Greenbo, Pruitt Fork

Greenbo, Pruitt Fork

The evenings are finally getting longer, look like a bit more than a month till time change.  I shot this image on Sunday evening during a short bike ride at the park, after having gotten use to having the place mostly to myself all winter, it was surprising to show up to lots of people in the parking lots.  Evidently, the trail runners converged on the park to enjoy a rare warm dry day in the winter.

 

 

Snow riding

Snow riding

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
Greenup County, Kentucky

I was lucky enough to be able to ride in the first nice snow of the year.  It is strange in a futuristic way to hear the Emergency Broadcast System go off on your cell phone while riding through the woods, warning of slick roads and incoming snow.

 

 

Claylick-Buffalo School at Greenbo

Claylick-Buffalo School at Greenbo

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
Greenup County, Kentucky

Here is a photo of the old schoolhouse at Greenbo during the recent snow.  I converted it to digital art with the app Prisma then to black and white with Snapseed.  Originally, the location was down by the lake in a low wet spot when I was a child.  I remember the year they moved the building, I thought that sounded impossible to carry it over the hill.

Here is a history of the park from the Kentucky Parks website.

 

 

The Surly Ice Cream Truck on the Clay Lick Loop

The Surly Ice Cream Truck on the Clay Lick Loop

While closing out 2016, I think biking photos probably dominated the blog.  I’m on track to have 110 bike rides in 2016 compared to about 40 in 2015, I’ve been out of shape for most of my life so that’s a bit of improvement.   This bike has changed trail riding, making it a bit safer for me and now I just have to figure out how to incorporate other forms of photography into this activity or else find an additional activity that is equally as healthy. It was a pretty good year, or at least ended up mostly that way (with a few exceptions).

 

 

Up Pruitt Hollow

Up Pruitt Hollow

This point was the destination of many fishing trips decades ago.  Motor until you pass this point then shut it off and drift till the breeze out of the hollow spins you to the right.  Then cast the shallows and the underwater creek bank that slides over to the side of the lake bed.  Produced two state record bass when the lake was much younger.

 

Shellbark hickory at Greenbo

Shellbark hickory at Greenbo

One of my favorite trees is the Shellbark Hickory, often called the Shagbark Hickory.  They are fairly common in our area, you can especially find them on the park and I love to stop and admire a good specimen.  Nevertheless, Wikipedia states they are uncommon across their range and only found as wild trees because the long taproot makes it nearly impossible to transplant.

 

Finding the trail

Finding the trail

Sometimes you just have to go by instinct in order to find the shortcut.  I told David, yes it looks like this is the way I believe, up that hill.  Before the hiking trails, when I was a teenager, we tried our luck with map and compass to navigate over this ridge, we thought we had really done something big.  Now, seems pretty simple.  This cutout, we think, had once been an old logging road or perhaps a road to haul the iron ore.  On top of this ridge, there is an area that the bicycle folks call the Whoops because, well, you go up and down small hills that make you want to say "whoop!".  That area was the source of open digs for the iron ore for the old blast furnace that was down near the lake.  Back in the furnace day, all these hills would have been bare, stripped of their oaks for furnace fuel.

 

Fat bike trail riding

Fat bike trail riding

Completing the seasons on the trails means returning to photographing the browns of last winter, not a joyous occasion.  I love the woods this time of year, being able to see the contour of the land and admire the interesting and large trees.  But very difficult to photograph to give the same perception and feeling that you get with your own eyes. 

 

One more from the trail

One more from the trail

One more from the trails at Greenbo, this being the lakeside trail.  Most of the folks who bike at the park are younger, much younger than I.  Think of 20 to 25 years younger.  So these things come much easier to them.  This lakeside trail is one of my most favorite but the trail itself is mostly just wide enough for the bike.  Then at many spots, it falls off on one side steeply toward the lake.  When you are a beginning rider or one that is cautious about getting injured, then you tend to take things a bit more cautious and slower.  Now with trail riding, momentum is your friend and that requires speed to carry you over the roots, rocks, and dips.  Caution is the enemy of momentum.   So I have found myself being too cautious at times and slowing up then falling over the hill, bike and all.  Once when riding with the young folks, I was in the back and went over the hill and they kept going none the wiser.  When I finally caught up, they said where were you?    I still encourage my older friends to join me, “hike n’ bike” is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and pretty safe, walking through the more tougher spots.

“Boredom or terror, you choose”

from the Sopranos

Bike at the abandoned Boy Scout Campground (Greenbo)

Bike at the abandoned Boy Scout Campground (Greenbo)

Here’s another shot with the Prisma app, not everyone’s cup of tea I know but maybe my most successful faux painting to date and I’ve tried a number of programs/apps over the years.  The story is this:  I’ve been feeling really poorly but after a checkup, a good bill of health was received.  So what do you do?  Go have  donuts and think about it.  With the fine fall weather upon us, I thought I’d just bite the bullet and see how a trail ride feels.  It was a magic cup of tea, I think it could pull anyone up and out of the doldrums. So when a good friend complained of the same thing, I agreed:  trips to the YMCA or your particular favorite type of body movement might just be the ticket.

This shot was at the old backwoods Boy Scout camping area of the local park I bike at (which is the 2nd biggest in Kentucky).  It takes on the abandoned look periodically, I’ve witnessed this a number of times and I’ve been coming here since I was a young teenager (though by foot back then).   A very good picnic table survives and I’ve purchased a tiny inexpensive backpacking stove, the plan being to bike into the back area of the park and brew up coffee during cold fall and winter mornings.  We did this a few times last year with a couple of friends and had a nice time, it always helps to have a destination and a purpose when you are aiming at exercise.

Hope your week is starting off well.  I’ll lay off the faux painting apps a bit (or maybe not, I’m a sucker for ’em).

 

Greenbo trails

Greenbo trails

On a recent trail ride at Greenbo, I came across Dennis Virgin hiking in preparation for a Smokies trip he has planned, then later came across another bike club member and a group of horseback riders from Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky.  The Greenbo woods used to be vacant, about 15 years ago I bought my first GPS and explored the woods all winter without seeing anyone.  It\’s nice to see the park being used and enjoyed.

 

 

Greenbo in the spring

Greenbo in the spring

With a bit of a break from the rain, I returned to Greenbo for exercise and found green everywhere.  It was a beautiful spring morning.

I met several folks on the trail, the first being a couple of fellows hiking the Michael Tygart Trail and had a conversation on how mixed use presents its own issues such as horse riding when the trails are a bit too wet for anything except foot travel.

About mid-ride, I came across a member of the bike club who was doing a solo ride while looking for snakes and such.  While following the photography of naturalists, I’ve found the term botanizing to be a fairly common description of going out to look for plants and wildflowers.  That’s mainly what I do when on the bike trails.  Now, I’ve found that herpetologists do a similar thing, would that be called herpetolozing?  She had not been successful, which suits me fine but we did have a great conversation about the personality of snakes, dogs who chase bikes, and a number of other things.

On down the trail, I came upon a group of horse riders.  Now horses and bikes don’t mix very well, so I pull well off to one side and waited.  It was a friendly group, mostly women it seemed.  The lead lady says the last horse does not like bikes, so when it came by I wasn’t surprised to find the rider (also a woman) leading it on foot.  It was a beautiful horse and made eye contact with me much like a thoroughbred at Keeneland would do as it is led through the pre-race display in front of the crowd.  This was an intelligent horse and I could see fear in his eyes.

The lady says “He’s a new boy, just learning…he’s 3 years old..”  On down the trail he was led, all the time keeping his neck twisted to watch me.  When I made a move, I thought he was going to bolt on her and she calmed him down.

It’s always an interesting time at Greenbo, especially on weekends when I encounter civilians.  hahaha!

 

 

Climbing the campground gravel road

Climbing the campground gravel road

I dropped the lighter weight bike off for service, then tried to ride up the campground gravel road again on the fat bike.  I have just this little bit more to conquer then that hill is mine, hopefully before mid summer.  Then in 5 or 10 years from now, I can drive out there and say that I once could ride my bike up that steep incline.