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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dead ends and shiny leaves

Aaron and I chanced the weather on Tuesday to scout out some more trail options for F.T.R. Phase one of the scouting started out by driving some (actually, most) of the dirt roads between Harmony Ridge Market and N.Bloomfield Rd trying to link up the Round Mountain Trails. After being turned around by houses, gates, dead ends and plain ole' bad direction choices we finally found ourselves at Round Mountain where we saddled up on the bikes and did the 7 mile loop. The loop was just like I remembered. Buff, skinny, tight, twisty. The loop only took an hour, but that's OK because it's off to Phase Two of the days scouting.

Phase Two was much different. Back in the truck. Head South. The driving portion was easy. Dive off the 20, descend to Washington, park just outside of town in the sun and start riding up-river looking for the Doolittle Trail. This trails been a bastard child for me. I've tried looking for this trail 2 other times before from the top and have been "skunked" both times. The trails up there are barely used and a fire about 10 years ago makes navigating the trails sketchy at best. The last time I tried finding this trail (about two weeks ago) I descended the 1,300ft of vertical from the ridge off trail, off bike just before dark.... fun times. Today we would guarantee ourselves finding the trail by riding (hiking actually) it from the bottom... WHAT A CONCEPT!!!! After 1hr/15min of hiking all but two short (very short) sections we found the top. Victory was ours and for me it was about friggin' time.

One of the many, many patches of Poison Oak @ Round Mountain
Sako,Matty.... you've been warned!!

One of the many, many dirt roads we tried

One of the two short, very short sections of trail we were able to ride on the way up the DooLittle Trail

Most of the time up the DooLittle Trail looked like this

You really only need your brakes once on the descent. you pull on the levers at the top and things stay that way until you get to the bottom....1,300ft later

Aaron with the upper South Yuba drainage in the background

Snow on the way home. Hopefully the trails won't get too hammered in the next two weeks.

1 comment:

Craig said...

Still waitin for F.T.R. recap...?