Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Panther Creek – Pedals and Paddles

On Tuesday, July 21, we had a leisurely morning and then about 11am headed out for the 9-mile paved bike path. To kick things off with a little added adventure we decided to use part of the mountain bike path as a shortcut to our own path trailhead. That was a memorable 6 -8 blocks, up and down hills, through the timber and over a bridge.

It was a good reminder to me that I’ve lost my touch on being ‘at one’ with my bike, especially on the downhill sides where there seemed to be no end to the ruts and the roots to be negotiated.

The paved path itself was wonderful, well, perhaps with the exception that it wasn’t all downhill. It was as if we had the entire 26 square mile conservation area all to ourselves except for the plentiful wildlife. We spied many deer along the way.

These two fawns didn’t seem particularly concerned about us coming upon them as they continued their grazing.

We also came across a mama turkey and her young ones but they weren’t nearly as interested in standing still for a photo.
At times the creek was running at our side along the path.

At other times we crossed it.

The highlight of the ride was the long downhill stretches through woods. Suddenly you’re a kid again with the wind in your face, the heat of the hill being replaced by the coolness that reaches up to meet you in the valley.

We actually biked about 12 miles when you include the ride to and from the trail to our site and the time off path to bike to a scenic overlook. When we got back to the RV, I fixed the Magnolia Salad I mentioned in the last blog and we took it easy for the rest of the afternoon.

After supper we decided to get our boat out. Like the bikes it hadn’t seen much action this past year. JEPC has 3 lakes so we decided to start with the largest which was right at the campground, Prairie Lake.

I’ve decided to hold off again this year on getting a fishing license so I was the official paddler while Ken pointed me toward the best sites. After about ½ hour of nothing but some playful nibbles, Ken decided to pull out his ‘secret weapon’, a disgusting smelling spray called ‘Yum’ that he puts on the lore.

It wasn’t long and he had a little bass who apparently liked the Yum a lot more than I did. Ok, Ken has now caught as many fish this year as he did last – one!

Despite a few sprinkles of rain, it was a lovely evening for fishing and to watch the sunset across the lake.

Hugs, C

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