18 June 2013

Sherando Lake- A Father's Day Adventure


On Father's Day I like to get out for a few hours of adventure and then come back to the house to have the Father's Day dinner with family. This year it was time for a mini epic and I figured Sherando Lake in the George Washington Forest was a good place to make it happen.

January 1999 was the last time I rode the trails a Sherando Lake. That time, I was with another rider and we had the worst crash that I have had on a bike. But that's another story..

My Plan was to start my ride from Fire Road 42 or Coal Road. This gravel road is just a few miles down the road from the main entrance of the recreation area. About 1 mile up FR42 you will find a small packing area and a gate to the left. I could not remember if I kept up FR 42 or started at the gate. After a mile up FR42 I figured it was the gate.

I had downloaded two gpx files from gpstrailsource.com and had some issue on figuring out which gpx file to use. This was operator error on my part. Lesson learn- zoom into the track file..

Once I got to the first ford I knew I was on the right trail.


Or did I miss the trail and ford. Yes I did..


Knowing that I was going to cross the creek a few times I had packed a spare pair of sock to change into. Somehow they did not make the transfer into my Wingnut pack. Great! Wet feet for the rest of the day!

I ford the creek about five times.


The Mountain Laurel is still out and the higher I went the more of it. You could see the Mountain Laurel on the next mountain which was cool.


I love Mountain Laurel and so do the bees


The switchbacks kick my ass! But I made it. About the same time as 6 backpackers.

But the reward is the view

After a couple of miles riding down the Blue Ridge Parkway I picked the trail back-up at The Slacks Overlook.


Just a few hundred yards down the trail I ran into a group with their dogs on a Father's Day hike. They let me pass and I guess I got 50 yards in front of them I saw a black bear in the middle of the trail. By the time I turned around to tell the hikers to get their dogs that there was a bear in the trail, the bear had ran off. Anytime you see a bear it just makes your trip a little more adventurous.

Virginia is full of history.


It's just sad to see it falling apart. 14 years ago it did not look like this.

THE ROUTE


You can also download GPX files for your GPS from gpstrailsource.com or get a firsthand look at the trail terrain360.com

THE GEAR

Ride what you bring! I did this trip on my Bontrager. A full rigid set-up. If that did not make it epic, then I don't know what does!

This was also the first time I got to use my Wingnut pack other than on the local trail. Post to follow with pictures of a bag dump.

THE PLAN "B"

I used a on-line tool for my "PLAN B" called ineversolo.com I will do a follow-up post on just this tool.

THE SIDE TRIP

I had to make a stop in Wanyesboro VA to get a quick bite to eat. Wanyesboro is a small town and this would have been the last place that I figured I would find a small classic Porsche dealer . I also stopped at Rockfish Gap Outfitters. Just down the mountain from that AT. I made the stop there just to see the Helle knives and Gransfor Bruk axes




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