Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Bass Island Trailhead and Parking.
So I park, get out of the Jumper elated with my success at finding an actual trailhead with dedicated parking and began my mission of standard recon. You know, Meet and greet with the locals, establish possible threats and determine available resources and costs associated with this gate address. Yes, I know, too much Stargate and Firefly for me. I mean a car named Jumper One, and a bike named Serenity going on standard recon?
Well, look at it this way. In both of those shows we have people going to new places and exploring right? In Firefly it's Serenity and her crew taking jobs, which involves meeting new folks, doing stuff with them staying out of trouble and getting things done. In Stargate it's also other planets, in Star trek, going back to the 60s it was ships and transporters, but it was all the same basic concept.
For me, in my post Earl life, the entire world is a strange and alien place filled with danger, threats, aliens,and possible places to explore and benefit from. Be it Geocaching or Cycling, it's getting out, doing and oh dear, interacting with possibly dangerous Aliens who might try to harm me. Cache Addresses actually follow a naming convention similar to gate addresses, and otherwise, places have names. In fact, I have no doubt that there are caches in the area of the trail, so this could have a "P" designation in Geocaching.com.
In fact, there are indeed caches right here, like GC17TCW which if I'd thought about it, I'd have hit while I was here. D'oh! Well I was hyper focused and as nervous as a long tail cat in a room full of rockin chairs. The joys of PTSD I guess. Picture Colonel Carter in full gear, P90 exploring a new place, and well that was pretty much me. GC17TCW wasn't on the mission list, so I didn't look. Since I'll be back there, I'll do it then.
Worse, far worse than the finding caches was the meet and great with the locals part of the mission. No P90, no Zat, no M9, no one covering my six. The parking lot was full of cars with bike racks on it, this bode well for mission success. In fact as I was standing there looking around, a minivan pulled in with bikes strapped to it! Ah, LOCALS! I watched as they got out of the van and set about taking down the bikes. Screwed up my courage, swallowed my sheer terror at what I was about to do and quietly approached and simply said:
Me (smiling): "Excuse me, would you mind if I asked you a question?"
Him (also smiling): "Yes Ma'am? Oh, I mean, no Ma'am I don't mind if you ask, how can I help you?"
Me (smiling more): "I read about this trail online and I came out looking for places to park and get a feel for the place. Do you ride here often?"
Him: "Well I think you have the parking aspect handled since you're here, the trail itself, yeah we ride here regularly. Been doing it for a while. It can be very busy at times, so there can be traffic, but otherwise it's a wonderful place to ride."
Me: "Do you always ride together, or is it safe for a woman alone?"
Him: "Well I've never seen or heard of problems, but my girlfriend can probably answer that better than I can. She got me riding here."
Her: "I've never had a problem and I often come here by myself. The trail is pretty much always busy with plenty of people walking or cycling and I've never been bothered. So you should be fine here. I've been up as far as Loveland, and that's more than ten miles one way. Rode up to there from here, had a nice lunch and then come back, it makes a nice day. It's pretty much all uphill getting there, but then you can pretty much fly back because it's all downhill. Not really hard hills, because this all used to be train tracks. I've met other riders, stopped and chitchatted now and then and every one is friendly and non-threatening. You should be fine. I'm not the only woman that rides here solo, so you should fit right in. Between here and Loveland there are plenty of other parking areas and bathrooms along the way so that's never a problem either."
So I thanked them and let them get on with riding and started taking pictures. I spoke to a few other women who were coming back from rides and not one said she'd ever had a problem or felt uncomfortable riding alone. One had in fact just come back from past Loveland and said she's always riding there because it is peaceful and quiet.
Because this is in my home county, and part of the county park system, I can safely park here as much as I want, as long as I want. I spend the five dollars every year and get a parking sticker that's good all year! The parks are patrolled so I don't have to worry as much about the Jumper getting a ticket or towed because I have the sticker in my window. This is great news! With plenty of day light left, I figured I could explore further. Following the terrain was a success so far, but a sign indicated that additional parking was available at the nearby Little Miami Golf Course. That was going to be my next stop!