A Sprained Ankle, Mud, And Bear Poop!

About a month before Christmas, Dirt Man pulled a fast one on me. He asked me if I wanted to ride with him to go get dog food. Boring I know, but I thought I’d go along and keep him company since the pet store where we buy Wylie’s food is on the other side of town. He went in the wrong direction. When I asked where he was going, he said he had a quick stop to make. He pulled in the shopping center where Grape and Gourmet is located. I thought it strange since we had plenty of wine. Anyway, I walked toward the store (I mean do I EVER say no to a good bottle of wine?!), and he headed to the right. Ends up he was taking me to buy a new bike. I have to admit I was not properly dressed to test ride bikes. It was cold and I had on Keen Mary Janes. The sales guy and I were at odds about the proper size bike and seat height. He put the seat up very high. Your leg is supposed to be straight when you stretch it out. As I went to extend my body to get my rear on the seat, I twisted my ankle and promptly fell taking the bike with me. Fortunately, Dirt Man caught us both. I should have taken that as an omen NOT to buy that bike, but you know how I love a challenge. Besides, I sort of felt obligated in case I had scratched it or anything! So, I did purchase the bike the salesman suggested, but I lowered the seat when I left the store! I figured that if I couldn’t easily get on and off the bike on even terrain I certainly wouldn’t be able to do it while riding a trail! The other criteria for the bike was that it had to have a really comfortable seat. It has some sort of shocks, seriously! It was the first bike I’ve ridden off road that didn’t feel like a jack hammer ramming up my butt!

By all means, we had to plan a biking excursion for the next day. Yes, even with a slightly swollen and sore ankle, I was game for adventure. We decided to go to Dismal Swamp. (Here is a link with the history http://www.albemarle-nc.com/gates/greatdismal/) I wanted to go to the part with Lake Drummand. It had been many (like fourteen) years since we’d gone there. Anyway, we did not take the trails that led to the lake. In fact, unless we wanted to push our bikes through miles of mud, we could not have gotten there from the point we started at.

Yes,that is bear poop! That was just one of the many piles of it that were everywhere. Fortunately, we did not see any bear. I would have like to have seen one from a distance and taken a picture, but did not want to see one up close and personal! Though we didn’t see any bear or deer, we heard animal in the brush, and we saw and heard ducks, woodpeckers, and other birds.

This is the tower that was once used to spot forest fires in the area. I reminded Dirt Man that it had a locked gate and a sign stating that it was government property…not that he would have gone in there and climbed it, but a girl has to cover all her bases! And I still had several miles of pedaling ahead of me!

This muddy mess is what kept us from going to Lake Drummand. I had my gears down pat. The gears on this bike are much easier to change than my old bike. It even has numbers to show me what gear I’m in. It also weighs much less than my old one. I even rode through short areas of mud in first gear. (They didn’t seem short while pedaling! Dirt Man suggested I stand and pedal…heck I am NOT that coordinated!) Had I stronger legs, I could have made it through that mess. I guess the clarification would be that the bike was capable of going through it, but my legs were not!  At that point we had gone six miles. We had a choice of going back the way we came, going through it, or taking another trail. If we had taken the other trail we couldn’t be sure we wouldn’t come across another road of mud and then we’d have even farther riding to get back. We chose to go back the route we came….however (yes, there is always a however as Dirt Man is always challenging me!) when we got to the starting point, Dirt Man suggested we take another loop. He swore it was only two miles. Well, I’m not blind or stupid, and I could clearly see that it looked just as far on the map as we had gone which meant we’d be doing eighteen miles instead of twelve. Since, my legs didn’t hurt, and I wasn’t tired, I decided to go along with it. It wasn’t long before I did begin to tire. Needless to say, as always the last two miles were the longest EVER!

40 thoughts on “A Sprained Ankle, Mud, And Bear Poop!

  1. I think it is so cool that Dirt Man surprised you with a bike. That bear poop looks a little too fresh for my standards… I think I would be afraid that the bear would pop out any minute.

    Wishing you and hubby many future bike rides together.

  2. Glad you toughed it out and had fun. Riding a bike in the muck is always tiring.

    Also, I like looking at fire towers (nice shot). Out west, there are some that you can rent and stay overnight in–the views look amazing.

  3. Bears scare the bear poop out of me, but it sounds like you got a great bike! Nurse that ankle a little. Sprains can be worse than a break. I still have swelling from a sprain ten years ago.

  4. Well you are an adventurous spirit. You seem to go the extra mile for your man, and he knows it, so he keeps challenging you for an extra few more. Sweet ..like a pair of ducks in flight together working tandem.

    Great photo’s the ur bear poop -droppings looks fresh. The bears were aware of you but unless provoked or caught off guard would prefer to leave humans alone.

    wishing you many wonderful life adventures this new year with much love joy and peace surrounding you.
    from one water witch’s daughter to another…..

  5. I can’t believe you found bear poop. I doubt I would have know that’s what it was!
    I agree with you on the bike height. It’s too hard to get on the dumb thing if the seat is at the height they say it ought to be.

  6. A nice little adventure in many ways! I still can’t get over the fact that you actually took a picture of bear poop. Amazing the lengths we bloggers will go to for a post. ;-D

  7. Did you say “bear”? … too bad you did not get to see one. They hibernate down there, too … don’t they? Our bears are all tucked away sleeping and have been since the end of October. Seeing grass or even ground that is not white is a long time in my future … sigh.

    • They don’t really hibernate around here. They come out for food, and usually try to stay away from the hunters. We were fortunate that it only took a week for our snow to melt.

  8. OMG, I laughed my butt off when I saw the shot of the bear poop!


    Funny, because while in Pocono Mountains about 5 years ago, I took pictures of deer poop in the snow – HA!

    Awwwww….how thoughtful of Dirt Man to surprise you with a NEW bike! What a guy!

    Wishing you many, many joyous rides, SuziCate!


    P.S. Love the shot of the tower!

  9. Brave and resilient! The ankle would’ve slowed me down, the bear poop would’ve had me in a panic and the muddy trails would’ve sent me home. lol. I’m sure Dirt Man wouldn’t be challenging you so much if he weren’t sure you would meet it fantastically. Sounds like quite the adventure.

  10. Learning to ride a bike has been on my bucket list for years. I never did get around to it so I’m really impressed (and a little envious) of your adventures. I would have turned around at the sight of the fresh bear poo though! Bears are scary.

  11. Bear poop lol! Like you, I wouldn’t mind taking a picture of a bear from a distance, but up close? No thanks! Congrats on the new bike! Oh, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

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