Chainring news has been slow. So yeah, you’re getting the puff piece this morning.
I did take the kids hiking over the weekend. And I did do a little trail work in Flat Hollow. And we did have a Super Bowl party at the house (my wife is a YUGE Broncos fan).
The trail work was not worth delving into. It wasn’t a bad day in the woods. Saw dirt bike tracks on the trail we’re working on. Something to deal with in the future. Anyway…
Mandy wanted to get the house cleaned up for the #SB50 par-tay. Sometimes it’s easier if the rest of us just get out of her way. I had moved the TV from the bedroom to the living room and we had signal. That was the crucial bit. The cooking I’m no help with. Cleaning I can do, but a lot of times I just wander aimlessly instead of being helpful. And the kids…
Anyway, I told them I was taking them hiking. Boone grumbled and Bean acted like she was ecstatic just to annoy her brother. My plan was to take them to do the Courthouse Rock loop. Y’know, hike out Auxier Ridge to Courthouse and return via Auxier Branch and Tunnel Ridge Road? I don’t think they’ve done that one. Well, Boone rode on my back once on a hike out there, but other than that neither of them have been there. Perfect.
Except, I forgot that the Forest Service has closed all of the gravel roads in the area to prevent damage from vehicular traffic during the wet season. I agree with that decision. We got to Tunnel Ridge Road and as we approached the turn I knew my plan was shot. Cars were parked all along KY 15.
“That’s okay, we’ll go to Princess Arch,” I conceded. So we drove toward Pine Ridge. As we turned on Sky Bridge Road heading for Chimney Top Road I remembered that…you guessed it! Chimney Top Road is currently closed too. Headsmack.
We opted for Angel Windows. Boone had also been there, but it was before his sister was born so there was little chance he’d remember it. The hike is relatively short and easy, and my plan was to combine it with Whistling Arch, Sky Bridge, and whatever else we could find that was close to the road. Maximum bang for our buck.
The kids had a blast at Angel Windows despite their earlier reluctance. At one point Boone exclaimed: “This is cool!” and I asked if he was glad I had dragged him out of his room to go hiking. He said yes. Headsmack.
The night before I had stood transfixed by the night sky in our driveway after the rest of my family had gone inside. I vowed that we would start doing more camping and back/bikepacking. As we hiked back from Angel Windows I mentioned to Boone that I wanted to take him and Ty backpacking again, or—probing—we could try bikepacking. He said he would rather go bikepacking. My forehead was starting to sting.
My kids have both been bikepacking once. We took an overnight trip from our home in Coloradoto the Medicine Bow rail trail in Wyoming. I pulled Boone’s bike with a towbar and Lily’s trailer with all of our camping gear was hitched to his bike. We had quite the train. That was a fun adventure that we have not recreated. It’s maybe time to try it again.
After Angel Windows we discovered the trailhead for Whistling Arch was packed. We drove on down to Tower Rock and took a leisurely walk around it, playing on boulders, and basically just hanging out. It was a really nice change of pace for me, and the kids seemed to have a really good time.
We live too close to all that public land not to take advantage of it. And I don’t mean just day hikes. We need to be camping out, exploring more deeply, and keeping ourselves happy and healthy with some sun and tree therapy.
The party was good. We had a few friends show up and hang for the duration. There was lots of good food. LOTS. And today I begin trying to change the makeup of my body. Seriously.