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.