Daniel Boone National Forest

Tim, Timothy, and I drove down to DBNF back in mid-July for a camping and biking trip.  It was intended to be three days of riding, starting on Friday the 18th, but the riding was much tougher than we planned for, so we rode two days.  We still camped for two nights.

Yes, I’m behind on writing here.  More about that later.

I’ll admit to being nervous about the trip.  We were going to be in a very rural, rugged area.  My neck was flaring up.  My Achilles was still healing.  Damn it!  I needed a ride!

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My new GPS totally failed me.  It refused to show our course on the map.  Timothy had forgotten to load the course on his.  Luckily, Tim had no issues with his.

On the GPS track above.  See the little wiggle off to the east?  That was our “Big Sinking Creek” loop.  It was an off-road adventure that turned out to be much more than we bargained for.  It was beautiful and rugged, but mostly unrideable.

Sure, we can ride thatThe scenery was worthwhile.

Cliff & creek

It’s called Big Sinking Creek because the creek is partially below ground.  I assume it disappears and reappears seasonally.  We had plenty of opportunity to ride and walk through it.

Wet feet

The rest of the ride was low-traffic, mostly-unpaved roads.  It was quite pleasant.

Pleasant

We finished the day tired and went to Red River Rockhouse for dinner before heading back to camp.  I slept like a log.  Tim’s write-up on Friday is here.

If Friday’s word was “Hiking”, then Saturday’s was “Mud”.

It rained overnight.  I slept through the worst of it.  Getting out of the tent was a damp experience.

Most of the rain had passed.  It continued to sprinkle occasionally, and the mist was constant.

Damp morning

After coffee & breakfast at camp we drove to Heidelberg for a nice parking spot along the Kentucky River.

Fargo and mist

The goal for the day was to ride to Turkeyfoot campground and cook our own lunch.  We were each carrying small stoves and a little food.

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The ride started out on paved roads, then a nice gravel road, then a turn onto a rutted, muddy, mess.  Timothy managed to go over his bars at some point, but he was unhurt.

Slippery

Happiness is a muddy GPS.

Muddy GPS

We eventually make it to Turkeyfoot.  It’s a very pleasant campground.  It has no fresh water supply, but we brought our own.

Turkeyfoot!

Turkeyfoot is alongside a creek.  The picnic area is near the creek.  This made it quite handy to climb in the water and rinse off the mud.  I didn’t even think about snakes until I was already in the water, but I never did see one.

The Esbit stoves did a good job of boiling water for my simple meal of macaroni & cheese with tuna.  After eating and relaxing we still had to get back to the car.

We took a different route back that wasn’t as rugged.  There was still a mud-pit road, but it was not rutted.  It was completely rideable.  It would have been enjoyable had I not been so exhausted and sore.

That was not to last as we hit another rocky, rutted, rough stretch and we walked again.

Once things flattened out and we were along a creek again, I wanted to sprint to the car.  I didn’t have a sprint left in me.  I was done.  We all were dragging back to the car.

Tim and I discussed not riding on Sunday.  We discussed leaving soon.  It was eventually decided we’d go ahead and camp Saturday night, and head out in the morning.

We had a simple meal at camp.  I slept soundly again.

Aftermath

My bike was a mess.  It wouldn’t shift right.  The brake pads were toast.

I was a mess.  I’d had several instances this year where I hate the Fargo.  I put it up for sale once, then pulled it back down.  I was considering selling it again.  It physically hurts me to ride it.

Many tough rides can be hard at the time.  I’ve cried during rides before.  I usually enjoy the rides much more in retrospect.  Initially, I was having a hard time with this ride, even in retrospect.  I’ve gained weight.  The bike hurts my neck.  I love these kind of adventures and the recumbent won’t work for this type of riding.

Now, more than three months later, the ride was excellent, in retrospect.  I haven’t sold the Fargo.  I actually switched out the handlebars, brake levers, cables, shifters, rear derailleur, and cleaned up everything.  It’s a totally new bike.  I don’t know what it’ll be like on another awesome adventure like this, but so far I like it.

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