Rocket Ronnie's Bat Ride 2003

Wow - wasn't that a party?

This was the first one of Ron's Outdoor adventures I have been on. I have known Ron for a loooooong time, and have been meaning to get out on one of these for a few years. Now that I can't run, I thought that it was about time.

This sounded like a fun time and my wife Nancy and dog Tess could/would probably want to come along. Whenever you do something with Ron you just know he has worked on it and it will be first class and well organized. This was no exception. We all met at Tim's by the #7 and Forest Hills Parkway. We, Ron, Norm Stein, Dawn Gillingham, Mark and David Keneford (father and son), Karen White-Smith, my Wife Nancy, our dog Tess, and I headed off for Musquodoboit. Before long we were onto a pretty good dirt road heading into the deepest parts of Nova Scotia's woods.

We parked the cars and headed off on a real good woods road (just as Ron had explained). Nancy and I hung back as this was going to be a first for our dog. We waited till the rest got out of sight before letting Tess go. She has been on walks with us before but this was surely going to be different. She was off like a shot and caught up to the rest in no time at all. It is hard for a dog to pace herself when she doesn't know she is in for a 42 K run. After a couple of hours, we stopped and had a nice lunch by an open fire where Ron gave us the geology and history of the area. We then biked the last k or 2. We parked (?) the bikes on an off road and started the hike. It was less than a k before we made the old mine shaft. After a bit of civil engineering to help take some of the water away from the entrance, we cautiously made our way inside.

This was my first time inside any mine but a guided tour in a Cape Breton coal mine 25 yrs ago. This one has a main shaft that went back about 150 ft with 3 or so side shafts. They were all level, so there were no holes or climbs involved. The place had tons of small brown bats that were hanging by their toenails from the top. As the mine was only about 8 feet wide by 7 feet tall, you could get a real close look at them. They had the same condensation on them as was on the mine roof and they absolutely glistened. It turns out that this is their overwintering place and they sort of hibernate here as the temperature remains constant throughout our winter. We headed out after the obligatory picture taking (that is the last one of these where I don't take a camera with me)and started our ride back. Very quickly Nancy's pedal began to give problems and fell off. The threads were stripped and she pedaled on one pedal the rest of the way. I don't think Tess minded the slower pace back and I know I sure as heck didn't.

We still made it out in 2 hrs. and headed home via the Dollar Lake Rt which in our case was about 25 minutes faster. All in all a great day and I am sold on what I am doing weekends this winter.