September 30th, 2011
Stellar weather albeit lacking moisture. Clear skies, pure blue color lacking influence of pollution. Low humidity & short sleeve riding temps once sun warms up. Sagebrush riding down in Hailey, trees up towards Galena Summit. Trails are dry, dusty, and loose. No organic material to hold moisture. Riding here presents local unique challenges in sharp edged rocks that move in the loose dirt. Seems my recently exposed to skill of identifying then focusing on visual goals has been replaced by past fear skill of looking at the ground right before my front tire. Fear based and a not thoroughly reflex learned skill.
So yesterday I left the Corral Creek campspot for Prairie Creek trail. Previous night’s sunset illuminated the mtn range to the East. Sunrise brightened it out.
TH is at 6900′. I parked just off the pavement to distance my van from opportunistic mischief. I wore Smartwool kneewarmers, a wool light weight long underwear top, and long fingered gloves, all of which turned out to be not necessary on the climb up. I felt that they would be needed on the way down yet I was not too overdressed for the shaded climb. Pretty day again. This time the Boulder mtn peaks were snow free. I followed a hiker up trail w/ a dog but didn’t catch them until he was headed back down. I knew the dog was a water dog because of the wet dog foot prints for many feet up trail from the h2o crossing. I rode a longer version of this ride last year w/ Kyle & co. The down hill from Miner Lake was more survival fall line trail. Riding back down the up trail was more fun.
The ride beat me. My day’s plan was to ride here, drive back to Hailey and do my wash, then do shop ride in the evening. I didn’t feel well. Indecision is the key to flexibility. I lingered where I was parked enjoying the fall weather, being in the woods, and no people around. Finally I drove back to Ketchum to Backwoods to visit w/ Rodger. I met Rodger last summer while he was moored in SV. Moored because he was a wanderlust traveling the US. Last winter he skinned or hiked up Baldy 115 times consecutively. He set out last summer to roam again. He showed up @ Cream Puff and learned he was back in SV. I called Chip to tell him I would not be riding. He told me my ears would be burning from being talked about.Visited w/ Rodger and Brian another wrench.
There are several hot springs in the valley, one I previously visited was out Warm Springs road which became my goal. I thought maybe a soak would would be the poultice I needed to suck out the bad juices. I had the pools to myself for a short time before an attractive older woman arrived. Nice soaking pool right beside the road on the river. I checked the h2o temp w/ my hand b4 stepping in. I limited my soak time to 20 mins to not cook myself rendering my muscles no functioning. The woman and I chatted as almost naked people do. Let my eyes take a walk all over you as Bruce sang in Tunnel of Love. I left to drive down to Hailey to do my wash and finish out my day.
RT 55 which is the main drag thru the valley is being repaved which tied traffic up making for a slow drive down. I was watching my time and the slowness ate at me. Laundromat closed @ 9 leaving me plenty of time for clean dry clothes. I still line dry my synthetic riding clothes on a line stretched across the inside of my van in the back. I Use wooden spring clothes pin that I used for years when i lived at my house. Caught dinner @ a creative burrito restaurant and later a beer @ a brew pub. Past experience was that nobody parked where I sleep so i could linger in town.
During the night my body was responding to something like a flu bug w/ nausea and lower GI gurglings. Whatever it was my body put itself back in order and i was able to go back to sleep.
Today is another sunny day w/ some high clouds, going to make this a rest day to recover.
So here is a question:
The state of Oregon tackles driving under the influence with road signs that read “Drive Sober”. Human nature is to deny wrong doing. You consume alcohol. An officer pulls you over the asks, “Are you driving sober?” Denial. “No I am not.” Is this an admission of guilt?
September 28th, 2011
Chilly clear night out @ Democrat gulch. Hey, I sleep here I didn’t pick it for party affiliation. Turned on the heater this AM for b-fast.
Plan today is to ride a hurkin ride Chip laid out. First I researched the phone number of Club Ride apparel, I found it, and called. Spoke w/ Mike. Explained my need to swap a large jersey for pants hopefully in my size. He said Yes so i drove to his office, staffed by himself and a professional woman working on a computer. I scored a pair of small Club Ride baggie shorts. I mentioned that Kyle tried to get me into his gear last summer.
I drove a bit further up the road to Lake Creek TH for my ride. Trail undulated on the south shore of Big Wood River that drains the valley. Rode into colors. Seems the aspen are turning in pockets of cold air.
I rode up Oregon Gulch and hiked it when i pooped out. Big climb. Decent was rocky and loose dirt intermingled w/ short uphills. 16.5 miles and climbed 2817′ up to 7600′. Brutal lack of O2. Valley is 6100′.
golden aspen against conifer green.
Big mtn view of Boulder mtns:
Shower @ YMCA. back into Ketchum to Elephant’s perch and found Kyle for a short worktime visit. He has a long distance ride to do next week after he returns from a whirlwind trip back to New England.
Off to restaurant eat then drive out past Sun Valley to out of internet range.
Tomorrow is another ride but further upriver.
September 27th, 2011
Monday I left Bear basin camp spot for Hailey. Camp spot was just a spot to sleep, the back of my van was maybe 10′ off the road. Road construction is going on beyond me w/ large dump trucks hauling in rock. Daily the road is watered which keeps the dust down as they go by. The spot was close in but off the highway about 2 miles. I usually pick a gravel road off a hard road and drive back a ways for a camp spot me believing that the distance separates me from the opportunists looking for trouble.
My drive plan was down rt 55 to Banks then a paved FS road to Lowman & st 21 to Stanley. My front hub needs Chris King grease. I researched Boise and identified 2 shops for service. I would drive to Boise then back to Banks if a shop had grease. Struck out. Next stop is Hailey and Chip’s shop for his lube.
Off down rt 55 I lumbered. twisty road. Made Banks and turned up the Payette river on a more twisty USFS rd. I stopped @ Lowman RS to obtain a list of hot springs. I decided on Grandjean that was off the well traveled path. Plan was to have a soak and camp. Drove back 6 miles of a washboard road. Found widest parking spot all but hanging over the river bed. Only rig around. Several trails lead from the road down the river bank to many cobbled pools. The first one I tested w/ my feet and legs. It al but first degree burned my legs. Lesson learned: gently lower a digit to test. Found 1 pool that was constant temp w/ a gravel bottom. I soaked for 10 mins on the stop watch then got out and walked a few feet into the roaring cold river to chill off. I checked other pools that were either too hot of too cold. Plumbing is needed to mix the hot and cold waters.
Found an approved place to camp back off the road and on the river bank. Pretty. Rushing water for company. In valley bottom. Clear skies. I felt the brisk temp, checked the van thermometer that showed 41 degrees. Cold enough to run the heater on low for the night. This AM it was 29 degrees and frost was on the lupine.
Today was final push to Hailey first stopping at frequently recommended Stanley bakery. 5 miles of washboard road back to the pavement. Sawtooths. Valleys. Reminded me of Yellowstone. A guy at the bakery greeted me and gave me a ride description b4 I could eat my sticky bun treat. Aspen are turning on Stanley side of Galena summit. Over the summit thru Ketchum to stop at Hailey.
Chip let me work on servicing my hub. Bitch all way around getting the spring clip off then reinstalling the seal and clip. I spent several hours wrestling w/ the process amusing Chip w/ stories. Finally put hub back together: little noticeable difference.
Little rain has fallen here to dampen the dusty trails. Chip gave me ride suggestions. Grocery shopped then drove out to Democrat gulch camp spot. Sage brush covered slopes. Not as cold.
My satellite receiver really is on the fritz. Need to replace it, found one in a Best Buy in Twin Falls.
Off to clean up the galley then bed. Camped @ 5800′.