Timon of Athens, 2010-07-11 18:31:16
I had time last Friday so I went for another ride on the trail. Decided that I would go from Ottawa to Garnett and back again.

Arrived at Ottawa at about 8:45 and got the bike off the car and loaded so I set off at about 9. The weather was gorgeous. I soon arrived at Princeton and saw my first people on trail that day. Jim, I had met two weeks before and this time had a group of three friends with him. We chatted for a few minutes and I am now “the guy with the website I told you about.” My wife is so proud. I also observed a young couple paying their fee at the pay station and heading off toward Ottawa.

I soon took off for Richmond. I came across the only big obstacle for the day, a downed tree across the trail about one mile from Richmond. . There was just enough room on the west side of the trail to get around it. It shouldn’t take too long to clear, does anyone know if it is still there? Anyway, arrived at Richmond to see what seemed to be some sort of fair or animal judging. There where tents in the park and a fair amount of mooing. Paused long enough to refill my water bottles at the trailhead, had to use the sink in the restroom as the pressure at the drinking fountain was low.

Continued on to Garnett. There is a hill right before Scipio road that I always enjoy. The trail circles around it and you look up some nice prairie grass to blue sky. With the right clouds in the sky it is really quite stunning. I soon hit the newly opened section of the trail. I have worried that the contractor didn’t compact this new section of the trail correctly. It has always felt a little soft and draggy to my and it now looks like this years heavy rains are doing a fair amount of damage. There are several washed out furrows between Scipio Road and Garnett. These are not enough to do serious damage, but you will get shaken up if you don’t pay attention. I crested the hill and exited the woods beside Lake Garnett right at 11. I proceeded to Dottie’s Cafe and had a nice lunch buffet while being called “hun” more times than I remember in the last ten years. So I had a nice respite.

I stopped by the depot before I headed out to once again fill up the water bottles as the temperature was climbing in to the mid 80s. One thing about the trail, running north/south means that between 11 and 2 you will have very little shade. It makes a big difference. I was feeling the heat as I approached Richmond and found a truck furrow off the trail rich before it goes under the highway. I took it up to the highway and went the 1/2 mile down to R&B’s to buy a nice big Gatorade. I hate the taste of the stuff but it sure can make me feel better in situations like this. I sipped on that bottle all the way to Princeton, glad that it was all downhill the rest of the way. It felt like I was practically coasting the last mile into Ottawa. I pulled up to my car at a quarter to 2.

Nice day, beautiful and relaxing.

See you out there,

Timon

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