Last week I was looking for somewhere to go and something fun to do. Recent rain, snow and cold left the trails in my neighborhood muddy. And it was Christmas break, so I wanted to do SOMETHING new and exciting during my staycation.
I settled on Fort Churchill. It's a Nevada State Park featuring hiking trails through ruins of an 1800's army depot built next to the Carson River. And while researching the park I learned about the American Discovery Trail.
The ADT is a network of trails connecting the East Coast with the West Coast for non-motorized transportation. Turns out, the trail travels by Fort Churchill before heading west up to Virginia City and beyond into California.
This sounded great! A chance to visit a new state park AND explore a new trail I've never heard of (but now feel I should add to my list of "must do" adventures).
There are a few things I always do when I adventure solo. I call my trail angels and give them my itinerary, expected routes and timelines. Done!
After I packed and prepped, I set off to explore.
I enjoyed the short hiking paths and the educational info about the ruins before loading my bike up for a ride.
When I ride alone there are a few extra safety items I pack with me.
Today it was my pepper spray, printed route directions for the trail and my emergency beacon.
This section of the ADT is actually a beautifully smooth dirt road. Nothing exceptionally interesting or technical, just peaceful dirt miles running along the Carson River through a small valley.
The trail also follows part of the Pony Express Route, which is very cool. I've now traveled parts of the route through Utah and Nevada.
For the most part, this ride was uneventful but quiet and calming. I did come across a private company out in the middle of nowhere that seems to specialize in military transportation of some sort. I rolled upon military vehicles on both sides of the road. Humvees, ATVs, trucks, vehicles I've never seen before...all behind high fences and barbed wire. Signs indicated no trespassing, filming in progress among other official sounding warnings. I passed a security gate on one side as the public road bisected the property. I really wanted to take photos but I didn't get the impression these guys would have a sense of humor. Haha!
I will pause to mention: when I come across places like this alone, I always make sure I have my
emergency beacon handy and I typically send it an "I'm ok" check in message to my trail angels with my coordinates. It's not that I think anything sinister will happen to me, but I AM a female. I AM traveling solo and these places usually are inhabiting primarily by males. In the middle of nowhere. It's just a safety precaution I prefer to take. If anything ever DOES happen to me at least my trail angels have my last known coordinates. I choose to err on the side of caution.
I rode the road (see what I did there ha!) about 8 miles. I thought I would ride the entire segment before realizing I hadn't read the directions correctly - it was 15 miles on way, not 8! So I turned around and enjoyed the scenery in reverse.
I loved the easy, peaceful miles out near the Fort. I can't wait to explore more of the ADT and see more of the backroads and byways most people don't get to see.