I have not had a chance to fish much since that epic day early in May. I have held off on a few local wild trout streams waiting for water... we got that! It's rained the last few days steadily and a good deal of Sunday as well. Hopefully we now are in a pattern where we get some rain every few days.
That said, the dry conditions have trails in great shape, so I've really enjoyed some nice riding in a local state forest. Trails like these are amazing, and like fly fishermen have a tendency to help protect land, mountain bikers are the same way. Yes, building responsible trails is part of the sport, but without big blocks of woods, there is not much for most of us to ride. Here in central MA, we are fortunate to have both many miles of protected land and huge numbers of trails.
It is amazing to see the stone walls that dot the landscape which once separated farmers fields. New England is home to some amazing wild spaces!
The trail above is one that's been there at least 25 years. It's a blast to ride with ups and downs and lots of turns. It's great though because it's built to ride with flow. Fun stuff.
The trail below is maybe 4 years old. It was a combined effort of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA). Those two groups have done amazing work within many state lands here in MA to create fantastic trail networks enjoyed by many forest fans: cyclists, runners, bird watchers, hunters, fishermen, hikers, horseback riders etc.
It's really sad to me, that one such property which has been a multi use area for decades - at least 30 years - has recently been closed. It was closed with barely a warning shot, and a near complete lack of willingness to work together and find a resolution which works for all.
While I respect points of view that disagree, I always find myself thinking we should be very willing to allow folks to be in the woods. It's becoming harder and harder to keep people involved in the outside world, I just don't like the idea of limiting access more than it already is. For example, the closure I'm alluding to resulted in the loss of many students who were involved in a local high schools mountain bike club. These kids may not have access to riding or to being active and healthy in the outdoors without the safety of a club setting... And rather than encourage that, this decision has potentially shut those kids off from the outdoors. Frustrating.
Hopefully the situation will find a positive resolution...
On to happier things. Rosemary worked Saturday and Sunday this weekend so I was with the munchkins all day. Driving out to my mom's on Saturday, I was almost there when, just where a wild trout stream crosses the road, a large snapping turtle was hanging out laying eggs. I stopped the truck, popped the kids out and we watched her for 15-20' before heading along our way. Pretty amazing to see this kind of thing! Considering her size, I wonder how many trout she's eaten! Cool animal.
Yesterday's rain caused me to get pretty antsy to go fishing and the positive of self employment is this: you can adjust your hours :). So I grabbed my gear and shot out to the Millers to enjoy a few hours chasing brown's. It was raining hard so I was not taking pic's... but caught a few on wet flies. Just as I was about to head home, the rain slowed so I took a few pic's of the river. This is the "second run" just below a major pool. It's a pretty river, and this section in particular just flow's through miles of forest. Nice to spend a few hours there...
Best to you all!