JD_Shawnee, 2014-05-07 19:36:30
FHNT-East 5/7/2014

Looks like I’ll be training on the KS rail-trails themselves this year since my wife and I have been unusually busy this spring. Started to do a 40-mile round trip on the PST at 5:30am Wed. But, a strong southern breeze that early in the morning is never a good sign; it’s usually much stronger later on.

I did the FHNT-East instead. Although it is not endowed with as many sites as the PST, it does offer
protection from strong southerly winds with its thick tree stands and high ridges. It’s also a good training trail (42-miles, including the trestle bridge in NW Ottawa) with plenty to look at there. Saw six snakes today, unusual for me: two greens, two plane’s-garters, one ringneck (young), and one venomous, timber rattler (rare sight). The latter carried the end of its tail upward at a 35-degree angle.

The trail is in good shape, and is greening up fast. Blooms included rose verbena, yellow rocket, wild parsley, garlic mustard, pickle grass (colloquial), wild-strawberry, common phlox, goats beard, honey suckle, and some spiderwort. Wood ducks are nesting in the scenic region between Virginia and Presssonville Roads. Lots of birds and bunnies everywhere as well. The trail has also been graded between Kingman-Place/Terrace and Rantoul. It’s easy to see all the bike tracks in the dust there.

I’ll be doing the PST next by breaking it down into three 40-mile round trips to start with until I’m
in better shape. I have a season pass, and will ride it often as I can. Chow. JD

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