Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Oak Creek Trail Ride

Just when you thought I completely abandoned this blog I make a post!
My phone app tells me that my girl Linda and I have been on 947 miles of rides together since Jan. 26th of this year. These miles encompass all kinds of good rides: cold gravel rides, fast road rides, spring race rides, hot Monday Night dirt rides and many many miles of Rail-Trail rides. Our most recent bike adventure was the Oak Creek Trail ride from Valparaiso, NE. to Brainard, Nebraska.
The Oak Creek Trail occupies a former Union Pacific Railroad corridor in the eastern part of Nebraska. It is the most rural and peaceful trail we have found. While the trail is only about 1 hour from both Omaha and Lincoln, it connects two towns with populations of less than 600 with little development in between. The Oak Creek Trail has great views. Linda and I began our journey at the trail's southeast point in Valparaiso. From here the trail has an oak tree corridor. It has some high bridges crossing creeks that were recently very full. Just north of the trail's midpoint, trail users enter the tiny community of Loma. Restrooms are located just off the trail near St. Luke's Czech Catholic Shrine—established by Czech immigrants in 1911—in the center of town. This town had several abandoned houses and businesses that appear to have been untouched for years.
As we rode northwest, the trail follows the top of a picturesque ridge. Here we found some of the nicest wild plums we have encountered so far this year.
For the next several miles, natural prairie stretches as far as the eye can see. At Brainard we found the original train tracks were still laid adjacent to the trail. After a little searching I was able to find a loose railroad tie as a souvenir of our ride.
We rode the same trail back but faster since we did not need to sightsee as much. Also the trail is more downhill in the southeast direction. Linda screamed loudly as she ran over a large bull snake. But then we she found a small turtle that she was not afraid of.
This was an unexpectedly great ride and one of many fantastic memories Linda and I have made together. We are looking forward to some great fall night rides coming up soon.

Who is Stratomatic?

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Stratomatica - is my blog place where I document things happening around me or that interest me. The name Strata, geologically speaking, are layers of sedimentary rock or soil with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers. Too deep? Well, I like guitars. Mostly I like the sound and feel of Stratocasters.