Friday, April 23, 2010

Life above ground

Mammoth Cave National Park: Sure there are the caves packed with tourist, but don't neglect all that the surface has to offer, and I don't mean just sunlight. A ferry ride across the Green River transported me to what my ranger/guide described as a whole different park, and no lie there.

On the briny--ok, really just the Green River Ferry

I headed across to north side mid afternoon with the intent of a short walk and moving into my campsite for the night, but once to the parking area, and with a few stormy clouds overhead, I opted for riding the mountain bike trail lest the weather shut me out the following day. Snaking along the hill above the river, although never in sight of it, is the Sal Hollow Trail, 8.7 miles of mountain biking bliss. Not overly rough, just a few rocky sections, it has just about ever type of sweeping, tight, off-camber, and banked corner you could image with gently rolling topography that allows for good speed to be carried over even most of the uphills.

The best picture I can offer of the Sal Hollow Trail;
It was just too damn good to stop along the way.

This is whooping-out-loud (I was) great riding, and running it in both directions gives roughly 17.5 miles by my calculations, which took me a little over two hours at a just-sub-race-pace clip. It was my first definite improvement day after a day or two of fighting off a minor cold, and I intended a restful pace, but this trail really deserved the effort, and happily I suffered no relapse this morning.

I'm noticing a trend of overgrown "overlooks."

From here, I'll leave the Mammoth Cave's trails, well soaked by an overnight downpour, for Land Between the Lakes, passing through Bowling Green, a town of which I know nothing, except that it made its way into a Gillian Welch song.

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