|Super Spore Station!|
The trees have shed all their foliage, and the underbrush is all dead, so sight-lines through the woods are maximized now. Combine this with the annual deer mating season, and those leaping does and statuesque bucks are easily spotted.
It isn't all that unusual to see a deer or three up at The Camp while riding at any time of the year, but now activity is heightened. One deer aficionado explained it to me like this; "Imagine you are 13-17 years old once every year." Uh-huh........gotcha!
Deer were spotted almost immediately upon my entrance to the single track, and that didn't stop until I left. I saw upwards of six doe deer at first, and they seemed to keep running in front of me, despite the twisting and turning of the trail. Every so often I would roust them into action again and they would bound through the trails and forest floor up ahead, until I couldn't see them. Then the whole scene would repeat itself again up the loop.
|Many of the trees had this break-line. Any clues?|
At first I saw the original bunch going off into the Western edge of the woods off toward the river. "Good!, I thought. They would stay down there and I'd go away in the other direction. But no. Then I saw the rest.
There were a lot more deer. At least twice as many, and then I saw him.
That buck struck 'The Hartford" pose as he stood about 70-90 yards away staring me down. I tried counting points. I couldn't see him real clearly, since some branches were obscuring some of his rack, but he was at least a six pointer. Maybe bigger.
The doe herd was moving on, and I could see the buck turn his head slightly to mark the direction they were headed in. Then he briefly took another look at me, and suddenly, moved by his overpowering, teenage-like instincts, he bounded off after the girls. Pretty cool!
|Where the Wizard's staffs grow....|
Well, most of them did, but a small group of younger doe deer just didn't get the program. I kept seeing the same three or four running alongside me, or jumping into action just as I would come around a corner. The funniest thing happened when I was grunting, (literally), up a short, steep climb. When I reached the top, there was a sharp right hander, and as I went around it, I saw to my right, down the hill, three doe deer watching me. The grunting and heavy breathing apparently didn't scare them off and I was embarrassed to find I had an audience. (Well, actually, I thought it was funny.)
Then I entered into the newer trail sections again. These are going to be really great when they get burned in. It adds a nice bit to the original loop, but right now, it is bumpy after getting pounded in by the few riders that have been over it. It will smooth out though. Give it time....
And the ride ended just like it started. One lone doe leaping away in front of me. If only I could harness some of that grace and power.....