Saturday, February 20, 2010

Disappearing Trail

I was riding near Jake Mountain yesterday, and I pieced together an awesome 17-18 mile loop consisting largely of trails that I don’t generally ride.  As I was heading to connect over on a piece of singletrack that I had never actually ridden before, I thought I saw it heading off in the woods across a stream, but the trailhead wasn’t marked at all.  I rode around in circles for a bit, and eventually picked up the trail heading down the hill.  It was a nice piece of narrow singletrack, dropping and curving through the trees.  A little ways in the branches dropped down, slapping me in the face with attitude.  The overgrown trail dropped down a beautiful hill and dead ended in a marsh.  After trudging through ankle deep mud for several minutes trying to pick up the trail, I eventually made the executive decision to abandon the search and just backtrack to the forest road.  I continued my ride a different way, and all was good.

Later as I was sitting on my porcelain throne trying to determine how many miles I had ridden, I looked at my map and the trail had disappeared!  I swear, it had been there all along, I knew it had been there!  Something was seriously wrong with my map.

I got a grip on life, and decided there had to be a rational explanation. 

Ok, maybe I’m pulling your leg a little.  The map I had been using when riding was an older map clearly showing the trail segment, and the map I was using to calculate the distances was a newer map, showing a new trail addition a different part of the network, and omitting the section of trail that had dead ended into the marsh.  Why this section of trail had been abandoned, I had no clue.  I hypothesize that the marsh is relatively new, maybe due to a beaver dam or something of that nature, and that it eradicated the trail. 

Whatever the case, it was quite sad, as what I had ridden had been a lovely section of singletrack, and would have fit nicely as an extension onto one of my smaller loops.  But it was not to be.


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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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