Tag: dualsport

XX-Files: Women in Out of the Way Places

XX-Files: Women in Out of the Way Places

When I finally got to a clearing where I could see a view of the valley, I’d traveled a couple miles down a long gravel road. There, a single empty car was parked off to the side. Standing alone and taking in the view was a young woman. We gave each other a cursory acknowledgment and continued doing our own things.

Immediately, I was surprised to see a lone woman out there. Isn’t that funny?

What did my surprise mean? Obviously I know that women do things by themselves. Am I just not accustomed to seeing them in out of the way places? Aside from surprise, I also had a sense of pride that caught me off guard. There was no one out along a dusty, dirty track but us. Neither of us special, or superhuman, or anything. Just two average girls, being normal in the world.

Clearly, I need to see more solo women out doing their thing. So much so that I won’t even pick up on the fact that they’re women. Get to it, ladies!

Life is All Mail Pouch Barns and Rainbows

Life is All Mail Pouch Barns and Rainbows

While Kenny and I were in Millhall, Pennsylvania for the Seven Mountains Dualsport/Adventure Ride, on Saturday afternoon after we’d scampered through the forest, I decided to head back out to get a look at a Mail Pouch barn that was flagged in my GPS as being close by. Kenny figured he’d tag along.

Across the valley hung dark clouds and sheeting rain. It looked like it was over the next hill but with bluer skies on it’s heels. My hope was that we’d stay just along the tail of the storm and keep dry. Wasn’t to be. As you can see, we caught up to the rain and it was coming down in buckets.

A Mail Pouch barn on Mail Pouch Road! Super jackpot 🙂

I was hoping to take a nice picture of my bike with the barn, but with the crown of the road I couldn’t find a spot to park it and be able to get my foot solidly on the ground to either get off the bike or put my sidestand down. Sometimes I forget that I’m not a giant. So? This was it the best I could do without toppling over. ::shrug:: oh well. It’ll do.

While I was finishing up with barn pictures, the rain let up and a gorgeous rainbow stretched cross the valley. We ended up chasing it just about all the way back to camp. Rainbows are wiley. You think think you get one step closer but they take two steps back keeping them forever just out of reach.

“Rain, rain, go away…. Kenny is regretting his decision to tag along with his ding-a-ling wife…” Pretty sure that’s how the song goes.

He may have in fact been afraid to look in my general direction so as not to incinerate me on the spot with his death-glare. Not a fan of riding in the rain, this one. So, let’s just concentrate on how foxy his bike is, okay? 😉

Unlocking the Magic Inside Kellam’s Bridge

Unlocking the Magic Inside Kellam’s Bridge

It was a good thing that I continued riding along River Road. It was not was not in fact closed as the sign had said. Or at least it was not impassable on the KTM. Your mileage may vary in a low-slung sports car.

Following the pink line of my GPS track, I headed southeast to a crossing of the Delaware River and back to the New York.

Sometimes things might not look so great when you’re standing on the outside looking in. Maybe they look drab, unkempt or perhaps slightly dangerous. But when you peel away the outer layer and get to the heart of what’s inside well, that’s where the magic happens. For people and bridges.

Riding on to Kellam’s Bridge looked a little sketchy, a little narrow, a little are bolts going to fall off this thing?

But, once I started going the camera picked up one of my most favorite-est photos in some time. It makes me feel like I’m speeding towards another dimension in a 70’s Sci-Fi movie of the week. I’m wearing a silver spacesuit and eating non-caloric cookies from a pill. Magically I grew to a lithe 6-feet tall and don’t have a wisp of gray hair. No, I’m 25 again and forever, hurtling across space – a perfect human.

And just a quick as it came… it was over. You’ve got to appreciate the magic while it happens.

Wikipedia says that this span is also called the Little Equinunk Bridge. No mention of any magic, though.

Riding River Road Along the Delaware

Riding River Road Along the Delaware

Where the Wallerville Road ended in Equinunk, I picked up River Road and followed it south. For a mile or two I was chugging along behind a van than was towing a trailer full of kayaks, heading somewhere to drop them in to the Delaware River. When the road came to a fork, he went left, I went right and sighed out of relief. I hate following any vehicle towing or carrying anything.

When I came to the point on the road where there was a “No Winter Maintenance” sign coupled with a “Road Closed” sign, I glanced down at my GPS. “Is this right?” I thought. The pink line kept going forward and I knew that Joe, who sent me the track I was following, had ridden it the summer before so I kept going. I figured my worst case scenario was that I would have to turn around and go back the way I came.

The road was a little bumpy, a little damp but nothing terrible. A few miles in, I came to a pile of flat rocks that was the bed of a nearly dry waterfall. As I glanced to my left at the steep drop off I was happy to not have to do some slippery moss-covered water crossing on my own. There was no cell service and clearly, not a whole lot of traffic. It would be a long walk out if to help if I needed it – assuming I survived the mosquito bloodletting.

Hey, look! The GoPro captured another shot of the Sasquatch taking pictures!

The lovely mossy waterfall. It was like something out of a fairy tale.

The road less traveled.

Falling there would be the start of a very bad day.

After donating 3 pints of blood to the bugs, saying hello and goodbye to the tiniest frog I’ve ever seen and assessing that I should be thankful that the waterfall was nearly dry, I got back on my little scooter and kept going. I still had to figure out whether the road was actually closed!

Boy, I’ll tell ya – getting the KTM was a really good choice for me. I can cover a fair amount of distance and confidently take myself down roads like River Road without worrying. Happy times.

Following the Dirt Road Along Factory Creek

Following the Dirt Road Along Factory Creek

On Saturday morning, I set off from Hancock, NY following a track on the GPS that my friend Joe had given to me. Other than being told that it was a loop of dirt roads, I was flying blind with regard to where I was going or what I would see along the way.

When you have no expectations, you can’t be let down. And I wasn’t.

GoPro snapped a picture of me taking a picture. That seems to be a common theme as I scroll through the days photos.

Sometimes I wish that I could take a photograph with my eyes. What comes out of something even like the GoPro is never what I saw. As the dirt roads wound their way through the trees, the light was filtering in through their branches. You could feel the moisture hanging on the air from the rain that had passed through earlier in the morning.

When I came around the corner on Wallerville Road, I was surprised to find a concrete retaining wall keeping the Factory Creek from eating the road. It seemed unusual for a lightly traveled place – so man-made in an otherwise natural setting. That said, it provided a compelling if hard and unforgiving contrast to the easy flowing water and the mossy layered rocks that it penned in.

I followed Wallerville road and the creek to the town of Equinunk under the green canopy feeling lucky to have been there.

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