18 August 2011

Sneaking in some secret sunrise goodness before work. Cooler temps and nice colors....


The weekend's rides in photo-form


Scott came to visit and, of course, bicycles were the focal point of the weekend's activities. 







07 August 2011

Names....

I know...I've covered names before during my "Trail Name" rant, but that applied to people; this time we are venturing elsewhere....

Of the many many reasons I find myself so driven to be outside, exploring the forests, I find that one keeps me quite intrigued. Names....trail names, road names, forest names, and town names. This, of course, delves into my interest of historical things. There is a reason why all trails are named, a background, a history. Maybe it was the name of the person most-devoted to building that trail, or the old mine that the trail was once a road for, or the settlement that it led to. I mean don't you wonder too about names like: Stonecoal Run, Dowell's Draft, Skulls Gap, Sulfur Springs, Fullers Rock, or Salt Log Gap. Really, who was old man Dowell? Why is it called Skulls Gap? Was there a sulfur spring somewhere on that mountain I don't know about? Who was Fuller, and why is it his rock? What the heck is a salt log, and why would you name two Gaps within 20 miles of each other the same thing? What do these names mean, who, or what do they reference. Its interesting to think about, and I always want to know.

Trail names, summit points, and mountain knobs are always tied to local history. Whatever seemed to build the local towns are where many of the names come from. Logging towns, Coal towns, Mill towns, Gold towns, and everything in between. I spent today riding in the Cherokee National Forest (obviously its name comes from the many Cherokee who once inhabited the area), and a nearby town was once booming from the local copper mine. Everything was named "Copper-something" and from looking at the soil/rock nearby, it was obvious what mineral it contained...today I rode my bike along the historic Old Copper Road connecting the Brush Creek Trails near Boyd Gap to the Tanasi Trail system.......ahhh so many questions...


The Ocoee down below...filled with rafters and kayakers staying cool on a HOT day

Named for Old Man Boyd, who lived in solitude up on the mountain. Legends tell of the treasure he buried away somewhere deep in a mountain cave. They say he left offerings of gold, buried in mason jars around his cabin, to Native American spirits to protect his treasure. The cabin no longer stands, only piles or rock remain. The treasure was never found, and neither were those who went looking for it....

Ok - ....so not really the story, but this is what happens when my mind wanders...


Single-track!

Ahhh, to cool off for a while


Its amazing to think that many of our "recreational" trails were once mountain roads used to connect mines and logging areas, or to bring supplies to forts during the Civil War. It brings to mind all of the CCC groups, and many folks working their asses off in the heat and the cold on these treacherous mountain roads, and here I am now having a great time, enjoying myself. I'd like to think that maybe they appreciate that what they built still exists and is used by so many people.



I guess I'll never know the reason for which they are all named....but that's ok....I'm very glad that I get to use them!