Ride Report: 10.08.12

In honor of Christopher Columbus getting lost, I decided to try the same strategy.  Fortunately, I had a pretty good idea, in general, where I was; and like the second guy to discover America (notice my Norse heritage coming through), I found a new cool route.

The east beckoned.  I had not been to York Haven/Manchester/Emigsville at all this year, and I’m not sure if I was down that way last year; but I decided to mix things up a bit and explore along the river.  It was overcast and chilly, but nothing some appropriate extra clothing couldn’t handle.

The X bike has been lonely in the garage, and I was contemplating getting it out for a longer jaunt, but I’m still fixated on the new B67 on the LHT and a desire to finish breaking it in.  So the LHT was it.

Not the river, but a smaller creek emptying into it at York Haven.

This is another route with hills, some big, some not so big; but I’ve finally figured out that those uber-low granny gears really do make things easier, and I’m resigned to using them more.  Once down to the river, the hills disappear, and it’s level sailing for several miles.

The township and the power company have put in some improvements to the soccer complex and an adjoining nature park, so I decided to scope out potential stealth camping sites.

These steps are on the far side of the fields, and appear to go down to the river’s edge.

Pitching a tent on the far side would probably work in the off season, but there just isn’t alot to hide one from view.

There is a nature area on the other side of Wago Road, so I opted to check that out as well.  They patrol and close everything off at dusk, but it’s no problem either walking a bike around or getting under the gates.

Looks like quite a party area.

I went back about 1/4 mile and found all kinds of possibilities, and was particularly excited about the leaves on the road and the lack of recent tire tracks; but the downside is the noise.  The plant itself is actually louder over here, and there is a lot of heavy equipment moving material.  I’m pretty sure this is a 24/7 operation.

It was time to get on with my ride and head for Manchester.  Just past the plant I saw an older (than me) guy on a hybrid coming off of a gravel road along the railroad tracks.  I doubled back and decided to explore this one as well, thinking that it was some sort of Norfolk Southern access road.

It turns out that “Gut Road” is a limit maintenance road that one can “travel at their own risk.”  Apparently it floods out quite a bit, so they don’t bother keeping it up to snuff as much.  It runs from the southern end of the plant, between the river and the railroad line, for several miles, ending at Saginaw.

Masonry drainage culvert under the tracks

I wasn’t sure where Saginaw was, but I figured I was to the south and a little to the east of Emigsville.  The challenge was figuring out how to get back out to the larger roads for heading home.  Figuring that I was going to take a familiar route, I had left the GPS at home, so I was left to guess work.

That, along with some vaguely familiar road names, moved luck in my favor.  Starview Road came along before too long, and I knew that there were orchards around Rudy Park.  There were more hills, but eventually I came out just above Emigsville on the route I was originally planning.

More hills on the way home, especially on Old Trail Road, but the cooler weather made things quite pleasant.

I’m going to write up a new route to keep using “Gut Road”, and hope to get back downthere in two weeks or so for a foliage tour.  Nice ride!

Misc. Miles: 2

Distance: 35.6  2012: 1073.3