Fall around Seamboat

I drove from Rock Springs to Steamboat finding Cathy parked right out front of Wheels bike shop were each of us needed fine tuning.

It was late afternoon before we headed up towards Buffalo Pass hoping for a camp site in 8 unit Dry Lake FS XG. Full. We drove up further on a deteriorating all weather gravel road. We passed on turn out that went up a steep and rutted hill. I passed it by because of the approach hoping for better. All I got was a more beat up road. We turned around then closely examined the steep entrance to that passed spot. If you kept your wheels here and over there and kept MO your van would make it. Cathy is living in her Roadtrek 190 that she has had for years. More about Cathy later. Anyway both vans squeezed into a flat spot. We sat out in the fall sunshine moving to open sunlight between thickening clouds and with standing the wind.

Next day we rode Touch of Gold in and out of aspen forests. Snow fell that night.

Cathy

Wed AM was a slither down that nasty entrance. Both made it down. We scored a campsite at Dry Lake. Beautiful night.

And more fall experience.

Today we did a big ride from Rabbit Ears Pass thru 9,XXX’ plus forests and around lakes. I am tired from that ride. Tonight I have 4G signal from Rabbit Ears. I will add more at another time. I am crashing.

me and Cathy at Fishhook lake

On into Wyoming

Thurs night into Fri morning rain fell. Chilly. Mike and Cheryl headed for drier climes. Wet was forecast for the other side of the pass with Sunday drying. I headed east stopping at Fitzgeralds in Victor to chat with Matt.

Then the climb up and over Teton Pass. A long time ago 3 ski buds from wet side of Washington paid a ski vaca at Jackson. One backcountry trip was drive up to the pass then skin way out to a descent back down on the west side of the pass. We were told that hitchhiking is de norm. The rental was in my name so I was the one to hitchhike. I was wearing a pretty flashy pair of lycra tights as back then my motto was something like flash and clash, a visual eyesore. My buds were freaked out by what my ride would be like so they hid in the trees while I stuck out my thumb. 2nd car stopped, a fellow skier. Confirmed that protocol was cool and my tights must have worked. I drove past where we came out. Climb up was in the rain. At the pass I pulled over and tested my brakes by pushing the pedal down hard to engage the ABS. SHIT, brakes wouldn’t lock the wheels and wouldn’t bring me to a complete stop. Massive downhill below. Same brake problem I experienced way back driving out to CA coast. Something ain’t happy. I slapped the gears down to 3 and eased downhill keeping big distance behind in front. I stopped at bike shop in Wilson right at the bottom of the pass. I visited. Mike told me of Monger mtn about 12 miles up Fall Creek. The bike shop said go up Mosquito Creek which is about 4 miles out then drive up the creek to a ridge which is where the best camp spots are. I found the creek road and started up. I a very short distance the road became rutted and rocky nasty. Too narrow to turn around. I crossed into FS land shortly coming to a carved out flat spot requiring a potential slither on soft dirt. I studied the lay of the land and height clearance under the willow tree. I made it up and the ground kept my tires on top. Later I walked up the road a ways, just beyond where I bailed the road would have been too much for my van. I scored a good spot. No the wait for possible overnight snow and the ground being softer potential stuck. I started out going down hill. I pushed on the brake pedal to ABS engagement to feel the brakes the same way as yesterday’s pass descent. Last night I googled brake repair in town and picked Big O. I called, guy said no wrench on Sat. I called back later another guy answered. I asked for help and said that no wrench would be on duty. Humph he said saying he was the wrench. Be here at 7:45 AM as it is first come first served. I was apprehensive about getting downstream. I made it at 7:45. I explained my problem, Service guy said that what’s up is beyond their ability.He gave me a shop referral. I googled them then drove to the address to no business sign. I called the number: disconnected. By now the check brake light lit up. I found that if I stayed in the non panic pressure the brakes worked. Good enough for me. I drove down to Green River, WY. Sunny and windy. Brake problem on a weekend.

Drove out to Green River trails outside of namesake town. Previous visit I parked overnight at a lower trailhead which is inside city limits unknownst to me. I was snug as a bug in bed when a knock and the knocker identifying himself as police. I answered, he told me the city don’t allow no dirt baggers to sleep on city property. He checked me out seeing that I was of no impact so he let me stay. He did say next time go up the road a little bit to get out of the city. His flashlight beam lit up the city limit sign. Last night I headed his advise and drove up the road which is clay mixed rock surface rough. A nasty frame dragging wash out decided me to turn around and find a spot between here and there. I found one. The city limit sign is gone. After dark before bed time a pick up pulled up beside me. He told me I was on private property. Shit. He asked several questions then said I could stay. Don’t know of his roll but he wasn’t acting in an official capacity. The amount of off road 4X4 and dirt bikes and the ┬ádumping on private property didn’t speak well of the owner.

Forecast was for a frost warning. I turned the furnace on low causing it to run all night. This AM it was 31 and frost. I got up and made my scratch blueberry pancakes. Ymm. A cup of cold brewed coffee, real maple syrup. Cleaned up then drove back down to lower TH. Forecast high was 68. It was 45 as I was gearing up. I wore a wool long underwear top and a full sleeve orange jersey with knee socks. I sort of planned a ride using MTBP which receives GPS signal to show my location. I did well until I started my descent. The trails I rode showed some places no tracks.

Green River trails

typical tread

 

3 hours of rain fell Thurs night I learned. A rider approached me. He said I have seen your van around but never met you. He is Brent of a namesake trail and president of local bike club. we chatted long enough to cool off. I made it back to my van. 12.96 miles climbing 1427 at 6,000′ elevation.

Next was a drive into town for an anytime shower and groceries. Plan is to drive out towards Rock Springs onto BLM land as I was able to find an emap showing public holdings. I drove back Little Bitter Creek looking for a pull out, I found one with a cautious exit off the road onto the social pullout. Rough. I heard a crash, something fell inside. Upon stopping I learned it was this computer. Kerblam. Still works. I didn’t sense that the move would be that jarring.

I found a mercedes repair shop in Steamboat. Tomorrow I will call to seek service as I will travel there tomorrow.

Several years ago Freehub mag asked me to write an article about camping which I did and it was published. Basically I seek a legal level spot to park over night. Aesthetics are not overly important as is this place, the turn out is above a wash that is used for a trash dump. No smell, little traffic on the road. I am inside not reveling in the outdoor splendor to observe man’s bad behavior.

9:18PM with the side door open, Now chill has set in to close the door. 52 degrees.

At Driggs Cheryl showed me CO fall colors which showed lots of red. I don’t know the trees. research came up with no answer.

Tomorrow starts my Colorado tour.

 

Moose, Clean Clothes and Rain

I made yesterday a rest day. On my list of things to do was buying fresh locally roasted coffee beans. How wonderful is Google which answers the whats only if the whats make their business on the web. Found 1. I had the street address on S main #240. Should be maybe the 3rd block south of the only traffic light in town which is the demarcation of north and south. Seems posting the street address is an option(?. Even the PO did not display their number. I drove out of town into open land well passed where it could be. I drove back into town and parked at the PO then walked over to the tourist bureau which was closed. I called the shop to learn that they are in Broulins, the big grocery store. I walked up to the counter and asked to order beans. Oh, no., we don’t roast here but the store carries some from a Jackson roaster. I picked a ┬ábag and dumped into the grinder. contents was only 11 oz instead of typical 12 oz. same bag less product out, first time I have seen 11oz size. Imagine a 12oz can of beer having say 11ozs? The store itself is closed on Sundays and turns off the lights at 6:30 other days.

While in the store I noticed 2 single guys that had the look of long distance hikers. I followed one out the door and struck up a conversation. He and 2 other guys just completed the CDT, the newest N S long distance hiking trail. They were catching a ride.

I asked for water at Peaked which was allowed and wrote this date on my Bike pic in a rest room. I discovered a bakery right near by, I have a sweet tooth for bear claws. I walked in, the baker had only 2 that she wanted to sell me 2 fer. I declined because I can not trust myself to keep the free one for the next day. Out of sight out of mouth.

I drove to the northern out skirts of town to visit the museum. I spent time looking at posted black and whites from long ago. I chatted with the 2 docents who were cousins. The older woman is 83 and has lived in the valley her entire life. She knows what it’s like to live in a house with no electric. Upstairs was a school room exhibit. There were posted rules for school teachers, one from 1890 and the other 1910. Women couldn’t date and if they became engaged or married they would be fired. The amount of building care required of them was extraordinary: Floor to be swept every day and once a week the floor was to be scrubbed. A map showed other schools in the area, quite a few. What life was like back then.

Fordson tractor was first mass produced tractor from 1917 to 1920. The demise of horse energy was starting.

I have experienced city life and what it offers around the edges. Driggs is what it is and the clients support what’s here. Not enough people drink in city roasted fresh coffee. I’m saying that what is local is local. Your city tastes and experiences are from an other place.

I returned to Rainey Bridge camp spot. Sunny warm day. I sat out side in the sun. I walked down to the boat launch to watch this yellow lab retreive a stick thrown well into the flowing river. A local said the dog lives nearby and shows up every now and then to play catch. The guy thru the stick clear to the other side. The Lab did an incredible leap off the bank into the river then just motored against the current to chomp down on the stick then swim back.

A pickup pulling a trailer pulled in next to me in an open camp spot. Guy and woman geared up in fly fishing get up. We didn’t take the opportunity to visit.

The forecast had been calling for serious rain. Today I checked out my windows and saw promise for a ride. Plan was ride, shower, do wash, and buy groceries then head back out here which has 3 bar 4G.

I drove out to Horseshoe trails where I rode several days prior. Trails climb off and on with more pedaling than the other 2 places I have ridden and I have the route figures out. I parked at the same wide spot off the road which gave me a few minutes of pedaling before the climb up Channel Lock. A little warm up is better than none like on Mill Creek. On Sharks Belly I came face to face with this:

Of course it’s big and black

I waited it out hoping that he she would show his/ her head. No antlers. He / she finally moved off the trail but did not run away.

Trails are a mix of tree cover per above and open sage. 13.3 miles climbing 2014′.

trail work

I drove back town out to anytime for a shower then over to laundromat where I did wash years ago. A man and woman were doing their wash. They appeared to be the couple parked next to me at the campground. It was. They are from Bend and remember me from Bend Big Fat Tour. They had seen my van in Bend and this was the first time to meet me. Long conversation as the machines did their things. Clean clothes for another week.

Out here above the riparian elevation wheat is grown. I stopped at this field to study the standing wheat. Amazing that the plant is less than 24″. Selective breeding has produced a grain plant that puts energy into only grain.

bread in the making

Back out at Rainey Bridge campground Mike and Cheryl were back. We visited at dinner time, each eating their respective dinner. The sky up wind changed to dark and threatening. Soon lightning was electrifying the sky. Wind picked up then big splats of rain which became a down pour. We each retreated to our shelters. Thunderstorm shower. The temp dropped. I have been running the furnace sitting here at 9:45PM Mountain Time. They take off for 2 months to travel, bike, and fly fish. They are in their 60s living an active outdoor life.

Forecast is still calling for rain tomorrow on both sides of the Pass. Rest day staying warm and dry.