Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail Pennsylvania 12.28.2011

LValleyBridge
This is our third stop on The WooFDriver Rail-Trails Mid Atlantic Tour!! We ran The Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail. We got an earlier start than the previous two tour dates but not by much!! The great debate was which trail to run today. Since this is the holiday time of the year we wanted to avoid the more populated trails!! Lebanon Valley looked like a good choice because it was only a 2 hour ride from us, and seemed like it was in a rural setting.

Click Here For A Link To This Trail!!

We made a good choice!! The temperature was a chilly and windy (20mph winds, gust up to 45mph) low 30s!! I like adventure and this had adventure written all over it!! Obviously the dogs will love it, the colder the better for them!! My crew which included Jim, Chris, and Dave were not so excited!! When we arrived around high noon, there was actually snow falling from the sky.You know what I say: “When the white stuff falls from the sky, its not a complication, but an invitation to FLY!!” That is my original words and quote from The WooFDriver Tune Winter Water Skiing!! you know I, like the dogs, was all fired up!! These were only flurries though, with no accumulation!!

Well the good news is not really any equipment failures today just human errors!! We started or Tour of the Lebanon Valley Trail heading to what we thought was the direction of the larger part of the trail about 14 miles. We started rolling for a few blocks and came to a major road crossing not really designed well for any kind of riders or even walkers to cross!! Again this is one reason I have the crew with me, to keep the dogs and us safe!! Dave got out and literally stopped traffic so I could cross!! That was cool I thought because what we read was there was only one road crossing , and I figured we just did it!! But meanwhile at that crossing people weren’t to keen on stopping. In fact one car skidded to avoid hitting the stopped car that was yielding to me. Wow!! After that crossing we were on our way I thought. Well the trail was fairly rough, I know the book said it was not all paved which I was actually looking forward to some dirt trails and loose gravel. This wasn’t what the surface was. Some was loose gravel but in some places the trail looked like it was under construction and they ran out of money like 6 years ago!! Maybe that should have been a sign to us. Well lets face it we are all guys on the WooFDriver Tour (at least the humans are) and guys don’t like to say we are going the wrong way, instead we just keep going!! Well that’s what we did until about three quarters of a mile in when we got to an old Rail Road Bridge. The only problem was the bridge decking was made of wood. The worn wood had about 6 inch gaps between each board!! That ain’t going to work to get the dogs across!!

So essentially we were at a dead end!! We thought we missed the trail turn and retraced our path. Well we did find, what looked to be an old stone trail covered by grass. Cool, I want to ride this trail!! We headed down it and went through a field behind some of the town and buildings. About half way through this path, we saw our first wildlife on the day!! I think it was a big fat rat!! Of course the dogs were excited!! We followed this path as it took us to a parking lot of a hair salon!! Wrong way again!! We were now determined to head back and see what the story was. We got back to our trucks and the Trail head. we read the confusing trail sign and decided we went the wrong way and therefore proceeded the opposite way we started last time. This was now the real trail!!

LValleySign2We were now on our way, Oh Yeah!! We did about 4 miles of defunct trail but were now on the good side of the tracks!! The trail quickly exited the small town of Lebanon and we were in the country. A howling wind was blowing all over, but the dogs were good and we were rolling. This was a great trail after the mishaps. We saw some cool scenery. A really cool iron structure bridge we crossed, and traveled through an old style arched tunnel. We passed a lot of farm lands. Horses were also allowed on this trail though we didn’t pass any, just their remnants!! I think this trail would be beautiful in the spring and summer.

The main issue with this trail was signage. Virtually no mile markers, the trail sign maps were confusing and none of them told us where we were at!! The typography of this trail was a little more challenging with what appeared to be some minor hill climbing. The only reason I knew we were on a hill because the dogs would move at a slower pace. This is one of the reasons we have electric on board the WooFDriver Rig we were driving. Normally a musher would help his team by kicking off the ground to take some weight off the sled and provide some power. For us modern day Mushers, we just turn the throttle!!

We planned to have Jim and Chris meet us near the end of this trail so we didn’t double back because it would be getting late. Also since I ran the dogs far last week (21 plus miles) I wanted to go easier this week!! Well it was a big old confusion with the trail markings and Jim and Chris got lost!! They did find us about 20 minutes after we got to our destination, not a big deal. This was a great day especially for my main reason I am doing this the Dogs!! They did great. They are also learning patience and getting more and more versed at backing up when we head the wrong direction!! LOL!!

We did 14.5 miles. the dogs actually still had more left in them, they were still amped to run!!

 

 

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