highly recommend everyone needs to at least visit.
I even found some 3rd cousins in Austin. Hi to Katie, Gilbert, Pat, and everyone there, I had a great time getting to see you and hope to get back there some day.
So now I’m off to Carlsbad New Mexico.

Friday, August 22, 2008

San Antonio is---Coyote Ugly

I did it I fell into the trap those hot ladies put forth and had to do it, yes I went to the famous Coyote Ugly Saloon. I now know there are a bunch of them and it has lost some appeal but I had a good time there anyway. Not much more to say, so OK here are the pictures.

San Antonio

Now that I am on the first leg of my trip that I am not staying with friends or relatives I have more time for blogging and relaxing. I rolled into San Antonio on Tues. afternoon and stayed in a campground for the first time on this trip. I did spend one uncomfortable night in a WalMart parking lot. Not the best Wallieworld I could have chosen but it worked out ok. Well the KOA I stayed at was nice and close to town, I was even able to take the bus into downtown to see all of the sights that San Antonio had to offer. OK, there is not that much to see but what there is is very cool! The Riverwalk is way way cool, beautiful and would be a great place to spend a few days with friends, lots of bars, resturants and shops. There are also a whole buch of Cathedrals and churches to see, but after two or three they all start to blend. Now the Alamo is a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but what a great historical place. My buddy Davey Crockett fought there, as most of you know I used to live on Davey Crockett Rd. in Asheville and he did hang out in that part of the state. I know it's way cool! I didn't see much more of San Antonio and I'm not sure if there is anymore??? Well I'm off to Austin next so look for updates soon.


Texas....It's a Big State

From sunny Florida to Texas was a bristling white knuckle ride through huge thunder storms and stupid drivers. Getting through New Orleans was frightening, with heavy rain falling pole drove like idiots. I was lucky to make it out alive but that was the worst of it. Once securely in Texas it was an easy drive to Texas City where my cousin Wayne Evans and his family lives. I had planed on staying only a day but was enjoying getting to know some more family so much I stayed a couple of days. The list of family goes like this, Wayne & Lisa, Bob Lisa's dad, Brook+two Wayne's daughter and her two kids, and Super Dave Brook's boyfriend. sorry if I left you out as my memory sucks and it's been a few days out of Texas City. Anyway I had a great time getting to know more of my family on my moms side and everyone showed me a huge helping of hospitality, from the TinCan parking spot to the incredible biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I wish all of you great success for the coming year and look forward to seeing you again sometime.

Love to you all, Cousin Rick

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Florida the sunshine state

Good to see you all, or at least to blog to you. I have been down to the sunny and rainy Gainesville area to see my good friends Steve and Marcia. I have to say hi to their son and nephew, Stevie and Clint, The neighbors Steve and Bevin, and the dogs; Jada, Teddy, Rocky and Gracie. Thank you all for a great visit and lots of fun and food, too much great food. I think I gained ten pounds there. Bevin I had two of your rolls tonight and they ROCKED!!!! Marcia I will be cooking up some of your chocolate chip cookie balls soon, more on those to come.

Wile down in FLA. I had a chance to go scalloping with Steve's brother Sid and nephew Clint. What a fun and productive trip, we filled our quota and then some, and when we got back to the house Stevie cooked up some scallops with a chipotle cream sauce that was out of this world good. Thank you Sid for that fun day on the water. I wish I could get across the fun I had while visiting everyone there, but since I can't I will just say Thank You All!!!!!!! Now about this Wii thing, you know you guys ruined me I want one in a bad way. Hang on to Tinman for me I will be back to play again and to get my Pro status back. For anyone reading this that dose not know about the Wii gaming system, STAY AWAY it is addictive and FUN!!! The bowling game is out of this world fun and I'm sure the rest are too.

Thanks again to the Fla. Crew, all of you. I will return one day!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stairway to Heaven

As you can see, the stair project is complete, at least my part. It will need to be finish painted and stained, truly that is the hardest part of those stairs, and I am glad that it will not be me who has to do that job. I am thankful for having such good friends as Cliff and Cindy, as they have made it possible to keep on my journey with this job. You know with gas at $4.00+ a gallon I will have to work everywhere I go but it lets me stay around the people I love and like to be around. I wish I could stay longer at every stop but I would need about two to three years to get to all of the places I want to go. Now that I think about it that sounds pretty good. Well now I am in Charleston, SC for a few days, it’s really a pretty cool town with lots of rooftop bars and good food. From here I will head down to Gainesville FL., to visit my good friends Steve and Marsha. I hope to get in some fishing and good seafood wile I’m there. I will let you know on both accounts. I think it is about time for a beer as it is 4:53 and by time I get and open one it will be 5:00.
Cheers to you all.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Return to Van Michael "Area 51"

OK! I Rode the Van Michael trail in the reverse direction from my first ride. I guess I was a little premature on my review. Having now experienced this very fun and somewhat difficult trail in the "Fun" direction I can justify a much more positive description of Area 51. First off it feels like they built this trail going in from this direction, Sun, Mon, Wed, Fri., the direction changes daily, because you can feel the flow and ebb of every turn, climb and decent. I have now ridden it this way twice and feel like I can truly give it a Thumbs Up for the Fun to Effort factor. The climbs are pretty tuff, a couple of granny gear over revving of the heart rate, with most being middle chain ring pushes. Now in this direction you get some fast downhills with a few good jumpable water bars and fast corners. You still need good brakes but you can use them to set up for the 180 degree hairpins that flow very nicely. The trail is still rideable for anyone that is not a true beginner, but in another year as the trail wears in and becomes more technical with rocks, ruts and roots, it will really be an expert only trail.
Hopefully riding a trail near you'

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bike Riding GA style

I have been mountain biking a few times since I have been here in Canton and today I went with camera in hand. I wanted you to see what really makes me happy, Blasting down some fast and scary trail with wild abandon! Well there not all wild and scary but they are always fun!!! The trail system here is called Blankets Creek and they have about four or five trails. They range from very beginner to almost expert. They have a new trail called Area 51 that they insist is an expert trail, I give it a 7 out of 10 on skill level needed. It has a few grinder climbs that will make you huff and puff but they are really smooth and don’t require anything but strength and stamina to get up, I even cleaned them and I’m out of shape. The down hills could have been pretty spectacular but they made every downhill stretch short with an uber tight hairpin turn at the end. They had a few nice water bars but they placed them with no run out at the end. You can ride this trail pretty fast if you have strength, stamina and good brakes. I like the Dwelling trail, It may be only 3.5 mile and an intermediate trail, but it is fast and fun with some very enjoyable jumps and drop off’s. The South Loop tail is fun also a little steeper and rockier, but a good ride too. All in all a really fun set of trails with something to offer anyone from I just learned to ride today to the racer guys. I think I may go back tomorrow and rid some more!

History Lesson

Well I went into historic Kennesaw, GA. To get some stair parts for Cliff and Cindy’s Stair project and found a really great Civil War and Locomotive museum. What a great museum! I stayed for about 2 and ½ hours and had a blast. It turns out that one of the most exciting battles that didn’t involve guns started here. They called it the Great Train Chase. James Andrews a Union civilian and about 20 men, later called Andrews Raiders, boarded the General (the train engine) and took off running North trying to destroy the tracks and bridges along the way. This was William Fullers train and when the train took off he and two other men chased the train on foot. Finally they came upon another train started chasing down Andrews. It took about ninety miles and a lot of luck but they did it and the Union guys were all caught. This is a very abbreviated story, Disney made a movie about it in 1959, on my part but very cool none the less. There were lots of other very interesting things about the Civil War and Slavery in the museum, Weapons, Uniforms, Pictures of War and life during the time, but for me the most impressive thing was the Locomotive Manufacturing plant. They reproduced the plant and had a good amount of the original equipment restored and even a couple of small locomotives in various stages of assembly. My kind of museum! This made for a great day of learning and discovery. Speaking of discovery, across the train tracks was an incredible old South/Rebel store/museum. I say this with a loose interpretation of both. The store is owned by a guy named Wild Man, he fits the description, wild hair, big shaggy gray beard and an old Colt 45 on his side. Just a little on the frightening side. He did however have more stuff on the old southern generals and war relics that I have ever seen in one location. There were books and anything else you could think of on or about the South and its Rebel Flag, the KKK and even period muzzle loading guns. I did not stay very long in the store it sort of made me just a little uncomfortable but it was definitely interesting to look at.