Author Archives: Kim

Time for my North Bend Trail Bike Adventure

It’s time for my North Bend Trail Adventure!


The North Bend Rail Trail project, begun in 1991, was formally a spur off the CSX system. The trail project began from four “model sections” which were then connected to form the current trail, which accounts for the change of trail conditions from county to county.

Limited Info

Finding current information on the NBT has been limited. Trail reports from 2009 or 2012 does not give you good beta on what you will find in 2018.

North bend map

My best source was Traillink. I  got some better idea of what to find by Googling North Bend railroad tunnels. There are 13 tunnels on the NBT, 10 passable. 

Water Sources

My main concern for my two day trip would be for water source. This is a very remote trail-albeit running parallel to Route 50, there are not many towns along the trail. Once I started drilling down, my fears were allied-it looks like 26 miles would be the longest stretch between water stops. Food I wasn’t concerned about, I can carry plenty of food!

helga fat bike

West to East

My trip runs west to east for logistical purposes. We have a family reunion in West Virginia a day after my trip.  It would be an easy hour drive on the highway from Clarksburg to Sutton. My reward after my bike ride is going to be a world class meal at the Cafe Cimino Inn in Sutton West Virginia.


Since this was a plan for August, it doesn’t concern me that it will be hot and uncomfortable in July. With the hot weather, I am hoping lots of the alleged muddy areas will be dried out.

Trail Conditions

The official Rails-to-Trails Conversvancy Guidebook comes right out and says the NBT is best enjoyed by hiking it.

Hike it

I am hoping by riding a fat bike-which can handle lots of conditions-it will be an enjoyable trip.

Get ready for Day One Report!

Art Journal Challenge Week Twenty Eight Wine


This week Art Journal Challenge was wine! Easiest prompt ever! I love wine!

Art Journal Challenge Week 28 Wine

Not wanting a white page, I cleverly dribbled some wine on the page. It turned more blackish than I liked.

Easy Prompt, No Journalling

Art Journal Challenge Wine

With the easiest prompt ever, I found myself on FRIDAY doing most of the work for the week challenge. The intent of this challenge was “art journal every day” with the goal of a finished product by Sunday. A few doodles daily. Maybe I should set aside a scheduled ten minutes to work daily? I still got weeks to figure this out.


This week I used some epherema, stickers, and markers, and oh, the spilled wine on the page to start it off.


Perhaps the challenge for next week challenge will be to “art journal” every day!

art journal challenge wine week

Art Journal Challenge Week Twenty Seven Music Notes

Art Journal Challenge Week 27 Music Notes


This was a good challenge.


I meant to paint the background, but ran out of time.

Art Journal Week Challenge 27 Music Notes

I meant to place music notes on my river of bars, but ran out of time.

Art Journal Week Challenge 27 Music Notes

I used paint, markers, crayon for this week’s challenge.

Art Journal Week Challenge 27 Music Notes

I wish I had “more time” to decorate the music notes-that was the plan. Oh well! On to next week!

Art Journal Week Twenty Six LOL


Art Journal Challenge Week 26 LOL

Well, what does THAT prompt mean at all? LOL! I have no idea where I got these prompt ideas from-again!

Art Journal Challenge LOL

League of Legends

On first Google try, LOL means League of Legends. Some sort of online game. I’m not a gamer, so I doubt I will try and represent the League. LOL.


I continue down the Google page-heavens, have I been invoking the name of Satan in vain?

“When we “laugh out loud” online, are we really praying to Satan, the prince of darkness himself? … According to the directive, which is meant to be shared “with Christians,” the classic and ubiquitous “LOL” acronym stands for “Lucifer our lord,” something the image’s creator doesn’t find funny at all”

Art Journal Challenge LOL

Sock Monkey don’t care about LOL!


I used paint, stickers, a few markers for this week Art Journal Challenge.

Art Journal Challenge LOL

Onto the next week!!

Biking the Zoar Valley Trail

Today was a training ride on the fat bike. Helga is my Specialized Fat Tire bike. This was an experiement to see how my body could handle riding the fat bike for hours in a day. The North Bend Trail is a more rough rails to trails, so I will ride Helga.

Zoar Valley Trail

The Zoar Valley Trail was a good excursion for the fat bike. This trail follows the Ohio to Erie Canal. It is much rougher condition than the towpath that exists in Stark County and north. A fat bike performs superbly well on it!  My NBT trip will be on mainly flat ground, it is another rails to trails conversion.

Fat Bike on the Fink Truss Bridge Zoarville

Zoarville Bridge

It’s always fun to go see the Zoarville Bridge, a cool looking Fink Truss Bridge in the middle of no-where! This is just one section of the bridge over Conotton Creek. The bridge originally had three sections which spanned the Tuscarawas River.

Fink Truss Bridge

Bridge pic from 2013

The Zoarville Station Bridge is a rare survivor of the earliest period of iron bridge construction in the United States.  German immigrant Albert Fink first developed this truss design for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the early 1850s.

Zoarville Bridge
The bridge features the highly unusual Fink truss configuration. These endposts are vertical and utilize a modified Phoenix Column. Phoenix columns are also used for the top chord and vertical members. Phoenix columns were a special patented type of built-up member. Very few examples of them remain today.

Carrying on the Ride


I will be riding about 40 miles on Day One and 30 miles on Day Two. My only items to carry will be food, water, and bits of toolkit.  My two bags fit comfortablly on the front rack of Helga. I will also wear my backpack with a bit more water.

Water Bottles

My bike is not set up well for bottles. I have a holder for a small bottle, but I can’t put a bottle cage on the down tube (yes! I have learned some bike nomenclature!!!!) because that interferes with the Saris bike rack when I have to transport Helga. I did  buy a water cage which can go on the front fork (look at me, whee!!) so I will have to try that out.


Art Journal Challenge Week Twenty Five Favorite Book Character

Favorite Book Character

Favorite Book Character Art Journal Challenge

Anne of Green Gables

My favorite book character is…Anne with an E of course! Anne Shirley, or “Anne of Green Gables” as she is more popularly known.

I didn’t read the Anne books until college. It was love at first site with Anne, with her “race that knows Joseph”.  There is quite a collection of porcelain dogs in my household. (Both L.M. Montgomery and Anne owned Gog and Magog.)

Dog Collection

Lucy Maud Montgomery

I’ve read all of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “selected”  journals. Her life, compared to her character, Anne, was a rough one. Her husband suffered from depression and maybe was bi-polar. Mrs. Montgomery seemed to mainly support the family and had many health issues of her own. I believe I have read most of her fiction books. If you like Anne of Green Gables, you might also enjoy the Emily of New Moon series.

japan anne

Favorite book

My favorite book is Anne’s House of Dreams, although a bit sad. This is the book where she and Gilbert get married and start their life together.

Favorite secondary character

It’s Anne’s youngest daughter, Rilla, and her story of growing up in the WWI years. Her book is called “Rilla of Ingleside”. I just acquired a new book called “Readying Rilla” which is Montgomery’s manuscript of Rilla and the editing and changes that went into the manuscript.

What about the Art Journal Page?

I was so busy with Anne, the page became secondary! Most of this week was printed pics and a little stamping.

Art Journal Challenge Favorite Book Character

Art Journal Challenge Favorite Book Character

Art Journal Challenge Favorite Book Character

This was a fun week. I’ve now retrieved all my “Anne” books for another re-read!

Next Adventure: North Bend Trail West Virginia


North Bend Trail Adventure


The North Bend Rail Trail is on my list for Bike 2018. With a family reunion following on a 4 day weekend in July, my little wheels started spinning. This also had to involve a dinner at Cafe Cimino (2nd best meal we ever had) and the reunion.

Where is the North Bend Trail?

The North Bend Trail stretches from Parkersburg to Clarksburg West Virginia, in the northern part of the state. It’s parallel, more or less to Route 50. The North Bend Rail Trail offers a scenic experience with splendid railroad elements and welcoming trail towns to be enjoyed. Stretching nearly 72 miles from Interstate 77 near Parkersburg (Cedar Grove) to Wolf Summit, the trail travels through an impressive 13 tunnels (10 passable), crosses 36 bridges, and passes through or near an assortment of state, county, and local parks.

Not Highly Developed

The trail link entry mentions this should be done on a mountain bike, as many sections are dirt, grass, unmown grass. In otherwords, this is not going to be a beautiful asphalt, coasting along bike route.

From all intel gathered, the NBT needs a bunch of work. There are not many towns along the NBT-and the towns that are nearby, these are tiny towns! Like population under a 1000 people small!  Without folks interested in the trail, there are no trail maintainers.

There has been a feasability study released by Rails to Trails Conservancy about the possible Parkersburg to Pittsburgh (the P2P) trail. The 238-mile Parkersburg to Pittsburgh (P2P) rail-trail is already nearly 80 percent complete; just a few short gaps exist in West Virginia to unlock a contiguous 150-miles-plus stretch of the rail-trail from Parkersburg to the state’s border with Pennsylvania. Linking up with the Great Allegheny Passage Trail could also mean you could bike from Washington DC to Parkersburg West Virginia!

What is my Plan?

The trail is 72 miles long. A popular method is to bike 29 miles and then spend the night at Norrth Bend State Park-my orginial plan. The Lodge is booked! Plan Two!

If you ever travelled between Parkersburg and Clarksburg, it’s a great four lane highway. There are just a few tiny towns.  There does happen to be a Sleep Inn in Ellenboro, about 40 miles from Parkersburg which happened to have a room available.

I will be dropped off at the Parkersburg end of the trail, bike to Ellenboro, spend the night there, and finish the 30 miles the next day in Clarksburg.

What Will I Ride?

Helga and Me

I am taking Helga! My beloved fat bike. She will need a bit of work. I need to get the fenders up on her. I also need to make sure I can carry my front handlebar bag.

Helga at the Beach

I may also swap out my Terry saddle to Helga. I’ve not biked long distances on Helga. I need to get a few long distances up on Helga.

Ever ride the North Bend Trail in West Virginia?