|This is Robert|
|This is the bike stand I rigged|
|About the time I gave up|
Needless to say, I failed miserably. I rebuilt the handle successfully, but I still couldn't get the brakes to bleed. My friend Dave had just bought his first mountain bike that day and was determined to ride. He is also an aircraft mechanic, and decided to try and fix my brakes for me so we could go ride. He also gave up. I hadn't ridden Robert in all too long though, so we went riding anyway. Him with a fully functioning mountain bike fresh off craigslist, and me with an older bike completely lacking a rear brake. I never use my front brake when I ride. How I survived that ride is beyond me. I have ordered a new rear brake. Trying to install it will likely be an adventure in and of itself.
Tuesday was my last "Adventure Tuesday" with my friend Lacy (we both have Tuesdays off, so we go do something adventurous and call it Adventure Tuesday). She is switching days off and I have to start school back up - shoot me now. Lacy and I decided our last Adventure Tuesday would be well spent trying and discover this neat swimming hole along the Ozark Highlands Trail. For those of you interested, this is supposed to be 5 miles west of the Haw Creek Falls campground (along highway 123) on the Ozark Highlands Trail near Cedar Creek Campground.
|Swimming hole off the Ozark Highland Trail near Cedar Creek|
|What Haw Creek Falls usually looks like|
|What Haw Creek Falls looked like when we were there|
|Haw Creek when we were there|
As pitiful as the falls were, the water still felt awesome, and I still jumped in after we got back from our short hike. I might have drug Xena in with me. She hates swimming. And heights. I drag her in the water and to the edge of cliffs with me all the time. I don't know why that dog still puts up with me. That just goes to show you how loyal dogs are, even when their owners are ass holes.
After I got home, I immediately left. My friend Dave has a couple 50cc dirt bikes (yes, the ones built for 5 year olds), and we've been meaning to take them out for a while. Near where he lives there's a huge spider web of dirt roads and back roads that don't even look like roads that are perfect for exploring. I had survived riding a mountain bike without rear brakes the day before, surely a 50cc dirt bike on actual roads wouldn't be that bad. I wrecked. But only once. I would just like to say, a dirt bike that's smaller than you is pretty squirly. Especially when you've got it all the way out, your center of gravity is way higher than it should be, and you hit a death cookie (a large, loose rock in the middle of the road). I really only got a scratch, but it made me realize, I haven't had a good wreck or even so much as a scratch since I cut my elbow to the bone during my last triathlon in 2011. I'm not sure if that means I'm much better at not getting hurt, or if I haven't been pushing it hard enough.
|My injury from my scrap with the death cookie|
Later, during our ride on the 50's, Dave and I stumbled across this gem. A graveyard. In the middle of the woods off some back country road that hasn't even been traveled enough to keep the weeds down. Creepy, right? Someone has been keeping up with it though. Two of the headstones had been replaced or updated, but everyone died before WW1. This poor couple had two sons who both died very young. The second photo is of one of their headstones. The date of death is 19 Aug 1912. We found the graveyard on 19 Aug 2014, 102 years later. Creepy. We quickly decided this is how horror movies started and we needed to leave before we found ourselves face to face with an axe murderer or ghost child.
|The two updated headstones|
|Check out the date of death|
|Redneck target practice area|
Unfortunately, that pretty well brings an end to my last real weekend of the year. Considering that my summer more or less ended with gunshots and no injuries, I'm calling it a pretty good ending. That's not, however, the end of the years adventures. There will be several more to come.