Wednesday, September 30, 2015

PSA: American Falls Tr

I found this cool little unmarked trail up at Priest Lake the other day while roaming around.  It led to this bench.

sounds profound

That is not what this post is about though.  I thought you might like to know that the American Falls Tr is closed.  There was some major work occurring on the trail this summer, mostly on the bridges.  Then came some wildfires in that area.  Those fires continue to burn and will more than likely burn until snow fall or major rain.  A sign at the trailhead warns of fines for walk/riding the trail while closed.  Might wanna save yourself a long drive up there and wait until next year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Priest Lake Ride Report

The day started innocent enough.  Morning coffee on Reeder Beach at Priest Lake.  Lake was flat, sun was out and I had no committments for the day...except to go ride.  I got a lift to Beaver Creek Camp with an idea to start riding North from there.  Other than planning to head up Plowboy/Navigation Tr and knowing that I needed to end my day back at Reeder Bay Camp, I really was just gonna play things by ear.  I quickly made my way up Plow/Nav Tr and it was in great condition...had 4 down trees.  Got some great views and soaked in some sun.

From this point on, there may be some numbers and simple warned.

While taking in the following view at the top of Upper Priest Lake, I started to plot my next move.  I had just ridden 9 miles.  From Beaver Creek, I would have another 18 miles back to camp.  Meaning if I turned around then, I would have ended with 27 miles.  Respectable day, with lots of sweet singletrack.  But I really had an itch to go ride Trapper Cr which I hadn't done in a couple years.  It is one of my favorite trails.  I forged on feeling pretty good.

Ahh yes, my next stop was on the East side of the Upper Lake.  Another 8 miles from bridge I stopped at before.  Upper Trapper Creek was amazing.  Although lots of bear scat.  Warning more math.  8 more miles from our last math problem, means 16 miles (round trip) from this last leg would give me 44 miles of sweet singletrack for the day if I turned around now.

Things get a little fuzzy here, but I was starting to feel a little tired.  44 miles sounds like more than I wanted to do now.  However, I really wanted to ride the rest of Trapper Creek.  So, I thought I would continue on down to Geisinger Camp and attempt to flag down a boat to haul me across the thorofare.  Then I could make my way over to Plowboy Camp and head back down to Reeder Bay with 31 miles.  31 sounded better than 44.  And a boat ride sounded fun, although somewhat of a gamble.
When I got to Geisinger it was about 3:30 and weather was changing to overcast and breezy.  I waited for 20 minutes and no boats.  I decided to head down to Lion's Head and see if I could find a boat on the other end of the thorofare.  I was already committed to this plan now.

Whereas the upper section of Trapper (to Trapper Camp) was amazing and all clear, the lower section of Trapper to the end was in terrible shape.  I have noticed over the last 3-4 years that as trees go down on that trail, less effort is getting put into clearing them.  This last year has been particularly bad for this area.  Root balls have ripped up sections of the trail and downfall is piled up in layers.  There are some reroutes around some of the worst sections.  Some rideable and some not.  Honestly, I don't know that I have seen such wind damage on a trail.  Sadly, if the last few years are any indicator, this section of trail may be on it's way out.
pics don't really capture the magnitude

Anyways, I did make it to Lion's Head.  I was able to flag down a nice family who haul me across the water.  I jumped on Lakeshore Tr and headed back down to camp.  One note on Lakeshore, it is probably the driest I have ever seen in my life and in awesome shape.  Great day of riding, tired legs and grateful to the generous family who gave me a boat lift.

All this kinda made me think it may be time to bring back the Round the Lake ride...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Deer Ridge/Snyder Creek Ride Report

Day #2 camping and riding in Bonners.  This ride was intended to to be a little easier than the Mission/Harvey Mtn push the day before.  Plan was to ride up Deer Ridge Trail, visit lookout, ride ridge out and bomb down other side to cold beer at Feist Creek.

Not sure how many times I've ridden this trail, but noticed an old cabin along the way.  Damn the climb is steep, but a short grind to the lookout.  I said a few bad words.  We were looking forward to visiting the lookout and taking in the surrounding views.  However, some family had it rented and had a lot of camping stuff, toys and what not spread out all around the base.  We proceeded to head back down the trail, and had some gun shots fired.  Not sure if at us, but seemed a little close for comfort so we let the brakes go and got out of there quick.  

see more and more signs like this on public lands nowadays
Ridge ride was good.  More ups and downs, until the super big, shit eating grin downhill to the Moyie.  I realize I said yesterday's descent was one of the best in the region, BUT this one ain't too shabby either.  It is very unique too, in that is mostly a long sidehill descent with hardly any switchbacks.  There is a lot of exposure.  Check yo brakes.

 Here is a warning for you, when you make social status updates on the trail bad things can happen.

Great day of riding!  Scorched rotor was no better today obviously.  Trail was all clear and had current evidence of being cut out recently.  Go ride it and enjoy the Fall.
new additions to the trailhead


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mission/Harvey Mtn Ride Report

It was a crisp morning for a ride, particularly up in the hills above Bonners.  We shuttled up to ride Harvey/Mission Mtn, and right away, I realized I had not packed enough clothes.  No turning back though.  The sign about parts of the trail be closed to logging were somewhat disheartening, but the group decided it was not enough to deter us from riding.  We forged on.

The logging ended up being a none issue and wasn't affecting any of the trail.  But then there was the pile of bones along side of the trail, a reminder to not be the last one up the hill.  The climb up to Mission Mtn is always a bear.  Seems to be more pushing and less riding than I would like.  The view at the top always seems to help, although on this days thick cloud cover hampered that.  Oh, well.  We did have some fresh snow for a snow ball fight.

Some of my favorite sidehill riding ensues after the peak, followed by one of the longest, fastest downhills in the area.  So, fast I seem to have scorched my front rotor.  Bummer.  Good news, I know which brake to use.

Love the history in the area.  Fun times exploring after the ride.  Damn fun ride and well worth the long shuttle.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

New Syringa Trail

Geez, I just realized I never posted a pic or made mention of the new trail up at Syringa this summer, Little John.  It was put in very early in the summer.  As with all new trails it has taken some time to wear in, but is riding great right now.  This is basically a "bypass" trail so you can get to the top of Sherwood Forest without having to go up that steep climb right after the triangle/3 way intersection.

I am all for new trails.  I love riding all trails.  However, I must admit that I am a little torn over this new addition.  You see, before you had to ride up the steep and loose climb to get to the top of Sherwood.  There was no other way.  While I never really enjoyed that section, it was a great test and always felt good when I crested the top.  Especially, knowing that I had just finished the last pitch of my ascent from Pine Street, and now I was gonna be rewarded with the sweet descent down Sherwood.  I could still go that way if I wanted, but you know how mind games work.

So, there ya go.  Now you know...if ya didn't already.  And now you have seen a picture.  And an action shot of one of the corners on the new trail.
And a bonus as I also realized I don't think I ever posted a pic of this new art by the blue trees.  Kinda creepy.  So, there you go with that.  I have informed you.  Now it is your duty to go ride and check it all out yourself.