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· trail addict
1,868 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in central PA, we just had the worst flood in over 30 years. We had passing rain showers and storms every day for a little over a week, but the worst came when we had over 10 inches of rain in a single day when the water already had no place to go. The river and streams crested, covering large sections of town. There were people down the hill who had a couple feet of water in the first floor of their homes. Things were ugly.

Once everything settled down and I could get across the bridge again, we went out for a trail ride, not knowing what to expect. The main creek in the valley was eroded 1-2 feet deeper everywhere (except where it was already just bare rock). Our regular crossings, which were always challenging, were now completely unrideable. There were rocks bigger than my computer screen that had been moved around, mudslides all around, and trees that fell after being undermined. It was a quick hike down the creek to the river and words can not describe the mountain of loose rock that had washed down and settled at the river's edge. That week of rain amounted to a geological event, washing out the creek bed and setting the stage for a few more decades of sediment to gather before it would all happen again.

ANYWAY, the rest of the trails were in pretty good shape. We had a few deeper ruts here and there, but it seems like mother nature deals with the downpours better than developed areas.

But there was one trail that we were really worried about. "The New Guy", a trail we just found this year (thanks to another friendly local). The New Guy starts with some nice singletrack at the top, then enters a big washout that winds down the hill, with spots to ride back out, then drop back in again-lots of fun. We were worried that it would be so rutted up that it would be unrideable, but quite the opposite-the 6-10 inch bed of leaves that had lined the bottom were all washed away, leaving a nice smooth running area where you could actually see what you were riding on. Loose debris piled up in a few strainers and at a few tight corners, so we hiked it, handpicking loose rocks, moving logs, etc. There is one section left to clear now (need a saw) and we will have a clear shot all the way down. No other trail has ever put such a smile on my face, it is like a toboggan run for a mountain bike. You are careening down this path 5-6 feet deep with a singletrack trail in the bottom, tight turns, fun stuff. Just had to write about it. It is the kind of ride that leaves you a little weak in the knees when you hit it at full speed. It is the only good thing that happened after all that rain.
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