Monday, June 16, 2008

No Paved Roads Here

“Let’s stop complaining about our bikes and ride them.” These were Jody’s words while we were catching our breath at the top of Pine Tree headed towards Sheep Mountain. It immediately made sense and I took off spinning my 34X21 up to the highest rpm’s possible. This is a section of trail that I hadn’t ridden in a long time and wow I had forgotten about the speed and sketchy eroded lines that take you flying with a smile around sandy corners and through a hall of green combining deciduous and non-deciduous trees.

After that quick fun descent, Jody had a confession “Thanks for all the work on the trails out here man, I feel bad when I can’t make it.” My response “No problem, I do it because I like building trail, plus I only have two dogs to take care of. You have a family.” Then he went on to talk about how working on Pine Tree back in the day was the first time he had worked at Dupont and met WK.

It was a great morning and instead of the stifling heat wave that we had been experiencing, it was unusually cool and pleasant out when I met Clay and Jody at the bottom of Burnt Mountain, promptly at 8:30. A day doesn’t start much better than this.

I had ridden over from Fawn Lake while Clay and Jody parked at Corn Mill Shoals. It only made sense to meet in the forest. I dropped three teeth in the back on Friday night so I took the easy cheesy route of Fawn Lake Loop -> Airstrip -> Mine Mountain -> Laurel Ridge -> Shoals -> Corn Mill Shoals.

We had an hour and a half to meet the rest of the crew at Fawn Lake so we completed a loop around Burnt and Nooks before deciding to make our way to the Buck Forest parking lot via Longside, Pine Tree and Sheep Mountain. Some nice grade dips have been added on Sheep Mountain to make for some fun coming down.

Jody found love in this Forest Service Bus when we arrived at Buck Forest:
It was a simple gravel grind back to the cars where we would eventually find Justin, J, Meghan and Kristin. While we were waiting a couple road bikers came rolling up into Fawn Lake. The leader said “Hey do you know if there is any way through Dupont?” Clay and I said “If you can ride single track and gravel on those things.” The guy looked taken aback; little did he know that Clay, BrouSSard and Dennis had done just that recently on their road bikes. The mysterious roadie then said “But there is no paved way through the forest huh?” I responded “No, and hopefully it will stay that way.”
Now that our group was at full capacity, we took off down Reasonover Creek Trail. I think I finally figured out how to describe this trail, take a look at Reasonover Creek herself:

Kristin is still enjoying the bike:
We took a break for awhile at Lake Julia, when Jut get’s bored he makes shadow puppets.

After our picnic, we headed up Camp Summit Road to the sound of thunder in the distance. Once we were on the airstrip, we figured the storm was headed this way but not for awhile. The girls took the quick way home while the rest of the crew marveled over Airstrip.

We took the quickest route back to Burnt Mountain so the rest of the crew could slice and dice on the newly remodeled beast. Clay took a spill crossing the creek but as always, he handled it like a man, gathered himself out of the water and tried again, successfully:
Everyone raved at the bottom section of Burnt, I was starting to really feel the dropped teeth climbing this beast for the second time of the day and walked a little. Jut told me to show him the lines coming down but I caught a fire breathing dragon in my eye on the way down and had to stop to rectify it.

Even though the temps dropped, we never saw rain as Jody and Clay headed back to their cars. Then there were three. We took the quick route back across the river, up Shoals to Laurel Ridge and eventually Mine Mountain.

I haven’t done it, can you do it? Here is the second attempt set-up:

Yeah he got up on it clean, can Jut keep it up?

No problemo dice Jut Rut.

A nice dip in Fawn Lake rounded out another crappy day in the woods.

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