Author Archives: Kim

Biking the Greenbrier River Trail Day Two and Three

Day Two Marlinton and Cass

sign to marlinton

I was so happy to wake up alive in the morning. I was happy to roll into Marlinton, and have breakfast at the Dirt Bean Cafe. Dirt Bean Cafe MarlintonThe Cafe is both a coffee shop and a bike shop!

Cass

I made it up to Cass! It was a very hot day.  I got to see the Cass Train. It was small. I guess I was remembering the Silverton/Durango Train. I felt sorry for the engineers shoveling the coal into that engine on this hot hot day.  I didn’t stick around Cass very long, I was too eager to ride some miles back down the trail and get camp set up for the night.

Campsite Mile 70

Mile 70 campsite greenbrier trail

How far can I bike today. I biked 40 miles to Cass, how much farther can I go? The further I go south, the less I will have to bike on Saturday. But I don’t want to kill myself either. I decided to stop at Mile 70, at 615 pm. I biked about 50 miles. Again I am exhausted!

Saturday Day Three

I wake up kind of refreshed. That’s a lie. I was sore and tired. Ugh. Maybe I’m not cut out for a Tour Divide ride when I can’t even handle a flat little rail trail.  Shut up Kimba, and drink some coffee, you got 70 miles to go.

early morning greenbrier trail

 

My breakfast this day is a Mountainhouse spicy mac and cheese. This isn’t exactly my first choice, but I surprise myself by eating it all down. I get on the trail about 730am and resolve to not make any extended stops.

I am a 1/2 mile out of Marlinton when I feel it becoming harder and harder to bike. Guh!! A flat! BUT I am a 1/2 mile to Marlinton-and the Dirt Bean Cafe, which is also a BIKE SHOP. I resolve to just add air to the tire and let the bike shop fix my flat. I can fix my flat, but I know a bike shop pro can do it quicker.

Back to the Bean

The proprietor of the coffee/bike shop is able to fix my tire. She shows me the tiny brad that I managed to pick up on the tire. Yes, I said SHE. I regret not getting her name. Thanks Dirt Bean Cafe for the yummy scones and my tire fixed!!!

More Food for the Road

I got more food for the trip south. 3 scones, a chocolate chip cookie. I know I am going to stop again at Seebert, at mile 45, for more drinks and food.

Seebert

 

A hot day. I buy Payday bars, Sour Kids, potato chips. I’m debating buying a beer but then I see the Code Red Mountain Dew-yes, that has the caffeine and calories that I need!  The last 30 miles were a bit of a slog. All I wanted to do was finish. Ugh. And bathe. And get a hotel room.

The Finish

I did it! I coasted back into the parking lot at 615 pm Saturday. I felt much better!!

Conclusions

The Greenbrier is a great little trail. It is not as secluded or remote as I thought. You do have to plan your water and food supplies. But the trail is *only* 78 miles long, you could bike it all in one day. Or you could meander up and down the trail, stop to swim or fish. There are nice locations to stop and camp out on the trail. I did notice there are now cabins and Airbnb’s available. I’m sure there are rentals in Marlinton. Cass has lodging available in case you don’t feel like camping in a tent.

Fall would be a great time to bike the Greenbrier River Trail!

 

Biking the Greenbrier River Trail

Biking the Greenbrier River Trail

The Greenbrier River Trail Day One

My Loose Plan

I had a very loose plan for my trip. Start at North Caldwell, bike north for some miles and camp overnight. I knew it would take me four hours to drive to the trailhead. I didn’t know how fast I would be able to bike, weighed down with all my gear.

My Ride

This was my experiment with tent camping and hauling.

Thursday Day One

I got on the trail about 11 am.  The southern end of the trail was hard hit by the 2016 floods. The trail has been repaired and in great shape.

I was a bit surprised by all the summer cabins along the trail. In all my reading about the trail, people mentioned the remoteness of the trail.  There are cabins up and down the length of the Greenbrier River. There are probably cabins about 70 miles of the 78 mile trail.

cabin along the Greenbrier Trail

Campsites

I felt fine cruising by mile 13, then 26.  There was water around mile 28, and I was evaluating where I wanted to stop for the night.   Should I stop at mile 38? I decided to go on to Mile 40 campsite.

Prisonprison sign

I was surprised to see a sign for a prison, then I saw the gleaning of the barbed wire.  view of the prison from Greenbrier River Trail

Tired

Just a short distance, later I found my home for the night. It was a bit damp, as there was a nice babbling brook that fed into the river.

I was exhausted! It was a hot day out there, I wasn’t in prime biking shape, and I had been awake since 5am.  I was in the tent by 7 pm, and pretty much asleep soon afterwards.

Night Time Wake Up Call

I woke up at 115 am to the sound of a scream. Not one scream, but numerous screams. WTF is going on?? The screams are very much like the enraged zombie-like soldiers in the movie 28 Days Later.  Is there a convict loose from the prison? Is there a meth addict going crazy in the woods?

I am terrified. I know that sounds dramatic. But I was. I have no idea what is happening outside my tent. I glance at the phone and instantly make it dark. I do not want to attract attention to my green little tent…in the middle of nowhere…where there is a crazed individual SCREAMING in the woods outside.

What to do? I briefly think of jumping on my bike and riding down the trail. But I don’t know where “THEY” are. Are there guards hunting for this crazed individual? Is that voices I am hearing, or is that the babbling brook near by?

This is kind of what it sounded like:

It may have sounded again. Then it stopped. I am still sitting upright in my tent. I can’t sustain this until daybreak, so I lay down again. Now that my heart rate is dropping a bit (I hope) I think, well, maybe that was a screech owl. What do screech owls sound like? Maybe it was a bird. I’m right on a river, there are probably owls, eagles, loons all sorts of birds around that scream.

I fall asleep.

I live to face another day. It was a bit chilly at 6 am, so I donned my rain poncho just to keep the body heat in while I drank some coffee and savored being alive. Then it was time to saddle up Myka, and head on down the trail!

Shake Down Ride

Today I rode the shake out bike ride. I’m bike camping at the end of the month. Being as I will be out of town on business the six days prior to my ride, I thought it best to figure out all the moving parts.

Biggest Moving Part

Myka wins the slot for the bike trip! It became evident that I was not prepared to haul my camping gear on Maya. Or had anything adequate for bikecamping on Maya. Or had done any sort of testing out hauling gear on Maya.

But Myka was ready for the call! Out comes the classic Ortleib panniers. Myka has done this haul before.

Off the Trainer

Myka has been my steady companion on the trainer all winter long. In fact, I just lifted her off, changed the back tire back to a road tire, and took her out into daylight.

Shake  Out Ride

I needed to feel how Myka would handle with a load. The biggest load I’ve ridden, in fact, since I will be tent camping and hauling everything. What a difference after riding Maya along!

It was a pretty chill ride. I basically stuffed my tent, bivy, binky, Jetboil, tool kit, water bottle into the panniners and took off riding. Originally, I  was not going to visit the eagle nest, as it is a hilly ride, but I thought, why not.

Eagle Update

I have an eagle’s nest about six  miles from my house. I have enjoyed watching mom and dad on the nest, and then the baby eaglets being hatched and hanging out. In April I started riding my bike over to the nest.

April view of the nest with Maya

It was always a good “destination” spot.  It looks like there is just one eaglet left (there were two originally.) None of the birders were hanging out, although some locals jumped out of their car to snap a pic with their cell phone.

The one eaglet left on nes

 

Project 219 Update

 

my project 219 chart

How is my Project 219 coming along? This was my challenge for 2019. Last year, it was my art journal.

Project 219

This was to do some sort of a work out daily, for at least 219 of the 365 days. In other terms, work out 60%, or 2/3 daily of the year.

So Far So Good

Out of the 151 days ,I had some sort of exercise work out on 89 days out of 151. This could have been a bike ride, ride on the trainer, walk at least one mile, or some sort of weight training for at least 30 minutes. In other words, doing a plank for 45 seconds does not constitute a work out.

Ways for Improvement

I don’t tend to work out on the days where I work  until 7am, drive home, sleep, then drive back to work at 730 pm. I probably need to not come home midweek  for my six day work week. ( I’m working six *midnight* shifts in a row, 9 pm to 7 am. My work place is 1 hour 15 minutes away.)

New Work Schedule

As said above, I have a new job, in a hospital, in another state. That makes it sound far away, but it’s not. I LIKE my new job! How many people can say that? I don’t really love the midnight shift, but that’s what shift was available.

My new job has a very nice work out room. Elliptical, treadmills, stairclimber, lots of machines that I’ve forgotten how to use. I’ve just dug out my old weight training book, with some print outs from 2006. What’s old is new again.

 

More Mini Adventures

Spring is here, and time to look at the calendar. More importantly, I appear to have a “work schedule” where I can predict what my days on-and OFF-will be. That leads to future scheming and dreaming.

Get the Bike Out

I’m torn between hiking and biking. Biking leads to a bit more planning. But biking is looming large in my future mini adventures.

Bikepacking

What’s bikepacking? It’s backpacking with a bike. Or: any ride that requires an overnight stay.

Bikepacking trips I am planning:

Bike Overnight: It doesn’t have to be far away. Just get out for a night, camp out, return home. I will ride from my house, to Salt Fork State Park, and camp out in one of my tents overnight.

It’s only 13 miles, but a bit hilly. This will be a good excuse to get the gear out, and see about packing my new bike.

Steel City Loop: This is a 72 mile loop around Pittsburgh, using mostly trails-The Montour, Great Allegheny Passage, Three Rivers Heritage Trail. This could be a one day, or two day tour. I’m leaning toward an overnight, as this would give me plenty of time to hang out and explore Pittsburgh.

Greenbrier Trail-this is a long rails trail in Southern West Virginia. Due to the time involved driving to the southern trailhead (not far from White Sulphur Springs) this would be at least a two day overnight.

Wabash Cannonball Trail-this is a rail trail in northwestern Ohio, 63 miles long.

National Trails Day, June 1-bikepack to the Buckeye Trail Association Barn-this is about 33 miles away for me. But this is the route I would take:

a stout undertaking!

As you can see, most of these rides are fairly close by for me. You don’t have to travel far to have a big adventure!

2019 Update

Dog jumping in snow
2019 Update

Hola! How is your winter progressing? It’s finally arrived here in Ohio with a vengeance. But it’s already trending toward the bottom of the month, spring is closer!

 

219 Workouts

Yes, I am doing them! I found this cool habit tracker from Elise Joy, it is free from this website. I’ve been doing some sort of movement almost daily! I need to put some intensity into said workouts.

Career
My gap year has ended. I have a new position which I begin on Tuesday. I don’t talk about my career so much on my blog, as I have chosen to focus the blog on the more personal aspects than the professional.


The very good news is my job is local, in fact I used to work in the same town ten years ago.  We don’t have to move! I didn’t realize how much I appreciate and LOVE where we live until I was faced with possibly relocating.

 

Comfort Zone


There is nothing like job interviews to take you outside of your comfort zone! Last time I interviewed for a job, there were not behavioural or situational interviews happening! I certainly learned bunches about the current job market, LinkedIn, networking, etc!

Progress not perfection sheet
Progress not perfection