Trail Report: Blue hole – Grove Hollow 02/15/18

February 15, 2018

Trail: 302 Grove Hollow at Blue Hole in Bergton, Virginia. Drive all the way back, over four cattle guards.

Parking: Not a very big area. Small turn around. Space for two or possibly three small rigs. There is a second spot to park just past the main spot but it is often flooded or extremely muddy.

Todays Ride: I got a very late start and didn’t reach the trail head until nearly 3pm so I decided to do the quick loop with the big down hill finish. It has amazing views, lots of room to move out and the big down hill adds another level to the work out. It does slow down the over all pace quite a bit but it’s a fun challenge. Certainly not for every ride.

The ride starts out through the closed fire road gate, and on we go. Past lots of logged areas, up and up, on a slow incline for about the first two miles or so. This makes this area a bit of an annoyance for me to do a ride in and back out since the last two miles is a down hill ride. I dislike that level of down hill on Simon. He is so slow and not as surefooted as I would like and let’s his laziness peak. It takes some constant work to keep him moving at a decent pace. Which is not how I like to spend the last two miles of any ride.

After a bit there is a road that beaches to the left, 302b Grove Hollow – with a closed fire gate, or proceed ahead onto 302 Rocky Spur.

I really had no idea what I was going to do at this point. But I was working with limited daylight. I debated for a bit too long then opted to head left on 302b grove hollow.

It’s a nice hack along until you come to a an opening with three split offs in front of you. Choosing left makes for this loop. None of these have road markers or any designations displayed.

So off to the left, which is a quick down, around and up and then this trail shows its beauty. Since they logged this area a few years ago, there are absolutely amazing views. And this section of the trail is all amazing. The trail rolls up, down and around, and it’s perfect for a nice rolling canter, popping up on each new crest with a “king of the world” feel!

As expected photo and video just does not show these views.

Alas the views end and the main trail runs out and becomes a much narrower trail. And on we go.

Here is where the real challenge comes. The downhill. The trail sort of narrows down and becomes less clear. There are pink marker tags here to assist with the hill, I recommend following them. It starts off not bad, going straight ahead and then curving to the left and beginning to slope down. It’s gradual but quickly gets steep. I have gone all the way down mounted, but I usually dismount once it gets super steep. Although I have mentioned previously I really am uncomfortable going steeply downhill on Simon so I am not sure how much of that plays into it, but I assure you, it is steep. The trail is visible, although the markers make it easier to follow, especially once on the ground.

Today I was climbing down on foot with Simon and I slipped and rolled a little ways. I popped up from the roll and I swear Simon was was laughing at me *oh come on human, really?* It was comical. Once to the bottom, it’s an easy slip to the right into a more dominant trail, and just a few yards ahead across a creek and turn right. This trail has some downed trees, but nothing impassable. It dumps you out at a rocky creek type of bed, bare a bit right and across a creek, there is a clear crossing (this area is a bit messy since it floods on occasion and not so clear. After the rocky bed area bare right to the running creek, closer to the fence). After crossing the creek there is a path, sort of tough to see, it is parallel to the creek, forcing you to make a hard left to enter it. It takes up along the creek, then bares up and dumps you into the road, just a short shot left to the parking.

Video clips of the ride.

oh did I mention it was in the 70s!!!

Trail Report: 1117 Old Man Run 2/14/18

January 14, 2018

Track: left hand track -8 miles total in and out.

Parking – turn around is tight. I comment in the end of the video clip about it. I pull in then back into the first turn on the right (1117b Elizabeth ridge) to turn around. There is parking on the right as you go to pull back out. Room for two smaller rigs, maybe three small rigs squeezed in.

Today’s ride: It’s been a while since I have been back here and I forgot how much I like this trail. It’s a nice 8 mile out and back, fire road to trail, nice views, various footing, some hills but no rough climbs or tough footing. Note, the sign at the road is gone.

I headed up 1117 Old Man Run, through the open gate, along the creek, and heading straight/left at the main split.

It is such a pretty ride. At the first “top” of the road it sort of opens into a camp area and there is a trail to the left that goes off to the power lines for a pretty view.

Then continue on ahead on the road to the closed fire gate and around it. To this point there were some rather fresh tire tracks and a few boot prints.

I absolutely love this trail after the closed gate. It stays clear and passable, rolling, it’s easy to keep moving at a decent pace, lots of room to trot and canter. There are also plenty of nice views.

I tried something out during the ride. I started taking these little video clips along the ride. At first I was trying to give you an idea of the views but then I though I could show some of the trail. It’s such a nice trail and varys as you go. So let’s see how this works out.

Well, to my dismay, after lots of effort, I am not able to put the little clips throughout the blog successfully. So I compiled them into one video and loaded it into YouTube and included it above this paragraph.

The trail ends under the power lines, it’s the second time you actually go under them.

Games Practice 02/11/18

February, 11, 2018

Two days ago we had a practice and it was freezing. Today we had a practice and it was nice and warm! Both were fun, but I got to say the warmer temperatures were nicer to the joints.

Today’s practice included three of us from Team Gone Rogue; myself, Val, And Jon, and our friend Zoe on her brand new pony Dice. This was Zoe’s second ride on Dice, and his first time playing games. I think Zoe picked a good one. He hardly batted an eye at anything and he seemed pleased to trot on through everything. I believe I caught his very first race, Twitter, and his second, mug shuffle in the compilation video.

We rocked through quite a few races, trying to hit ones today we didn’t get to on Friday. And since it was warm, we ran through quoits a few times. For me I worked on my leaning in quoits, more for my leaning in general than to actually get the ring out of the bucket in competition. I am very happy with myself for touching the top of the bucket, go me! Val of course was whipping around, grabbing a hoop and in most runs (except the one in the video) slapping that ring over the cone. And Jon, his stirrup is so fast. He certainly challenges a vaulter with this skill.

About half way through practice one of the long horns came running into the indoor and started to toss a trash can around. Jon ran over and closed the gates to our section just before another one ran in. Turns out the cows had gotten loose. We called up to the house and they had them rounded us and back in the field quickly but there was a lot of mooing going on for a while. It made for a rather exciting mid practice break.

Video compilation from practice!

Matt’s bday practice video

February 10, 2018

I am attempting to channel my inner youth and compile and include a video compilation from our practice. Let’s see how this goes.

Matt’s Bday Games Practice 2018

February 9, 2018

This morning four of the Team Rogue riders got together in Berryville, VA for practice in honor of Matt’s bday! This was Averi’s very first practice with us and I think she enjoyed it even though we started off early. Early means cold! We all pulled a “Michael Jackson” and rode with one glove (you need the right hand free for equipment handling).

It was a really good practice. We busted through a good array of races including hi low, ball and cone (yep we did it), hoopla, 3 mug, litter, sword, 4 flag, flag fliers, mug shuffle, association, bottle, pony pairs and I am sure a few others. Pony pairs was particularly nice to be able to run through since we had four of us there.

Matt’s pony, Hero was fresh from having some dental work yesterday and seemed to settle down on his head tossing as the practice went along. I worked on pushing Poe up to equipment and not over checking, and we worked on a turn for Babyface. I think Cider was just happy to be out and enjoying himself.

What do the rest of you people in your 30s (ish) do for your birthdays?

Below are some photos of us practicing our “smoldering selfies” which Val recently read about and is instructing is in to jokingly help us all stay young. We are having a lot of fun with it. Clearly we did not follow the instructions with our group selfie. The angle is all wrong.

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