Yes the Jingle Bell Ride is still on! At 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, Christmas
Eve- meet at winter parking- Range 17. Your choice of hot chocolate, tea, or cider with Crickett's oatmeal raisin cookies will be available.
The loggers have bulldozed the Christmas tree, will find another for the Photo. See you there rain or shine, sleet or snow; we haven't missed one for 15 years and we're not going to stop this year!!
I had already made plans to take my leaf blower out to Camp Robinson, intent on contributing to an effort to clear the trails that were compromised by heavy leaf cover (by "compromised", I mean, covered to the point of invisibility), but the forecast called for temperatures in the 30's and rain. I arrived at about 11:00 to a cold, light rain and found that the trails where I had intended to start had been raked the day before (Thank you, Mr. London!), so I scouted around and started in on the northern loop of Buddha. The leaf blower is the ticket for this task, as I cleared a couple of miles of trail just about as quickly as I could walk them. After making a quick scout on the bike of some of the recently logged areas, I returned the winter parking area to meet the C.A.R.P. crew. True to promise, Gary Lamp, Basil and Crickett Hicks, Bryan Shipman, Josh Joyce and Matt (sorry, didn't get the last name!) had the rain fly up, a table spread with goodies, bikes dressed out with bells and helmets complemented with Santa hats.
Neither rain nor cold nor rowdy dogs could keep the C.A.R.P. hard core from making their annual ride. All it took to assure my presence was the promise of Crickett Hicks's oatmeal raisin cookies.
The timber cutting has left this stretch of Outside Loop in shambles, but both the woods and the riders are resilient.
There is really only one way to negotiate the terrain left by this kind of logging operation. The forester may work with C.A.R.P. to help re-establish or reroute some of the affected trails.
Bryan and the elves evaluating the situation.
The original Christmas Tree was reduced to stump status, but its spirit lives on.
We gathered after the ride to enjoy hot beverages and tasty snacks while discussing the opportunities and challenges of the new landscape.
I think the logging operations are complete, but there will be some major clean-up to be done. Decisions will be made regarding the routing of the damaged trails and there will be plenty of work ahead before things return to near-normal. In spite of the damage, many miles of trail remain ridable and there is an effort underway to clear those trails of leaves and debris. The trails in the logged area obviously will require heavier work and riders should avoid them if for no other reason than that they are generally unridable and hazardous. I can also reliably predict that the first heavy rain will produce seas of knee deep, bike-miring shoe-sucking mud where the heavy equipment has plowed things up.