Sunday, December 28, 2014

An impromptu 3.2 miles

Driving home on a winding road along a hillside, I hit a chug-hole in the road, which for a second I thought knocked my back out of whack. In the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of something silver whiz by me, and it zigged and zagged before exiting the road  over the edge of a long steep drop off. I pulled over to inspect my tire, and as I feared, the silver passer-by was one of my hub caps.

Fortunately, there was a wide shoulder and even a place to pull completely off the road. Most folks would have just let the hubcap go, being down what looked like a 100 foot deep ravine, but not me. I still ha\d my running stuff and trail shoes on from my morning run, and took this as an adventure.  

The only way down was too steep to walk, but I descended holding on to any small tree I could find and using tree bases for solid braking places for my skidding feet. I really had no clear idea where the hubcap was, and with the still plentiful snow cover, it could have skidded under a drift. I quickly became more interested in the culvert at the bottom.

A second culvert went under a nearby railroad track. I'd like to see these after torrential rains. 

The long passage under the road above was spooky. I am sure I am a little to much of a chicken to pass this way by night. But maybe not--I DID visit a 100 year old cemetery with Satan on one of the tombstones once. A pile of wood (maybe firewood), some old discarded clothes, and several empty milk jugs and 2-liter bottles made me wonder if some modern day moonshine aka meth had been cooked here.

Climbing out the other side, and taking a picture it looks more like a mine shaft entrance. I decided to follow the boulder strewn dry creek bed for a while as it seemed like a trail of sorts. My path was flanked by towering inclines on both sides with old growth trees, dead-fall, and briers. 

Less than a half mile south, I came to a huge overhang--a shelter from a heavy rain or snow if one were stranded here. Feeling like I might be exploring where no one had explored before, I had that idea dashed by crumpled Bud Lite cans littered. Oklahoma rednecks.

Finally, the creek bed was intersected by a 4-wheel drive road which led upward and eastward. I stayed in the creek bed which showed signs of wheeled and foot traffic. About a quarter mile later, the road/trail headed out of the creek bed. That was good--maybe. Getting back to my car before dark was a concern, but climbing out of the cry creek brought the setting sun back up over the horizon. I followed, and the route seemed to bend back toward my car. 

One last climb, and I could tell I'd made a big loop--one I would like to do again. Another hubcap quest when the snow melts.

When in doubt, always follow a power line. Someone will ask me where this is, and if asked privately, I'll tell. I have a few friends who know this area, and we seem to agree to be a little secretive as to this location.

I passed by an area where there was a lot of dumped trash--a particularly disgusting sight which is all to common in Oklahoma. You see odd things dumped in the woods, and this was no exception. 

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