Gravel Bicycling Journal

bicycling, biking, blogging, Daily Post, gravel, history, Journal, revolution, Uncategorized, Virginia, woods, forest

On this particular day, My journey starts at Newport News Park, in Newport News, VA.  The park offers a 5.3 mile, hard-packed gravel, bike loop beginning at the Campsite Office. The path is fairly well shaded with an overhead canopy from beautiful trees. About half- way through the loop, a placard on the trail indicates George Washington’s Headquarters.

If you decide to further your bike ride another 5.6 miles and back, this loop crosses into the Colonial National Historical Park, in Yorktown, VA which leads to George Washington’s Headquarters, this route is mostly flat and wide wooded trails and some paved one lane roads.

Gravel bikers, mountain bikers, and hikers will see ramparts still in place from battles past.

This section is known as the French Artillery Park, it was an open field where the French established its ordinance depot.  Damaged pieces where brought here for repairs.

I biked a little further on the trail, wondering where this will lead me.  My bike computer reads I am six miles into my unknown journey. I thought, should I turn around or keep on.  About 20 yards ahead of me, I got spooked when two deer ran in front of me; not knowing if there were more, I stopped and took out my iPhone ready to take a picture, but I didn’t see any.  My history lesson continues as another placard appears.

In 1770, this is the spot of “General Nelson’s quarters

A little further on the trail was Daboville’s Headquarters.  It is difficult for me to visualize this area was inhabited and with plantation buildings.

Daboville’s Headquarters


 

On one side of the gravel road, stands a lonely marker, known as the Essex Lodge Cemetery.  It is dedicated to the memory of those who rest here.  The forebear’s and descendants of Thomas Wynn.  Host of General George Washington, October 1781.

This simple cross is thought to mark the burial place of about 50 unidentified French soldiers killed during the Siege of Yorktown.

Now, I am off onto a beaten path; where I see a group of turkeys.  There are a dozen or more, but as biked closer most of them scattered into the brambles.  I took a picture, but I only could photograph two turkeys.       

I hope you all enjoyed gravel bike ride through history. Comments are welcomed.

Works of Nature

Outdoors, Trees, woods, forest

Could this be nature’s artistic wood sculpting or is it a reincarnated face that emerges from within the trunk of tree?

When I walk through the woods, at times strange faces and figures appear to emerge from within the trunk of trees. This face with its eyes popping out looks like it wants to escape from the clutches of the pine bark. During this photo capture, I could hear a distinct sound calling out WHO! WHO!! Only to my surprise it was a barred owl standing on a branch a few feet above this tree mirage.

Be cautious as you journey through the woods, you never know who or what is peeking out from within a tree.

Works of Nature

 

Pileated Woodpecker and the fledge

Birding, Birds, Woodpecker, woods, forest

As my friend and I walked the path at Noland Trail in Newport News VA, he noticed a fresh hole in an old tree.  We weren’t sure what species made this nest hole.  We were curious. So, the next day we brought are our tripods, cameras, and a stool.  We set up our equipment about 30 to 40 yards from the base of the tree. The hole was about 40 feet up the tree and we waited patiently.  Finally, it paid off. This pileated adult male, one of the most prominent birds of the forest flew in and clung to the trunk of the tree near the nest hole. To my surprise, as he moved to the hole a pileated fledge peeked its’ head out of the hole.

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By R Smith