Friday, April 21, 2017

Ramming Speed Friday: Patience Pays Off Edition

It’s spring so I shouldn’t be surprised.  It’s going to rain when I need to be riding.  I always seem to be moaning about something.  I know. 

But the real news isn’t about bikes this week.  Or the woods.  Or hiking, climbing, trail building, etc.  If everything goes according to plan the contractor will begin work on the Clay City Park padddlecraft access on Monday.  According to those more in the know than I about pouring concrete we could have the entire project finished by the middle of May.  That’s pretty exciting. 

I took the idea to the city in the summer of 2015.  I can only blame myself that it’s taken so long to get it done, but (and this is strange for me to say) I can take a lot of credit for this one.  It was my idea and I have been the champion for a long time keeping it going.  And now that it’s finally close to completion I feel a great deal of satisfaction. 

I look forward to the same sense of satisfaction regarding the mountain bike trails at Bald Rock, on Tarr Ridge, and hopefully some day on Marbleyard.  But I digress.

As a result of my efforts I have landed myself on the Clay City park and rec board.  But it makes sense as I have been working to improve the facilities at the park and to develop a new park around the proposed take out.  And while I can take a big measure of credit for this whole thing I have to point out that it has been a group effort and while I come up with some good ideas in this regard it’s the people around me who help refine and legitimize the concepts. 

Last summer Mandy and I invested in kayaks for the family.  It’s an activity that she sees more as her own that mountain biking.  We enjoy hiking and climbing and cycling, but I think water is really her space.  And I do love paddling, but I really love faster movement.  I have a dark history with whitewater paddling, so that’s really not something I’m interested in anymore.

Wednesday afternoon Mandy and I and Bean paddled the loop around Clay City.  It’s a great hour long jaunt; about three and a half miles or a little more.  The river is beautiful, and has been at a good level the last week or so.  It’s hard to beat a family friendly paddle that’s shuttle free.  When we wallowed out at the ol’ sewer plant (soon to be Lazarus Park) the mosquitoes were biting something fierce.  But quick as a whip Lily and I went over, got the Jeep and returned to load up the boats and we sped home.  Basement door to basement door was about two hours.

We’re planning a big shindig for Memorial Day weekend to kick off the new boat accesses and to show off improvements at the park.  There’s a new paved walking path by the river and around the park.  We’ll soon have great public paddlecraft access right in town.  I’ve also been working on the first comprehensive plan for the city in my capacity as planner for the ADD.  Clay City is becoming quite the renaissance town.  That kind of sounds crazy to say, but the reality is things are a-changin’.

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