The Saturday before Mother’s Day, me and a friend sent our wives out on a surprise outing to show our appreciation for them and then when Sunday rolled around it was ride time! My usual dual sport riding buddy had a hurt back and despite all my optimism he was unable to ride so I decided to go solo. I normally don’t ride dual sport solo, but I decided I would give it a shot and just take it easy. Here’s my route:
I left around 11:30 AM and I took a usual mix of roads on the way up. Since it was Mother’s Day the roads were not very crowded and the weather was great! When I got to the Bad Creek project site I was greeted by a gate at the front and signs everywhere. You would almost think you weren’t allowed in. I have never been in there before and I knew I was looking for Musterground Road. The pavement was very nice, so once I saw the sign for Musterground I decided to see how far the pavement went first. I’m really glad I did. At the end of the road there is a pull off with a very nice overlook of Lake Jocassee. It was so quiet up there that I decided to take a break and just soak it all in. I could see a pontoon pulling a tube down below and that was the only boat on the lake I could see. It looked like there was some kind of walking trail that leads off from the overlook area, but since I am in motocross boots I will not be checking that out.
After a break and some pics I started heading for Musterground. I didn’t really know what to expect. I turned down Musterground Road and it quickly turned to gravel! After airing my tires down I was set for a great adventure.
After a short stint of gravel riding I came down into a valley with a river and a really cool bridge. The bridge appears to be made of old boiler tubes with concrete poured between them. I stopped here for some pictures. As I continued on, the next section was a very steep hill climb in some slightly larger and looser gravel. It wasn’t too hard to ride it, but you definitely wanted to keep your momentum.
As I continued I realized how alone I was. It was just me out here and the entire time I was up there I never saw another soul. I did however see a shadow pass over me. It blotted out the sun like a fast moving cloud and as I looked up I saw a huge hawk perch in a low tree limb. It was cool to see a bird like that so close up!
I came to a split in the road and I decided to take a break and figure out which way to go. Stuff like this makes me nervous when I am by myself. My sense of direction did not get installed so I have to make a very conscious effort to remember my way out.
I decided to go uphill to the left. It didn't take me long to reach the gate to the Gorges State Park. It was locked and just as I was turning around my Grandma called. I couldn’t believe my phone was working up here! I spoke with her for a few minutes and wished her a happy Mother’s day and turned around to head down the other fork of the road.
A few turns in I saw another large bird. I startled a turkey and he started flapping his wings to fly up into a tree. I wish you could have seen it. The road was dry and dusty and it looked like a turkey helicopter taking off. It was complete with prop wash! The sun was beaming down into the dust to illuminate it and you could almost see the individual dust particles sparkling in the light.
Further down the road the terrain started looking more difficult. At one point I hesitated at the top of the hill and almost turned around, but I was having a great day and my riding had been good so I went for it. I am so glad I did. I eventually came out to a clearing where there was 5 roads leading away. Talk about having to remember where I came from. I took a picture of my exit road just in case and chose a road to ride. I took it all the way to the end and by that time it was getting late in the afternoon so I started heading back.
Judging by the time I thought I might just make it back in time for dinner if I hurried. Now, here’s the cool thing, I looked down several times and I was running 40 mph on these gravel roads and I still felt like I was taking it easy. In fact, I started pondering on how much our Mom’s have done for us and how important our Mom’s are in our lives. The human brain is amazing. While I am riding offroad it is processing all that input and I am still able to think about Mom’s!
I know both my parents have made sacrifices for me and my brother over the years, but since it’s a Mother’s Day ride I want to say thanks to my Mom and thanks to my wife Shannon for being a fantastic Mom to our son.
Things I Learned:
- Hawks will fly really close to you in the woods and apparently turkeys can’t hear a thumper coming.
- Even though I have no sense of direction I can find my way out of a gravel maze.
Proverbs 31:25-30 NIV: She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
This verse has a great description of a good Mom. If you stop for a minute and really take that verse in, and think about what its saying, can you see your Mom in there? I actually have memories pop in my head while reading it.
Do you have any memories of your Mom you want to share to honor her?