Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Arabia & Panola Mountain trails 7-24-10

During the spring, Olympia had me convinced I could run a 5k with her. As it got closer, I had to tell her there was no way I could run it. I could walk it but I HATE running. I run with the dogs but I don't really enjoy it then either...and they're pulling me. So we decided to do a bike ride together and a weekend backpacking trip. That will be in October. Hopefully we'll get to see some fall colors.

I found these two connecting bike trails on Google maps. There's a new biking option. If you push and hold the street view button and scroll over the map, it shows green roads. Those green roads are actually bike trails, not roads. That was how I found out about these. I had never heard of the trails before. They, together, added up to 10 miles, one way. We were looking for a 20 mile ride so it was perfect.

Since it was a bike trail, I foolishly thought there would be water fountains and at least pit toilets here and there. There was a visitors center where we parked but that was it for the whole trail. I only brought one bottle of water...not too smart of me.

We took a right from the visitor's center. After a few miles, we found the trailhead we had looked for but couldn't find. Maybe we couldn't find it because the trail head was on a residential street without a single parking spot. Kind of weird. But at the trail head were these siamese twin trees. Olympia's husband is a botanist and she asked him if he had ever seen anything like it and he hadn't...he doesn't know how it happened. However it happened, it's pretty neat.

We turned back and followed the trail past an old farm that was still being worked.

We stopped at the visitor's center for water and a bathroom break. But the ranger had locked herself out of the building and was waiting on another ranger to drive over and let her in. In the mean time, we had no access to a bathroom but there was a water hose I filled my bottle up with.

This time, we turned left and it wasn't long before we saw one of the mountains...not sure which one it was. Both are really just exposed granite domes like Stone Mountain....not mountains at all, really. Which ever one it was that we passed, it used to be a rock quarry and the old office building was still there, but in ruins.

We thought it must have been some kind of jail judging from the barred windows. The building had no roof and the floor was just the rock. A few apricot trees were growing inside, as well as cactus and some flowers. The apricots weren't ripe yet...and we both wished that they were.

The top of the mountain:

Frog pond on the mountain.

Back on the trail, it was getting mighty hot! We were running out of water and we were grateful to be in the shade of all the trees.

But, when this trail met up with the second trail, it was all in the sun and when I stopped and asked someone if there was a restroom anywhere on the trail they said no. SInce Olympia was already thinking it was time for her to turn around anyway, we turned around and headed back. We stopped to have a snack before tackling some of the bigger hills.

Olympia did really well considering the heat and the fact that she doesn't even own a bike. We did about 15 miles when all was said and done and she wants to go for another ride in the fall.


Us said...

Once again you show how gorgeous GA can be. I love the pictures. 15 miles and she didn't even own a bike? That's awesome! Suddenly I feel ashamed of my weak attempt so many years ago.

Tiff :o) said...

You did 20 miles...and I wasn't exactly taking it easy on you either. I feel bad when I think about it...especially since it turned you off of bikes forever. Sorry I was a mean sister.

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