s240 : Codorus St. Pk. 6/22-23 pt.1

I’d had the idea of a bike camping trip rolling around in my head for the past few months. Even though stuff kept getting in the way, I was determined to see it through and have at least 1 successful outing this spring. The weather was looking good for Sunday and Monday and if I went on a trip I’d only be missing my deadline by about 2 days. My schedule was clear so I started grabbing all my stuff and mapping out my new route Friday night and Saturday morning. The only hitch in my plan was Saturday. My father-in-law needed help with cutting and nailing up some trim. I was happy to help, but in the process ended up doing squats and other ‘core exercises’ working at floor level for about 6 hours straight on Saturday afternoon. I woke up on Sunday already feeling a little tired in my back and legs from the day before. There was a part of me which didn’t want to go out on a trip when my legs were already ‘pre-blown’. The part of me that didn’t want to go couldn’t argue once I looked at the forecast for the day and saw how beautiful it was supposed to be for the next 36 hours. “If I DON’T do this I will regret it.” was all I could say. Alright, time to pack up the bike and get to stepping. I was out the door by 9:30, up familiar for the most part roads and at the NCR trail by 10:45. My legs were still ‘riding fresh’ even though my back was a bit tight and the hills I was expecting never really materialized. I didn’t feel like I was carrying 30-ish pounds of stuff but I was. As usual, I took my time on the trail, enjoyed the view, and saved my energy for the on-road sections. There were a few times I was rolling along and saw wildlife I’d never seen before–like one songbird with the deepest blue feathers I’d ever seen, a couple chipmunks, a doe or 2–I was in New Freedom before I knew it…

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My breakfast was small and 6 hours earlier. I had only supplemented it with 1 energy bar and some water so I stopped at Paesano’s for a huge lunch after taking a few photos–they’re 2 for 2 with good meals for me. I’ve got a regular stop now. An hour or so of lounging in the restaurant and I was ready to ride again.

When planning Friday night I used RideWithGPS and just clicked on the start and end points, leaving the route to chance. Everything was perfect aside from 1 strange turn and 1 missed street name on the auto-generated cue. The odd turn was when it pointed me off the trail onto Seven Valleys Rd. north of Glen Rock by way of an odd path that looked like a service entrance to the trail. Already unsure of my surroundings I was easily confused when the unit beeped at the intersection of Krebs Rd. telling me to turn left on ‘state rd 3014’. Correct, but misleading. While I was stopped trying to get my bearings a couple coasted to a stop at the intersection and we talked for a few minutes. They introduced themselves as Jean (?) and John and it turned out that they live just down the street from the leader of the second ride I took with Chesapeake Spokes a few weeks back. Small world. We parted ways and I forged ahead hoping my choice to trust the unit was correct. Unlike last time I had a few hours to make mistakes today. The roads were great (Krebs,  Jefferson, Stone Church, Smoketown, Lakeview…)–I kept seeing road signs and remembering the little side streets that I would have been hucking up and down if this was the ‘Old-Roads-Metric’. Gravel was for another day. I ran this as a skinnier tired affair than normal.

IMG_2521My view for much of the afternoon…

At the end of Stone Church Rd. I was forced to take another break while I waited for some empty hopper cars to roll past on their way back from getting tagged up in Baltimore…

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The route was easy sailing on what was mostly level ground. There was 1 climb that maxed out at something like 8% but it was only 1/2 mile long. Not 1:45 after lunch I was pulling into Codorus State Park and setting up camp…

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I rode back up to the general store to pick up a can of soda and hopefully an ice cream novelty. After talking with the shop-keep for a few minutes I decided to pick up some firewood too. They took pity on me and offered to deliver it to my site since it would have taken like 3 trips by bike. I got to work cooking up some camp food on my esbit stove and starting a fire. The cooking was easy, but after 10 or 15 minutes I realized that the wood wasn’t properly seasoned. I’d picked up some deadfall from around camp for kindling and it started to burn fairly well, but if I went away for any amount of time it began to smolder. The logs were on fire but weren’t burning like nice dry wood does. The camp hostess for our area Judy came by and we talked for a little bit while I kept blowing on the fire to stoke it. She offered me some fire starters. I declined since there was already a bed of coals by that point. The fire thing became a bit of a vendetta for me and I was determined to keep it going even though I wasn’t dead set on having a fire in the first place. Sap continued to boil out the ends of the logs as I sat and stretched. I know. Cool story bro. If I wanted to sit around, I could have saved myself 55 miles of riding and just stayed home playing video games. It was kind of a hilarious way to spend the evening, but it didn’t matter to me. I sat in the quiet section of the campground and just listened to the forest do its thing. Mostly woodpeckers tapping on trees and the occasional powerboat on the lake.

IMG_2530Slow Start…

IMG_2532And it didn’t burn much faster as time went on…

By 9:45 the majority of the logs were little more than a pile of coals. Even though there were 2 big pieces left I was ready for bed so I stuck my big size 13 keens in the fire pit and started stomping it out. Worked pretty well aside from a bit under the grate I couldn’t reach. I used my water supply to douse it the rest of the way, got cleaned up, refilled my bottles at the bath house and turned in not 1/2 hour later. Walking up to the bath house I enjoyed looking at the stars. I usually don’t see much of them anymore since the parts of Maryland I frequent are enveloped in light pollution every night. In my last waking minutes I heard an owl off in the distance. A pretty decent end to a long day.

Read part 2 here…

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3 thoughts on “s240 : Codorus St. Pk. 6/22-23 pt.1

  1. Pingback: s240 : Codorus St. Pk. 6/22-23 pt.2 | bikesncoffee

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