Living out of cell coverage and then hanging w/ friends socializing moves this commuication down my list of things to do.
Fri I rode Mahogany ridge up Horsehoe creek outside of Driggs. Camped near TH. Shared trail w/ 2 my age men riding dirt bikes. Hit the high point and then the Mahogany trail dropping down. Trail beat from bikes & horses, at top dropped steeply then flattened out. Map showed 8 miles down. Dug it. Just about the bottom I encountered tractor tires. USFS or contractor drove one up the trail aways to decommision an illegal trail. The effort was serious as the trail, aparantly an ATV trail was cut cross wise and numerous aspens were knocked across trail. Lot of damage to environment to close an illegal trail that was probably ridden in by ATVs; if they want back in they will cut a few trees and ride another one in.
Down on the road I made a choice to ride 10 miles of pavement back to TH instead of shorter but longer ride on nthe dirt to make the Curly Lake ride camp way up in MT. Road riding on my mtn bike made me spin which is good for me.
Caught a shower @ gym in Driggs, bought groceries, stopped @ Peaked Sports searching for Time pedal cleats. Scored. The owners read the BikeMag article and were tickled to visit w/ me.
Curly Lake is up Boulder Creek south of Cardwell, MT. First part up Boulder was on patched asphalt then turned to dirt then got rough. Vaca homes back up on dirt. Camp was up a side road past the outhouse. The Sprinter is not a 4X4 or off high ground clearance but I crept my way to the group site. Waiting here were old time Spokane buds Rick & Mars, Tom & Kelle, & Paul Z and Theresa. The first 5 are hard skilled riders, my peers. This weekend would benchmark my fitness. The guys were almost my age. early morning the rest of the group arrived.
Sat AM the above 5 plus me headed up the worsening road to Curly Lake TH. Our group will ride the entire route which includes a demoralizing 4.9 road ride climb back to camp. Tom took off on the road climb, I marshalled my resources knowing that the day will be long. Once we hit the ST our group order & spacing changed. I managed to stay w/ the group. I did walk several switchbacks higher up. The trail dumps out on a pass then switchbacks thru the alpine to the high point. We were exposed to a strong wind blowing onto the mountain fortunately. Several times I and several others stopped for fear of being blown off the mtn.
The trail dropped down, we hunkered down behind an outcrop and snacked & soaked in the view. 3 young riders from Bozeman preceded us. They dropped down the rest of the alpine section. The lead rider smoked, I watched him below riding a rocky traverse and watched him ride off the downhill side of the trail. Later when we caught up w/ him he told us he was blown of the trail.
Heck of a ride 24.59 miles & 4375′ climbed in 4 hours 11 min riding time. almost a quarter of a 100 mile race. We were spent. The road ride back I was almost 1st to camp but I walked part way up last small hill b4 camp and Kelle overtook me.
Weather was deteriorating. We sat around a campfire till late. Some time during the night a fanatastic t-storm hit. The lightning lit up the moonless skies. rain fell like a cow peeing on a flat rock. Snow dropped higher up. Sun AM was icky. Rick & Mars, and Tom & Kelle bailed leaving for Moab and the rest of their road trip. The rest of us pedaled up the beat up road again to ride up to Lost Cabin lake. Another hump. Trail was rideable w/ strong legs & lungs. Just b4 the lake it started snowing and the temp dropped. Short visit then the descent back to camp, 12.59 miles in 2 hrs 14 mins, 2454′ climbed. Down hill on a chilled body doesn’t warm it up.
Randy & Lisa have a Eurovan westfalia VW which is way nicer than my old vanagon. I sure have a soft spot for the VW campers.
Monday AM the group decision was to break camp and drive to Whitehall for B-fast. It took me lmost 45 mins to drive about 14 miles out to hard road. 9 of us hit this small diner for food. The service was glacier, the cook served 4 people then 2 then 2 then me because the kitchen had a small griddle. What a waste of time. Randy and I were the only ones who wanted to ride today, everybody else headed back to Spokane excpet Paul & Theresa who were off on their road trip.
Randy and I drove to Pipestem pass for Beaver Ponds ride. As we geared up a rig w/ 2 bikes pulled in, 2 girls got out. I saw bandages on the heels of one of them. I jokingly said that that’s what she got for dancing in too tight shoes. She asked me how I knew that she and her friend danced @ a Willie Nelson concert the night b4. They met Bruce from Pisgah Works several years ago when i passed thru. Ah, Bruce.
Randy & I rode the trail, the first part was on the Continental Divide trail.
I signed on to Randy’s plan of then driving up north to Whitefish, MT, home of Big Mountain. He had a business appointment there on Wed which allowed for a ride on Tues. Well after dark we rolled into Whitefish State Park XG. I talked the campground host to only charge us for 1 site w/ 2 rigs. Score. $15 a night. However, the XG was hard to a railroad track, the XG supplied earplugs. Cheap rate plus a shower and we were set.
Tues.Randy & I headed out in his VW to ride Ashley mtn, the 3rd ride of my fledgling odyssey back in July of ’08. The ST had been brushed back. Big uphill then steep short downhill back to TH.
We stayed a second night. I ran short of quarters during my shower leaving me covered in soap. 4 quarters for 3 mins. I rinsed off using sink h2o.
Wed we both slept late. I scooted out to Kalispell searching for a laundromat, propane, & groceries. Saited I headed west to Bonners ferry, ID to learn about Long Canyon ride. Stopped @ general sporting goods store seeking info. I waited 15 mins to be waited on then gave up on shop & ride. I drove towards Sandpoint, ID then drove up a logging road into USFS land hoping that I would have cell phone coverage. I parked on turnout on road and had cell coverage.
I was still under the covers when my dad called me to wish me Happy Birthday. He is on Ohio time, I am 3 hours behind groggy from sleep and no wake up coffee. We enjoyed a lively conversation, he sounds good. He told me I am the 3rd task he completes when he gets to work. He checks if I posted up, if so he reads it, prints it, and puts it in a binder. He is on his 3rd binder.
Skies portended rain. Leisurely bfast then a drive into Sandpoint. I visited Wilderness Experience, the host of the Telemark Classic ski race on Schweitzer that I used to race. Kevin, the owner, still remembers me.
Randy, the trail out of town you mentioned is on private property and is unmapped. I chose instead to ride Gold Hill w/ it’s 30 plus switchbacks. Today i rode all the switchbacks and the climb nonstop except for 2 short breaks. In previous rides I missed the same switchback and stopped several times. Better ability and a bit stronger, albeit 3 years older.
10 miles in 1 hr 37 mins, climbed 1832, most of it in 3.2 miles.
Found an Army Corps campground nearby for 5 mins on a quarter shower. I am in Sandpoint, going to treat myself to a special meal then drive to Priest Lake area for 2 days of riding. Almost into Canada.
There, caught up. This was a type and dash misive. Time for dinner then a drive.