Sunday, March 27, 2016

An impromptu trip to Lake Bixhoma

On a cold Sunday morning, with thunder waking me at 7:00 am, I thought I would be cooped up in the house all day watching March Madness, or a golf tournament (read that NAP), but by 11:30 when I looked outside again and my drive way was dry, I decided I needed a last-minute run. I tossed the idea out on social network, and a few friends were eager to join  in!! Since Turkey and especially Chandler Wilds would be most likely muddy, I thought Lake Bixhoma would be a good plan.
Lisa, Johnna, Jenni, and Ella joined me, and I can't forget Jerico--Lisa's schnauzer.  We basically did out-and-backs on either side of the lake, and mixed in hill repeats up the steep road leading from the entrance gate to the lake. Lisa, Jerico, Johnna, and I dot a 169' climb under our belts first, and then headed west and then south on gravel roads around the lake.

This lake is a great fishing spot, and several anglers and bass boats were wetting their lines. I used to fish here years ago in another life. Caught a 25 lb channel cat back in the 80s--the biggest fish I ever landed.

Lisa, Jenni, Ella, and Jerico approach the turnaround. 

 Thanks Johnna for the pic. I planned on an easy 6-7 miles, and this cloudy cool day was perfect.

I set my phone up on a picnic table and the timer on 10 seconds to get a group pic. Either my phone was not working, or it just won't photograph zombies. After 4 tries, I gave up.

 When we got back to our cars, Lisa stopped because this was Jerico's first run in quite a while and she didn't want him to overdo it. Ella had 2.4 miles, and they took off with Johnna and I up the hill for another hellish hill repeat. They reached the top and called it good--getting probably 3 miles for the day.

Johnna and I climbed the 169 feet and decided to head down the long road towards Leonard. I thought it was only a mile to the bottom, but it turned out to be a little further. 219 down, then 219 back up.

We chatted with Lisa and Jenni back at our cars. Jenni's hubby Ryan had came out and brought a drone to try out. Cool stuff. Johnna and I then headed around the other side of the lake.

We ran to the end of the dirt road and onto a trail that I thought went maybe 200 yards into the woods. Someone, however, had tied yellow ribbon marking a future trail, and for a half mile, the trail was trodden enough to follow. But eventually, their trail clearing had screeched to a halt. We were in a dense old growth wood and no further ribbons were in sight.

There have been plans bantered about for cutting a trail completely around the lake--and it seems they are about halfway there. I'd love to get a group together to help finish this.
On the way back we took a trail that went along the top of a bluff. I knew of an old campsite from the stone age. 

 I found this a few years ago, and someone told me this "chair" looked like an altar. But I am pretty sure it's just a chair. The rocks were natural brown--no signs of past fires.

 We took a couple of other side trails on the way back. One trail just below the spillway of the lake led to a cascading waterfall. I had never seen water flowing here, but after our rain, it was amazing.

A bit of graffiti here and there.  So did they or didn't they?

 We tromped around on the shale-like falls. It looked to be super slick, but in fact was not at all. We ended up with clean shoes.

I think we need a Sunday run here. There's hill repeats to do, trailz to explore, it's very scenic, and we could cook out afterward.

Johnna and I ended up with 9.3 miles, and 919' of climb. A good day.

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