A long weekend in Michaux and Tuscarora

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by RJ Str8, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    I live in NYC so getting out into the woods is never easy. I have to be opportunistic and ready to seize any chance to get out into the wild. Such a chance arose last week when I needed to be in Arlington, VA for a work meeting on Friday morning. After checking the weather and studying maps and downloaded GPX tracks, a plan was born. Instead of booking a train or plane the way I ordinarily would, I opted to ride my GS to Arlington on Thurs and then blast out into the hills of Southern PA immediately following my meeting on Friday and spend the weekend exploring pieces of the MABDR and other tracks in and around Michaux and Tuscarora State Forests. I loaded the bike with my work stuff (laptop, garment bag with business clothes) along with camping gear and supplies for two nights in the woods. I’ll post some pics and comments over the next day or so recapping the trip for anyone who might be looking to sneak out to log some miles in the forest without burning vacation. This is my first RR so feedback is welcome.
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  2. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    6E3D31CD-CD27-4B42-AF66-7A27D375458E.png The primary inspiration for this trip was to explore some of the tracks shared by SoPaRider and others on advrider that criss-crossed Michaux State Forest. Here’s a shot from my Gaia app with the tracks I planned to explore, which included parts of sections 4,5,6 of the MABDR.
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  3. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    5F2C20AD-634F-4B08-B0A2-4561671B7CCE.jpeg The plan was to take a fairly direct route to Arlington from Brooklyn on Thursday while avoiding the most aggravating sections of NY/DC corridor. I plotted a route that took me north of Philly and then through Lancaster, PA. Actually pretty nice. Didn’t take too many pics on the way down as I was focused on making decent time. But here’s one of the rig fully loaded for work and play.
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  4. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    B7E436BB-4068-4341-971D-AE6C24939EBF.jpeg After my meeting in Arlington on Friday, I changed clothes and got on the road a little before 2pm. I planned to pick up the MABDR just north of Harpers Ferry and ride it into Michaux. Since I had not been to the area before, I opted not to rely on my ability to find the perfect campsite so I reserved one before I left. The campgrounds in Michaux were full so I reserved a site in Colonel Denning State Park in he Tuscarora State Forest, which is about 30 mins from Michaux and also on the MABDR route. I would make the campsite home base for the weekend while I explored the forests. After meandering through Michaux - mainly on paved roads (but tasty ones), I arrived at my campsite around 6pm on Friday and quickly set up shop.
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  5. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    27F28707-4D2A-4926-92A2-BCE4F7B6E91C.jpeg I was in the saddle by 6am on Saturday morning on a much lighter bike as I was able to leave all non essentials in camp and set out with only a small tank bag and tail bag.
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  6. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    7F2ED870-3CF3-467C-96CB-93837AE66B87.jpeg I headed into Tuscarora following the TPAT-VERT_A_343_Final GPX track I found on one of the forums. I highly recommend it. Not technical but lots of fun dirt roads and certainly required my full attention on the big GS. First section led me to this amazing view around 7am.
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  7. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    EFD88A43-E60D-4838-8E12-1C7A3BF501E0.jpeg BC7FA0E9-5825-4762-9878-08E5C1E4A663.jpeg D6E3EB59-7C25-400A-993D-CCEDB6409696.jpeg Tuscarora was great- better than expected. I had planned to spend a couple hours there and then head to Michaux but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave so stayed there all day, deciding to make Sunday Michaux day. I just found the forest roads irresistible.
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  8. NCwolf

    NCwolf Been here awhile

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    Business trip, Moto style...I love it!

    Looks like a gorgeous area of the country to ride.
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  9. PineLaneRider

    PineLaneRider Long timer

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  10. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    Thanks PineLaneRider! I’ll be back your way at some point and will hit you up. Thanks for the thread too.
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  11. mosey.levy

    mosey.levy Long timer

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    What happened to day 2!
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  12. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    Ha! I didn’t think anyone was actually paying attention! Truth be told, I also don’t have a lot of pics from day 2 as I was focused on getting as much time on the trail as possible. Short story is that Michaux is a great place to ride. I didn’t run into anything all that challenging but a lot of fun running around the park nevertheless. I did have one moment of excitement when I ignored an obvious red flag and blasted ahead:
    #12
  13. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    5ACB65B4-94CD-4EE7-AB7E-D31AA67B888B.jpeg
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  14. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    The first few hundred yards were great
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  15. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    Rugged but very rideable double track 98124D4D-20FA-40E6-AD99-7B600D219A03.jpeg
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  16. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    That was the last shot I took as I was quickly fighting for my life in a bog of completely overgrown Jeep ruts full of large hidden rocks and mud pits. I’m fine with navigating obstacles and hazards but the zero visibility factor was frankly terrifying. I was fortunate to be able to bushwhack out through the woods to turn around and get back to where I started with all bike and body parts intact but it was not artful riding I can assure you. I was solo so if I had dropped it back there in one of those mud pits, it could have been a real bad day.

    I’m guessing who ever laid those trees across the entrance to the trail was trying to save others from their own hubris. Seems so obvious now!

    Anyway, the rest of the day was much less adrenaline fueled.
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  17. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    I was happy to make it back to my hammock for an end-of-day nap. 16E6E020-3B13-4BA0-B7EA-D9D5A5EF76DD.jpeg
    #17
  18. RJ Str8

    RJ Str8 Adventurer Supporter

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    Next day was a mostly pavement ride back through PA, NJ to NYC. All in all a great way to do a work trip!
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