Monday, November 5, 2012

Turley to New River Ride

Turley to New River 4x4 Trip

Sat. Nov. 3, 2012
Dana & Kenny Koogler & Friends

Pictures are here:
Turley to New River Ride on FB Pix

Good over all video from the ride.  A sampling of everything. 

Slogging through mud, a rattlesnake, the eternal flame, and beautiful fall colors.

 We sold our Yamaha Rhino and used the money to purchase something we'd been wanting. We now own a Polaris RZR!  We had wanted to take it four-wheeling and had first planned to take it out with Buck and Sheila on  Sunday Oct. 28th.  I worked the night before and on my way to the jeep that morning it was about thirty degrees and pouring rain. We had not purchased and installed the roof or the windshield.  Thankfully no one wanted to go out in that mess!  We rescheduled and went Sat. Nov. 3rd with Buck, Sheila, Sammy, Marie, and CD.  The plan was to meet at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We would then head to the West Section of Royal Blue WMA at Turley.   We'd ride from there toward the New River WMA and North Cumberland WMA.   

 Lots of mud today on this ride

     We met up for breakfast as planned. We parked at the trail head for Turley and before long we were all ready to hit the trail.  It was frosty cold this morning!  We all had our blaze orange on head and chest since its hunting season.   Sammy had said Turley was rough but that the trails smoothed out more toward New River.  The Fall colors were beautiful today if a little past peak.  Some trees obviously had shed their leaves.  The morning sun was coming  out gleaming across the ridge and through the tree leaves.  It illuminated all the colors of the forest.  We could hear some shots being fired in the woods down a trail to the right.  Buck was the leader for the day.

Sun coming up over the ridge.

Fall colors along a trail at Turley.

     We passed an intersection that I recognized as the one we used to head back to Red Ash parking area on another ride this past September.  It was the day Kenny and I rode the "Water Trail" without really knowing where we were!  Besides that we saw little else that was a repeat.  Lots of sloshy black mud holes to run through made things interesting.
Kenny got a chance to use the winch when Sammy got stuck. I wondered if Sammy did that just for Kenny to make him happy?

    The day was warming up especially on the ridges where the sun was reaching the ground.   The frost had all burned off and folks were coming out of layers of clothing.
I was not feeling great, but I was not wanting to give up.  We stopped by a spot at Puncheon Camp where I got to see the falls. I pulled some wild ginger out of the ground and popped the roots in my mouth to chew on. I thought it might help the nausea.  It worked! I quickly began to recover and my tummy settled right down. I put some more in my coat pocket in case the feeling returned later.  I got to see the Eternal Flame which is a natural gas well that just flows out freely.  I was told it is usually lit and provides some nice warmth and something neat to see.  I was also warned that if I was ever to arrive here and find it NOT burning to be careful to gauge the wind direction before lighting it if I valued my eyebrows and facial hairs. A funny story was related about another friend who found this out the hard way and you could practically smell the singed hair as it was told.


Sammy by the Eternal Flame.

Should have gotten someone to take photos as "evidence" of why I was sick to my stomach. Found some rubbery old weenies at the flame. Someone had tried to roast them and the stick broke. I was clowning like I was gonna heat them up and eat 'em! Blech!

Autumn Colors at Turley

     We rode on more trails covering new territory faster than my mind could keep up with all the numbers!  I recognized the hard road at Norma when that appeared. I knew exactly where we were.   We went up to ride a trail across a big mountain ridge with pretty views.
I want to say that was trail #22, but I'm not sure.   It had signs for Brimstone, but according to Buck that was no longer the case.  He had said the trail now was included in New River WMA's system.   The views to either side of the trail were pretty.  Pine tree groves.  Blue and gray mountains. Fall colors.  We stopped for everyone to take a pee break and rest and enjoy the views.   Marie and Sheila found the black rattlesnake and were nice enough to walk us back down to see him where he lay.  He got agitated at us and began buzzing.  He was real pretty and had ten buttons on his rattler. I was surprised to find a snake still out and stirring as cold as it had been in the morning, but there he was!

Black rattlesnake closeup of his head. He was about 2 1/2 ft long.

    We stopped for lunch later on.  We enjoyed more up and down hills.  We saw more pretty views and Fall colors.   My tummy got torn up again only worse this time.  I kept trying to keep my mind on anything else, but I was getting sicker by the minute.  Finally we headed back in the direction of the trucks.   It was a long ride out of there for me as the bouncing of the RZR was not helping my situation.   Buck made sure we got out of there.  Finally back at the truck I just went ahead and vomited which helped a little.
Turned out I'd had a nose bleed that was going down my throat instead of out my nose. No wonder I was feeling terrible!

    I felt lucky to have good friends who didn't get upset with me for not being 100% .
I was also glad Kenny was understanding of me.  I went home and doctored on my stomach and bloody nose.   I mostly just lay on the couch and tried to be still.
I did take time to get a hot steamy shower and rinse the black dust out of my poor head.
I was mad at myself for being such a punk. I'm all better now thank the Lord and ready for next time.

Fall colors from Trail 22 up on the ridge.

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