Whaddya know? Two weeks in a row! I told y’all last week I was re-committing myself to reporting on my adventures more faithfully. I may not always have much to say, but I’m not afraid to say a lot about nothing! Lucky for you guys, I had another somewhat adventurous week. And, even if you don’t feel like reading about it, there’s lotsa pics to check out!
The weekday rides weren’t all that exciting but were notable for a couple reasons. Tuesday, the 5&9 boys finally rode together as a group again! After what seemed like a month of conflicting schedules and Shawn becoming a new dad, we got out for a short, fast (painful) blast out to Jville. It felt good to be back with my besties.
As usual, I was back on John’s Peak, Wednesday evening, for the Cycle Analysis shop ride. There was a strong group that decided to do some climbing, and we didn’t mess around. If my legs weren’t tired from Tuesday, they were ready for bed after Wednesday.
A little ride here, a little ride there, and before I knew it, it was Saturday. I was ready to show a bunch of my buddies one of my favorite gravel loops out of the Applegate Valley!! It wasn’t to be. Some were racing. Jacob was volunteering at the race. Others had to work. Poor me. I guess I’d have to spend the day alone. Even though the majority of my rides used to be solo, it seems like a long time since I’ve been on a good backroad adventure by myself, and I have to admit I was a little hesitant.
But I went anyway. Parking just past Applegate Lake (and just over the California border), I started out by pedaling back along the lake before taking Carberry Road.
3 miles up Carberry was the landslide I had encountered a couple months ago. It doesn’t appear anyone has done any work on it. Ever.
There were very few glimpses of wide open vistas for about the first 10 miles of climbing. I was good with that. It was a warm day and the road was buried in deep forested shade for most of the climb. Between the lush green, occasional clearings, and trickling mountain streams, I was satisfied with the close up views.
Not only did the vistas open up as I neared the top of the mountain, but the higher altitude wildflowers were in full bloom and provided some eye candy of their own.
When I finally reached the summit, just below Whiskey Peak, the earlier lack of views was more than made up for when I could see the Red Buttes, Mt Shasta, Mt McLoughlin, Roxy Ann, and Greyback Mtn all from the same spot. It was amazing.
With literally 95% of the climbing behind me, it was time for 17 miles of nearly all downhill gravel road blasting. But, not before a 1 mile stretch of sketchy old road that is now a rutted out doubletrack dose of mountain biking goodness.
Like I mentioned, it’s a LONNNNG descent. Fun, but wrist and back-rattling at the same time and I was happy to hop off the bike when I reached the car. I know I say it all the time (I really do mean it), but this was a great ride. Between the wildflowers all over the place and the clear blue skies, it was a refreshing reminder of why I enjoy riding in the middle of nowhere sometimes.
Wait!! The weekend wasn’t over.
!!!!WARNING!!!! I’M ABOUT TO TALK ABOUT HIKING AGAIN, SO GET OUTTA HERE IF YOU DON’T CARE!
Unlike Saturday’s lonely man ride, Ruth and I managed to convince a decent number of friends that a birthday (Ruth’s) hike was a good idea. This week it was time to conquer Wagner Butte.
The 10 of us hit the trail just after 8 am. Well, 9 of us hit the trail. Ryder, not quite 2 years old, was living up to his name by hitching a ride up the mountain on his dad’s back!
Just like my ride the day before, we were in shaded forest for most of the climb up and surrounded by wildflowers. Aside from people asking how far we’d gone (and not sounding too thrilled when the answer was something like, “2 miles of the 5 to the top”), everyone was in a good mood.
Eventually, we reached the summit. Unlike last weekend’s Thielsen near-debacle (I love that word), there were no soul-searching moments before climbing to the top. The rocks were easy to scramble up and once that was done, we were rewarded with a view of the Rogue Valley and far beyond.
After a mostly whine free 5 miles back to the car (I whined the most), we had another notch in our belt. Wagner Butte – CHECK!
I’m digging this hiking thing and all, but I’m treating it more like cross-training. It’s almost time to knock out a century on the bike again. I think it’s been over a month! Maybe this week…