yeah, so that was definitive.

the wave has crested and left 
my carcass on the beach.
rode it for a loooong time,
pretty much since the W101.

Friday, sent out a qwik email
prior to rolling, jinxed myself
on the weather I think.  Forecast 
was golden, mid-60's/low 40's, 
minus five for the mtn effect.

rolled out the door 5pm, goal was to camp at a spot shown as Chimney Rocks off of Bower Mtn  Rd.  Hoped to find a neat outcropping and fire ring spot to camp at....didn't happen.  Found the trailhead, followed the trail, then it dropped the fall line down over the pitch. I said no thanks and turned tail to press on.  Started looking off the side of the road and came upon the hoped for established sites.  Pulled into #107 and tried get as far back from the road as possible, just wasn't comfortable in that spot.  Nice picnic table and firering, but just not a good vibe, tweaking about redneck locals harassing me, bit more seclusion woulda been nice.  Bit warmer sleeping wear woulda been nice too.  Slept off and on, fitfully waking every 45ish minutes probably, the alarm didn't beep too soon.  5am, grab the dampish, campfireish smelling kit off the El Mar clothesline, warm it up inside the bag and fire the stove for a 1.5 shot wakemeup, then double pack of oatmeal.  Rolling up the bivy sack & whhaaat???  pit,  pit....pit, pat, breezeyshwoooooooshhh, pit, pit, patter.....is that fucking rain?  mother fucker, where the hell did this come from?  gotta be just an early morn inversion, overly dense fog something or other.  right?

no sense standing around, so jump in the saddle and try to sneak some sunrise vistas, then drop into some sweeeet singletrack down along Cold Spring.  Make it to Fowler's in about an hour, top off the water and up Alfreta Tr to check out Bowman's Tr.  Not all squiggly lines on the map are created equal.  This section sucks.  Kinda like the Little Mare hike, but in the rain.  And lots of windfall, like every 2 bike lengths.  But, buuuutttt, there was a sick looking enduro track crisscrossing the blazed trail every so often....looked favorable, but didn't explore it.  Instead I plodded along, hitting a pretty low spot in the moral o meter, then found myself back on track and busted left on Robinson Trail.  That was noice, very noice.  So was Iron Horse above Shearer Dug, and saw more enduro track.  Made it to Big Spring, disappointed to see all the fountains and spigots marked not-potable, DANGER!!!.  It was also still raining, and it was approaching noon o'clock.

I'd hoped to be sitting down at the pizza shop in East Waterford by now.  I was still an hour away, at least, with a substantial climb and cold rainy fireroad bombing descent between here and there.  Pulled out the cell phone, and actually had a single bar of service.  Called up the weather radar and found out that I was sitting smack dab in the middle of a big green blob.  No rain back home, Meeshow was looking dry, just a disc of green right over top of me.   Looked like at least another two hour ride to not be rained on, then a damp chilly 40ish deg night trying to burn day long soaked wood.  Just didn't seem like a fun time, so I said fuck it.  Seemed dumb though to bail immediately to the road, so I hopped back onto Iron Horse and took it down to the snowmobile trail.  Man, that's a little taste of VA love right there, good stuff.  Stopped for a fresh set of maps at the ranger office, then slummed home thru a grumbling hungry stomach bonk, 4hours of 32:19 spinning, final hurdle of Waggoner's ridden in the sun, rain finally broke around 2ish...while I enjoyed a small fry and two hotdogs at the Landsiburg Deli-mart.  26ish in 3 on Friday, another 8:40 on Sat brought it up to 83ish for the trip, which was plenty enough.

then I slept a lot, and had a heap o' fun riding w/ the 'cakes for Travissimo's b'day on Sunday.  

good times.


camps said...

Wow, our Iron Horse ride was so uneventful in comparison.

Seems like you a have lot of road miles from town just to get to the public lands?

You're doing a good job of setting a hook though....

Tomi said...

from home to the base of Elk Hill Rd/Col Denning is just under 20, 'bout an hour and a half spinnin' the single...