Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Fall Views: Tree Wrasslin'

Minimal tree color along the dike on Black Hawk Creek here.
 I mentioned in the Monday post that I had feared that I missed 'peak color' time for this Fall. Well, I was a bit off on that, apparently, and so I was wrong. It isn't quite to the peak yet. I found this out on my ride Tuesday along Black Hawk Creek in the Green Belt. 

I have hit that time of the year when I will have a lot more time off from work. I knew this was coming- it does every year in this business. So, I am not complaining, I'm just telling you how it is for me when Fall comes into its zenith and Winter is not far off. 

So, I was able to scoot out for a short jaunt into the Green Belt along Black Hawk Creek to see if the colors had popped and do my traditional 'pilgrimage ride'. The ride I try to do every Fall to remember my roots in mountain biking and to enjoy the Fall colors, be that what they may. See, the Green Belt was where I first rode a mountain bike in the late 80's and it is where I learned a lot of handling skills. 

Typically I would choose a single speed to do this ride because there usually are enough sticks and branches out there that a derailleur equipped bike runs the risk of having that dangly bit whacked off and it causing even more carnage. So, a single speed device generally is immune to such damage and chaos. But this time I took my Ti Muk 2, and it has gears, but they are hidden inside that big, German made hub, and cannot be harmed by the pitfalls of Fall riding. Plus, it is a fat bike, so really, it just crushes anything like a stick in its path with no problem. 

Work being done on the Fletcher Avenue crossing of the Black Hawk Creek.

There are some pretty places in the Green Belt if you know where to look.

The ride would be done as sort of a convoluted loop, thanks to my connector trail named "Marky-Mark". This provided me an excuse to see the condition of this trail. It generally is pretty low maintenance, and maybe some of that was by design, but I often think about how fortunate I was to lay this out, mostly by chance, along a line that just ended up being really sustainable. 

The angle of the light at this time of year makes riding in this area a real challenge from a sight perspective.

The 'money shot'. Most of the color was packed down into one corner as of this post.

Marky-Mark was clear as far as the tread of the trail went, but there were four dead-falls across it at certain points. One of which I was able to clear off myself. The others will require a saw. The wood is pretty dried out, and the sizes of the trunks are not all that big. It should not take much, but I'll have to source a trail saw and get back out there to clear that off sometime here soon. 

I tried moving those other trees, but they were just too long, too embedded into the duff around the area they were in, and I ended up having to let that go for now. But I tried moving each one. Tree wrasslin' should be a sport. It's a pretty much 'full-body' exercise action, and it would make for some comical viewing, I think. 

The new fishing pier at the Green Belt lake.

The best color tree I saw on the whole ride was like three blocks from where I live!

On the way back home I circled around part of the Green Belt lake and saw the new pier that had been installed recently. Call me a grump, a progress-hater, if you will, but it burns me up to see stuff like this being installed on this small water impoundment. They even put in a paved path going from the parking lot up to it. What once was a place uninhibited by man-made structure is now stained, in my view. Besides, I don't think a pier was at all necessary. 

And that pavement to it? A certain precursor to having a path paved around this small lake. Bah! Why do we think pavement is an improvement? I don't know where that came from. This small lake has a dirt path around it that is about as easy to walk on as you could ask for with zero maintenance. Even some small amount of thoughtful maintenance as it is now would make it so a wheel chair could easily go around the entire body of water. On dirt, yes. No, it would suck in the rain, but honestly, who would use it in inclement weather anyway? Likely no one, just as with our current paved trails. There just is no good reason to do the pavement out there. 

But I'm the odd one out in that way of thinking, I am sure.

No comments: