Last year about this time, a funny guy who knew our Ocoee Rafting Outpost “Mom”, Terri kept hanging around the outpost.  He needed a job, but at the time we didn’t really have much for him to do.  He kept hanging around though, and as we got busier jobs for him to do kept popping up.  Finally we hired him for photo work, and he started tagging along on biking and kayaking trips with us.  We’ve all come to love Luke and his slightly unorthodox ways, and this year have decided to give him a job as our Photography and Other Activities Manager.  Here’s a trip report he was kind enough to prepare for us of a recent mountain bike ride on Brush Creek.

Luke at the start of the Brush Creek Mountain Bike Ride

Luke at the start of the Brush Creek Mountain Bike Ride

We gathered around the picnic table dressed for winter as our breath hung on the morning air.  The morning sun brought with it tempatures in the mid thirties but also ushered in crisp bluebird skies and the promise of an amazing day.  We spent some time drinking coffee and tea, warming ourselves and getting to know one another.  Bikes loaded we made our way to the top of Boyd Gap, slowing down to watch a family of deer enjoy their breakfast just off the side of the road.  At the summit, the sun had crested the mountains revealing mountops blanketed in a snow white frost.  Once unloaded, we gathered for a couple of group photos and a moment to simply take in our surroundings.

Group Shot at the Brush Creek Trailhead

Here's the group before the Brush Creek Mountain Bike Ride

Brush Creek Trail - Boyd Gap Parking Lot

Happy guest trying out our Trek Mountain Bike

Brush Creek trail, from the Boyd Gap, side offers some wonderfully fun downhill to begin a ride.  Crisp, cool, with an open view of the forest, we glided downhill for a couple of miles  enjoying the cold air in our lungs and the switchbacks this trail has to offer.  By the time we reached the flatlands, the tempatures had begun to rise and the thought of cold was no longer on anyones mind. Zipping past towering populars and open meadows, the trail lead us up to some outstanding views of Ocoee Lake #3 and a perfect place to stop and enjoy a snack.

Which way to Brush Creek

Show us the way Luke!

Lake Ocoee #3 from the Brush Creek Trail

Looking at beautiful Lake Ocoee #3 from the Brush Creek Trail

By now, most of  us are down to shorts and short sleeves.  After some well deserved snacks, some history of the area, and lots of smiles and laughs, we mount up once again to finish the last leg of our journey.  We stop a few more times to chat with others we meet on the trail, to hear their story, and tell them ours.  We discuss and compare “fish stories,”  (heavily exaggerated, yet fun stories from the trail) and pedal the last bit of trail to our destination.  A bike ride with OAC always leaves me feeling like I accomplished something.  Today, I pushed myself a little harder, I made some new friends, shared some of the history of my life, and in return learned more about others.  Today, some of us acomplished something they didnt think they could do.  Today, we all grew as human beings.  Yes….today was a good day.

Blue Skies and Brush Creek

Blue Skies, happy guests and Brush Creek, who could ask for more?

Group Shot after the ride

Everybody tired and happy after riding Brush Creek