Monday, July 26, 2010

Coosa Backcountry Trail - Vogel State Park, Georgia

This past weekend, I had a trip planned with one of my friends from the Atlanta area.  He wanted to hike the Coosa Backcountry Trail in Vogel State Park, Georgia.  I mentioned that I would like to do something like that and he asked if I was interested in joining him.  Sure, if you are sure you don't mind the company.  He didn't, so we made the plans....

Below is a quote from him about the trip (he's not the long-winded writer I seem to be at times).

Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
Well, the trail proved to be tough. We hiked to the halfway mark and decided to cut it short. Came down a forest road and managed to get caught in a total gully washer...omg, the rain was coming down! So the map got soaked and basically was useless.....we soldiered on. Took a wrong turn and just kept going. I think we hiked pretty close to 15 miles total. Found someone to give us a ride in the back of their truck. Was very glad to get back to the I'm resting and nursing the blister on my right foot.
WP is quite the hiker....not that I'm anything impressive, but 15 miles in one day is a long assed hike!
I'll add a bit more detail to MV's ripped post...

Hmmm, I didn't think the trail was too terribly tough, but tough none-the-less. I think our biggest problem was not having a good topo map and/or corresponding profile map. We thought we were further along based on the profile map, but while stopped at lunch (after 3hr of hiking), we looked the topo map over and realized that we were NOT where we thought. Not quite to the half-way point.

So, realizing that we had quite a ways to go, it was a bit seemed like the next climb after lunch was harder - maybe it was, maybe we're just out of hiking shape, but we became a bit discouraged and thought that we'd just cut the hike short by taking the forest road. Maybe about 9-10mi total hiking (had we taken the correct direction at the intersection of the 2 forest roads).

So, we get to the intersection of the 2 forest roads. Due to the inability to read the topo map after it got all wet - we chose to head to the left. Should've gone right. We walked and walked and walked. At one point, after stopping at a campsite to rest, MV said he was about ready to just pull the compass out and head cross country. He knew in what direction the park (main part) was, so we "could" do that. But, we didn't. Soldiering on...

OMG....'twas a gully washer about 30min into our short cut!! Stopped to put our rain covers on the packs and soldiered on. My camera was in a shorts pocket and got wet (even though it was in an unzipped Ziplock ). I think MV's phone got messed up too. I had water sloshing around in my boots, we were totally soaked. I just wanted to finish....miserable with water sloshing in my boots. I'm glad I had sock liners (Wigwam Gobi) on, otherwise, I think I would be nursing a blister or two also...

After about 2hr from the diversion to the forest roads and going mostly downhill (and thinking we'd just die if we had to turn around and hike back UP the way we'd came), we came upon a campsite with some guy camping. We had decided that we had had enough, especially getting caught out in the gully washer, that we would try to hitch a ride back to the park. 1st guy turned us down cause he'd been drinking. Told us where to find the trail....duh. We know where that is and it's at least another 4mi hike on the trail plus what we had left to get to it. Fortunately for us, a big redneck Dodge truck came along and they gave us a ride back to the park.

I was so glad to get back to the park and get out of those damn wet socks & boots. My feet were like prunes - all wrinkled.

I did have a great time and don't let MV fool ya...he's quite the hiker too! I would really like to go back and complete this trail. Yea, it's quite a drive, but I want to finish it. Not sure I can do it in a couple weeks, but the fall would be a really good time - maybe less leaves and more views from the ridge tops. Dang!! I had a great time!! Already thinking about when/where I can go around here or towards the western part of the state.

Gotta get my butt into hiking shape (as does the bf) so we can do the Foothills Trail this year or next together.  

I unpacked everything from my pack this morning (Monday, July 26) and weighed it as it came out.  Pack weight empty=5.6 pounds.  Gear into pack=11.3 pounds.  Water carried=6.5 pounds.  Total pack weight=23.4 pounds.  It would have been lighter had I not carried the water, but being unsure of water sources, I felt it best to carry the water.  The load did get lighter as the day went on. 

Sonny and I at the start of the hike....

 OK....that's enough picture posting for one morning...Here's a linky to the photobucket site.....

I do wish that I had been able to get some pictures while it was pouring down was a true gully washer!  The water flowing down the forest road was, at times, deeper than my boots.  I think the majority of the water sloshing in my boots was from runoff from my legs... 

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Addition To The Household...

First of all......NO!  It's not what you think!! :)  Yes, I got rid of the teenagers, but........I added a baby!  A Miniture Pinscher! 

She is a Chocolate Min Pin and I picked her up on 5/28 - her name is Taylor (Taylor Cheese).  The bf had rescued a Min Pin (or so we thought - after seeing him recently, I think he's part Min Pin and Dachshund).  When I picked her up, she was 10 weeks old.  It's now July 20 (almost) and she is 4.5 months old.

Wow.  A lot of the time, I think - "what in the hell was I thinking?????"  My life is so changed with having her - from initially getting up a couple times per night, to taking her outside a lot, to house training, to teaching her commands....It is JUST LIKE having a baby in the house!  OMG. :)  But, as much trouble as it seems at times, I wouldn't change anything. :)  

I can't express how great it is to come home from work or from out cycling and have someone be excited to see me.  Tiger?  Well, yea, I guess she's happy to see me, but is more like - Feed Me!!  Taylor is SO happy to see me after work.  I am getting my backyard fenced in this week too.  It will make it much easier (or so I think) to get outside with her and play and work on some commands.

Ummm, what else?  She's been to doggie daycare 3 times since last week.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure that I will continue taking her.  She is doing very well on house training - when I don't get to her in time, she will use the "puppy pads" and when I do get to her, we go outside to 2 specific areas.  But, I noticed, this past Fri-Sun, that she was peeing anywhere in the kitchen that she wanted to.  Not acceptable.  It comes from the daycare because she has free run over an area inside and outside and just pees/poops where ever she wants to.....this is brought home.  So, I'm not sure whether to continue taking her and just being more diligent with her at home or what.....

That's are a few pictures (the first few are from 5/28 and a little blurry cuz she is all energy!) from when I brought her home (weighed in at 4 pounds 2 weeks afterwards at the vet)

This last photo is after one day at doggie daycare - she is whupped! :)

Oh, and at her last vet visit on 7/9, she weighed in at a whopping 7 pounds!!! She gained 3 pounds in a month. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

First Century Of The Year

My riding buddy Dallas wanted to ride the century route that we had done 2x last year, Saturday a week ago. I was in, as were 6 other guys. So, we had myself, Dallas, Cliff, Randall, Brian, Grady, Russell, Philip in for the ride.

Left at 7am and we ran a nice easy double paceline for the first 25mi. Stopped at a store that Dallas had stopped at yesterday while driving the route and the operators had locked the bathroom and would not let us use it. Not bad for the guys, but I wore bib shorts and needed to take the jersey off in order to get the bibs off. I was sorta pissed cause I NEVER have to pee on a ride, but I did this time and the assholes wouldn't let us. The guys went behind the store....I had to ride over to the tobacco curing barns and take care of business.

But, while waiting for the "person" to come out of the bathroom, Russell said he didn't think we should be stopping every 25mi and he was going to pick the pace up. DH. I could tell that the pace was faster when we started. He doesn't know how to ride in a group. Surging & slowing. Slowing on the declines and surging on the up slopes. Just take it easy up the climbs and the group won't fracture.

I bitched and whined to Dallas and he went and told Russell to ease the pace up and to take the climbs easier. That worked for a little while. Another thing - he can't hold a line worth a shit and no one likes riding behind him. Oh well, enough about him for the moment.

We did pretty well for the next 30mi, reaching another rest stop by 10am (55mi). I was starved by then, as was Randall (and he had already eaten 2 PBJ's). I had up to that point, 2 gels and 1.5 bottles of Perpetuem and 1.5 of water. Randall and I had a cheeseburger, coke & split some Ruffles Cheddar chips.
Everyone told us it was a bad idea, but we knew better.

From this point on, we had a headwind and whenever Russell was on the front, my legs were really screaming. I couldn't have cared less about the pace for the ride - I just wanted to finish without hitting the wall at 90mi or cramping. We ended up breaking up into 2 groups - the Russell group and the Dallas (sensible pace) group. Philip started to cramp because he wasn't drinking enough and when he came off the front, we told him to just sit in the draft and rest. He did up until the next rest stop and then got himself into the Russell group....bad idea.

Made it to the next rest stop at 73mi with an 18.7avg. At this point, I was filling my bottles with luke warm water from an outside spigot and then dousing my head & back. The others followed suit.
Russell was hell bent on getting started again and said for us to hurry up. Go The F On then. Since Philip had cramped, he should've stayed with the Dallas group, but he didn't.

Dallas pulled for the most part in our group and when he went off, I followed because I was directly behind him. Randall pulled, then off. Then Russell. Then the group split into 5 & 3, as I just could not keep his pace - it was myself, Dallas, & Randall. They left us in the dust on the way to Kenly. When we got to Kenly, Brian had waited on us and the other 4 had gone on. It was good that he did, as he helped Dallas pull.

We have no idea the route the others took, but learned, upon arriving home, that Russell & Cliff dropped Grady & Philip. Grady had dropped Philip. The 4 of us made one more stop for water & Nutter Butters (for me & Randall - we were hungry again!).

So, we finally arrive back to Dallas's house around 2pm (I think) to find just Russell & Cliff. We asked where Grady & Philip were? They shrugged shoulders and said they didn't know. Probably 5-10min later Grady showed up. He was in bad shape.....couldn't really talk and was covered in goosebumps. He was finally able to tell us that Philip was a ways off and cramping up. He finished with 113 miles.

Dallas went off to see if he could find Philip. The rest of us sat around on the carport talking and when Russell left, we talked about him.
I told Randall I was not going to ride any long rides if Dallas invited him again. He said Dallas wouldn't be inviting him again and I think this is so.

After all of that ^ I felt pretty dang good. Could of had more food to eat, but I think I did good by starting to hydrate Wednesday and eating well last night. I'm really proud of myself for completing this ride. I've only been really riding for the last month and have done nothing more than 47mi in that time.

I stopped off at Lowes and picked up some french onion dip, Lays Wavy Chips, Jalapeno Doritos & Fresca. I ate some of that while I tried to figure out what I would have for supper and get a shower/cleaned up.......

That's all.