Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kettle Crest/Jungle Hill Ride Report

Heading West to Kettle Falls for some riding and camping.  First, grab some local brew to carbo load before the next 2 days of riding.  Mmmm...

So, wake up to awesome views, cool temps and light rain or heavy dew.  Hard to tell exactly, but very foggy and wet.


Head out on a warm up ride with Shadow through the nature preserve.  Some very cool wetlands, wildlife and of course bridges.  Trails had some surprising cool, serpentine-like sections that made for some fun cranking turns at fast speeds.


After the morning ride, it was pancakes, eggs and bacon before the featured ride of the day: Kettle Crest.  I've gone on and on about this trail and this area in general before.  In a word, bitch'n.  Now I love Sandpoint/Bonners.  This is where I was born and raised.  I'm part of 4 generations living here now.  I grew up hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and motorcycling all over these surrounding hills.  The latter half of my life has been spent reconnecting with the areas I grew up on, but now on my mountain bike.  It is hard to beat the Panhandle when it comes to mountain biking.  I only bring all this up to preface that Kettle is really that good.  I could retire there, but then again people in my profession never really retire so probably not.

Fallen needles lined Kettle making for a "Yellow Brick Road" of sorts.  This ridge trail hovers around 6,000-7' most of the time and it snowed lightly several times on the ride.  The crisp Fall air felt great as I grinded away at the climbs and navigated all the rock sections.  Rocks?  Yes, there is a lot of rock in this area making for some technical and challenging riding.  Big, huge rock formations bound from the ground and litter the trail in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Me, I love rocks. 


Camping is available along the trail.  You will also cross a couple sidehill sections that offer great views and sweet riding through the tall grass.  Oh yeah, this grass also feeds range cows (sorry no pics).  Keep your eyes out, they are not your normal cows and encounters will startle you just as much as them.



After navigating the climbs, rocks, sidehills...and cows of Kettle you will be rewarded with a bomber descent down Jungle.  Fast, furious, flowy and cramping hands are a fews words to describe this downhill.  It is really the most fun possible on your bike.  This made for a nice loop ride, although you could continue Kettle and do many, many different rides.  It's like an adult playground.  Now go.

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