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My spring break didn't include blogging, but should have

I am not a natural blogger. I do not fall into the camp of people that have an epiphany or an extraordinary day and blog about it. Nor do I naturally roll around thoughts in my head and decide to see them in print, thereby exasperatingly pounding on the keyboard to type fast enough to remember them all.

I should have blogged about my bike trip this past spring break week, since my topic is on bikes, and I need to get going on the blogs, but I didn’t, so I’m going to recap a few days. As I have mentioned (in class), I traveled with my boyfriend, Josh, to northern Arkansas to visit the Ozark National Forest. It was a spur of the moment decision, Arkansas has an especially good state website and I found an “epic? mountain bike trail system at the Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail. Syllamo has over 50 miles of single track trails (impressive), and it probably would have taken us about a week to ride them all. To say the least, we got our Northern arses kicked by the mountains, but to be fair there was major flooding during the week and we had to deal with extra water and debris.

Before we headed to Syllamo, we stayed in Eureka Springs, Arkansas for two nights and a little way outside of town there was Leatherwood City Park. A park, which a ranger explained to us, was over 1600 acres and funded by the city. It had rained more than ten inches in the area, which was not a common thing. On our hour drive way to Eureka Springs from Fayetteville while it was pouring, unbeknownst to us people were being washed away in the floods and dying. We decided to go mountain biking, and during that whole day the rangers words ran through my head saying, “it’s only gonna get worse?. Meaning that if we walked down a little part of the trail and it was bad for biking or walking, the rest of the trail was going to be worse later on. Now, I think of myself as a somewhat experienced cyclist, but I can say I’ve never forged as many bodies of water as I did on that trail. As the trail being sometimes a shallow rut for water to follow, we were finding ourselves riding on streams. As the rain pounded on the sides of the mountains, it brought down trees and rocks from the natural rocky exterior, blanketing the trails with debris. We found a series of disconnected bridges in an especially “lakey? part of the trail system, which we surmised that they had been connected at one time, and the water disjoined them. What was so singular about this experience in Arkansas is that I wouldn’t even have the slightest clue what the mountain bike trails around here would be like when it floods, due to the nature that you can’t ride the trails here when wet. Down there (in Arkansas) the trails are rocky, and here they are mostly packed dirt that would get all torn up if ridden in wet weather.

When we finally got to the highlight of the trip, the Syllamo trails, we only had two days to ride. For reasons due to flooding we couldn’t get to our cabin that we had reserved. Luckily, we brought camping gear with us, and it was so nice after the rain anyway we camped at the base of the trail system. The forest rangers were trying to get people off the top of one of the mountains who were trapped when we arrived, and the bridge connecting one side of the campground to the other was washed out. We watched bulldozers and trucks quickly remove the roadblock, and after it was cleared on the other side found other “hardcore bikers? from Oklahoma and Kansas. We spent a couple days here that was well worth the wait, and then came home, bruises and scratches from fallen tree branches all over our bodies, satisfied with the trip.