I went out Saturday and only got a couple of shots. There was a bit of rowing competition, but I couldn’t find a good place to stop and shoot until up near the finish line at the boathouse. The races row upriver. To make up for it, I stopped and captured this carpet of spring flowers just a little ways beyond the race course (image to the right).
Today’s ride was in high winds, but I needed the time out alone. Thus, I rode north on Midwest Boulevard to Memorial, turned east and followed it to Douglas Boulevard where it turns north around the south end of the Lake Arcadia. At NE 150th it curves back east. I stayed on this all the way to Hiwasse Road. It was one serious hill after another (image to the left). There was also a lot of opulence, but materialism isn’t my thing. I was more impressed with this natural draw on a tributary to the Deep Fork River (image to the right). Above that was a very much artificial dam and a beautiful little pond (below left). This was all done in preparation for a huge housing tract being cleared as I passed. Based on the apparent layout, I’d say this was more of the McMansion type of stuff. However, I also passed a couple of developments that were clearly custom-made castles.
At some point the castles sort of disappeared and I saw quite a few old farm and ranch places, about half with just a mobile home. The pattern seemed to be that high ridges were adorned with castles, most of which were at least partially visible from the road. Any place where the slopes were more gentle was the older homesteads. However, in terms of riding experience it was delightfully brutal, as I had to shift down to my smallest chainring on every climb. This, while the wind hit me mostly from the side. Near the end of this section I spotted this truck that had been parked in a highly irregular fashion.
Turning south on Hiwasee was when this ride turned into a grinding slog against the stiff headwinds. Even shallow climbs required lower gears. A few downslopes were actually no easier than flat ground would normally be. So for the next 15 miles or so, I was mostly in B-3 except when I was forced down into A-3. This pond (left) was the last fresh scene before I crested the divide between Deep Fork and North Canadian watersheds. Everything else is pretty well pictured in previous cycling posts here. I rolled on down to Britton Road and turned west, staying on it as it become the long angled Spencer-Jones Road. I noticed this fine old house sitting there, normally covered in vines and weeds, but just visible still at this point early in our spring (image right).
The hills were gone but it was still a long slow slog. I turned off Spencer-Jones Road on NE 63rd and stayed with it all the way back to Midwest Boulevard. Along the way, I noticed a couple of abandoned houses had been flattened and even the trees around them had been uprooted. Just a ways farther was this scene; I don’t recall seeing it on the news, but it had burned sometime since my last time passing by here. It was a grand old house; I recall rumors of a long legal dispute between the heirs but I suppose that’s all settled now. The inheritance would cost more to rebuild than to start from scratch.
Tough workout, just about 33 miles.