Falling Water Gravel Tour

Mandy’s shaping up to be a singlespeed rigid mountain bike girl. She wears plaid and she smells bad and she says she has three speeds: pedal, pedal harder, and walk.

We spent some miles last weekend on gravel roads up near Sand Gap. Jarion decided to play SAG wagon / fisherman, which meant we could ride light and put our gear in his Jeepett. It was a great weekend of grinding up gravel hills, flying down them, wading in the creek, eating steaks in the rain, and playing cards in the middle of gravel roads.

The road that goes past Falling Water Falls has been closed for months and months because of a large landslide. It’s just now open, so we got to ride past and look at the remediation and stabilization that’s been done above the new road.

Since the road to Richland Creek Campground had been closed, the campground was closed as well. We’d planned to spend the night there whether it had reopened or not. We were pleased to see that, not only had the campground reopened, but some tables and benches were newly repaired. Since no one had been using the campground for some time, there was plentiful kindling and firewood in the nearby woods. Just as our steaks began to cook, it began to rain. Bryan made a little roof over our supper, and the rain stopped in time for us to eat together at the picnic table.

On Sunday, we began our day with a five-mile uphill. We walked when we needed to and Jarion met us at the top of the hill with cold drinks. We could have made it just fine sitting on the ground with warm water bottles and smashed sandwiches, but why not enjoy luxury when it’s available? Mandy insisted that we play hearts after lunch, and we obliged.

Jarion didn’t catch any fish during the weekend, but he enjoyed exploring the waterfalls along the creek, and he got to try out his new waders, and he spent a rather large amount of time lost. Or exploring. Or both. He says that before our next trip, he might like to have some kind of little boat to fish from.

The bikes arrived at the end point of our trip about an hour before the car did. Mandy used her time wisely, by wading and then swimming in the still-cold creek. Another game of hearts, played in the middle of the low-water bridge, was all we needed to fill up time until our ride home arrived.

It didn’t take long to pack up the cars and head for supper. Bryan and I reached the cemetery at Moore and waited for Jarion to catch up. Had he taken a wrong turn again? After waiting for awhile, we went back to check on them.

But even a catastrophically flat tire at the very end couldn’t ruin the trip. It was a great weekend with good friends, and we enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.