Loppers’ Ball in the can for another year

Loppers’ Ball: 6 guys and a clinger who used to cut trees (lop) @ 49 degrees North ski area for our season passes. I was part of the original crew dating back to 1991 winter and the others joined later, they were all from Boeing plus another clinger. Over the years we cut some of the same runs over again as the young trees continually sought their life’s goal of photosynthesizing clashed w/ low snow level. It was a hoot. Tom originally proposed doing all 3 days of trade work in 1 fell swoop. It caught on, we spent 2 bachelor nights camped at the base. Potluck foods became institutionalized as is the Tequila penalty shots. Times moved on, season ticket prices dropped and Boeing wages increased and I moved away such that no longer was work performed. Mel hosted the last 2 years @ his family’s secluded cabin. Boeing was the nucleus. So we ate and consumed adult beverages and goofed on each other for so long we went to bed exhausted just after 10:00PM. Someday i will return to 49 to introduce others to lopping for a season’s pass for 3 days of cutting trees on the upper slopes was enjoyable.

Caught another ride @ MT Spokane b4 the Ball. The conditions were early fall and clear. Just a fun place to ride albeit earning my downhill by pedaling up. Trails are woods dirt which are fast. Deeps forest cover from conifers that don’t shed their leaves in the fall, what is dark now is dark all year. I rode down the last for me unrideable switchback, I almost made it uphill.

Been staying @ Bill & Jennifer’s, my former neighbors, in their driveway.  Sometimes a shower but always pet fixes from old dog Kelli and cat Toeless.

Monday I rode Riverside SP going upriver towards downtown. My rear tire was leaking air for a sidewall gash suffered @ Curly Lake over Labor Day. I stopped 2X to pump it up. I hit a suspension compressor and heard the sound of escaping air. Checked the rear tire and saw Stans bubbling out the tear. I pushed my thumb on the tear and held for several minutes. When I removed it the leak had stopped, Stans worked. I need to replace the tire.

Today is a rest day enjoying fall weather in Spokane. This afternoon I meet w/ my $ man @ Fast Eddies for dollar beers and financial news. Tomorrow is a ride w/ Cal and camping @ Les’. Thurs is ride w/ Jeff and a shower and curb @ his house. Catching up w/ friends b4 I leave next week.

Dan from Hurricane called me to update me. He test rode a new Ibis carbon frame on his home track. He bested his old bike time by over 5 mins. He learned that technology has moved on literally leaving him in the dust. I’ll be back in Hurricane early Nov.

Friend Grace broke her right humerus requiring hardware to put her back together. She facebooked the Xray.

So, I am caught up as my memory remembers what to record and has stood test of several day’s time.

Back in Spokane

Yesterday finished drive from Waterville to Spokane.

Picked up new shoes. Specialized appears to have fixed my warranty replacement issue by moving the break point further to the toe. See how leather bends. Rode well later in the day.

marvin replaced the spitter valve on the propane tank. Prblem really was with hose from tank to valve which he removed after the new spitter valve passed no gas.

Met Cal & Mel & 7 mile. I arrived early and worked on my bike, poor bike after devils gulch slurry bath. Greased the DW pivots that were hungry for make me quiet juice. 2 Whitworth studnets were in parking lot. I saw an AZ plate on their truck so i went over for a conversation. Learned they were students and were looking for  a ride. I eventually invited them to ride along. Mel’s stomach said i want to go home taking the rest of Mel back early. Cal & rode along w/ kids till almost dark. Scads of new trails cut or ridden in. Cal invited me to his house to visit w/ him & wife Ingred. We all worked together for years. Got a shower and a side yard palce for sleep.

Today was 9:00 AM appointment @Larry’s for Box time. We chatted for short while and then I crawled into the sensory deprivation box and let my eyes follow the alternating red led lights while thinking about my bike riding mistakes. Paid for an hour but I cooked for over a 1 1/2 hrs.

Checked results out on a ride @ Beacon. I rode slowly and purposefully checking out my broken emotional template resposes to riding situations. Seemed to work. Rode Continuous Bull Shit uphill I hadn’t ridden for years to see how I would ride uphill something steep and tortuous. Made it. 2300′ in 12 miles. Just uphill, and down.

Off to Bill & Jennifer’s for dinner, pet affection, a shower, & a place to sleep.

Tomorrw is October fest inn SPokane, leg 2 of Loppers’ Ball. Metting Tom & Cal for beer sampling.

Short of time. Gotta go.

It ain’t the same no more

Quiet night back @ Sand Hill parking lot poaching the $5.00 rec fee. Cold down in creek bottom. Warmed myself w/ heater over bfast.

Today is a planned hurken day, maybe 40 miles. Headed up Sand Hill trail. Recent rain filled dirtbike ruts, its the whoops like a small pump track except the trail is narrow rutted hampering pedal strokes. Can’t stay out of most of them. Soil is like sand clay mix offering good traction. I rode the outside edge of ruts that I could. Others I slipped thru on the high side. Many no choice but down the gut. My drive train was coated like thinned wet concrete. A noise from the chain gears told me they were not happy. Conditions improved when hit sign for USFS. Thought they owned the below land also. Dirt bike hacked!

Plan was to ride Sand Hill up then down to Devils Gulch, ride up, exit @ upper parking lot and ride the road to upper Devils Gulch TH down to junction w/ Devils Gulch. Devils down to join Red hill for traverse back to van. Didn’t happen. Rode very strongly. The mud was such a bitch slowing me down. Took almost 1 1/2 hours to get to bottom of Devils gulch. More of same on ride up Gulch. Made junction w/ Mission ridge trail short of upper DG TH. Second bail point and I took it. Years ago I rode the Ridge and swore it off because downhill mtn bikes were beating it up and it was steep down. I remember turning around a ridge outcropping and loosing it over the low side jamming my right quad into the bar end as I went over the bars. My leg was almost useless as I negotiated the rest of the pretty tech trail. AT the van I pulled myself into the van. I pulled my right pant leg to move my foot to the brake. Today, I just cussed the dirt bikes that have just ruined the trails: they are narrow, deep and bumped out. Switchbacks cut for fall line trail.

Devils gulch trail crossed Mission Creek 2X. Both times I waded into the stream and hand washed the drive train.

Made lower DG TH. From here down to Junk man’s “spread” the road is washed out from flood spring of ’09. Right where road bed was washed away I came upon 2 track hoes moving dirt. Fortunately I was able to get around them as opposed to having to ride back and around. Made it thru the junk man’s many dogs.

Big ride, rode strong and well.27.22 miles in 4hrs 32 mins, Climbed 5869′, burned 4872 cals. Pushed my cardio system to 1 hr 49 mins above, hit 154 beats per min.

Headed out of the mtns on way back to Spokane. Found shower @ WA  Confluence state park. Continued up US RT 2 leaving Columbia River @ 785′, climbing up a side canyon to sky to sky dry land acreage on the flats @ 2762′ Turned S on the first side road. Turns out it is a county road, unmaintained that drives between fields. Up top, exposed. Sunset over foothills over the Columbia. Big moon tonight.

Tomorrow is back in Spokane. Shoes are in. May the spitter valve be also and it gets replaced.

Trails in Mission Creek drainage were some of my favorites. That was then. Now the miles I rode were hacked by dirt bikes and need to be rebuilt.