Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quickbeam Exploration Micro-Tour

On the way to Culp Branch Native Prairie Recreational Area for a micro-tour. Goodies in the bag, and micro-blanket to keep things civilized strapped to the outside.

The gate seems to encourage foot traffic, but not much else. A bicycle oriented vertically on its rear wheel rolls through with no difficultly.

At the start, there was a well-defined single track. It was smooth and pleasant to follow.

In a short time, the trail became less obvious among the vegetation. As I was forced to watch the ground closer, and nearer my front wheel, I was reminded that this was once private property. Aerial photos show remnants of old home foundations, and a grid pattern to the trail system that was probably once roads. Patches of severely worn asphalt was observed on a few short sections of the single track I followed.

My trail led to the lake, and lake access is one of the reasons I wanted to explore this area. Today the north wind blowing over the water made for a bit of a chill, so I retreated to a protected low area for my first coffee stop.

There was evidence of abandoned homes for more than just people. As shown in the photo, this former bird's nest is only about saddle height on a 56cm frame. I'm guessing this home was built after the road became a footpath.

Here's a quiet, wind-protected spot, to spread out the micro blanket and enjoy a couple of pop tarts and some hot coffee.  

It doesn't really look like a road in this photo, but there are visual clues in abundance of what once was. My blanket sits just on top of what appears to be a graded slope from natural ground level down to a lower roadway.

The eager explorer waiting to get back on the road and head to the next destination.

But not so fast. I've got a couple more sips left, and I am moving purposefully slow today.

What single track through a north Texas native prairie looks like on a chilly, late October morning. I'll take this directly south to the highway, meander a few back roads, zip through Sanger, cross the Interstate, and arrive at my second coffee stop in about an hour.

Duck Creek Road, on the south side of Sanger, is a low traffic road. There is a new bridge over Duck Creek, just west of the pecan orchard, with concrete side rails that include a nice flat sitting surface.

Sitting and sipping, and watching the wind carry a few leaves away from their trees.  Probably in the low 40s by now, and with the sunshine, time to shed a layer.  Just ask me if this is better than 95 degrees.

Duck Creek Road turns left just past the bridge here, and climbs a short steep wall. Then its just a few miles of low traffic county roads, and one more short patch of gravel before arriving home.

Single track prairie souvenirs stuck in my drive train.

10 comments:

Scott Loveless said...

That, by all appearances, was a wonderful ride. I'm kinda jealous.

Doug said...

What flavor of pop tarts were on the menu today?

While out on a late Fall hike last Sunday, I was describing your micro-tour concept to my wife. She thinks we should take a micro-hike together someday. The long distance Superior Hiking Trail runs across the ridge just above our house. She suggested we could do the micro-hike from our front door.

Randy said...

Sounds and looks like a perfect ride.

RANTWICK said...

Am I complete weirdo for enjoying the chainring closeup most of all?

I need to take some time like you do... lately a hurried commute is all I've found time for. Must try harder.

Pondero said...

Doug, it was brown sugar cinnamon today. If you can think of a nice destination spot, I'll bet a micro-hike would be worth the investment.

Rantwick, "enjoying the chainring close-up most of all" is exactly what we love about you. Something tells me that a Rantwick micro-tour would be the most entertaining ever.

sminch said...

Was it better than 95 degrees?

GravelDoc said...

Really neat multi-surface micro-tour, Chris. The look on your face says "Good to the last drop!".

Pondero said...

sminch, ha, yes. A thousand times, yes.

GravelDoc, ...and so it was.

Tex69 said...

Loveless is kind of jealous. I'm very jealous; I miss open spaces.

Bill in Houston said...

That type of gate is to allow people to walk through, but prevent cattle from getting through. Great ride!