- Northern entrance to the Moon Loop
I figured people might like to see a few more photos of the Cedar Cross course. I had a couple of days off, so I set out to do a bit of trail cleaning and find some new gravel.
I also wanted to get an idea of what the area would look like after 2 days of solid rain; Turns out it looks pretty damn fun. The picture below was taken on Burnett School road. This bit of gravel is usually dry, but when it rains the water has to go somewhere..
- Hmm..might be a good idea to put some fenders on the ol’ cross bike
A few more miles down the road, the gravel was almost too smooth, as if I was the only person to have driven on it. Turns out I was right:
- (You don’t even want to know how much money it’s costing me to get these roads in shape for raceday.)
Then I was off to the Devil’s Backbone to move some leaves off the trail. For those who don’t know, the southeastern portion of the Backbone was only recently acquired by the Forest service. Thanks to this development, the course will now be taking you past 3 DEAD END signs.
Upon entering the Backbone trail, there’s a short, unmarked trail that I can only assume was created by the property’s previous owners. From this trail, there are several cliff-faces where you can step a few feet from the trail onto a rock ledge overlooking Cedar Creek. You can literally see for a mile in either direction, it’s beautiful. Photos are forthcoming
As the trail descends, you get to cross this waterfall:
- *This spot is also normally dry*
I’m happy to say that the leaves have been removed from about 90% of this trail, and it is now very rideable. It’s also worth mentioning that this piece of trail contains one rock garden that’s so nasty I probably wouldn’t attempt it on my full-suspension mtb….unless someone had a camera. No photos yet, but it’s not like a photo would do justice anyway.
It was getting dark, so the work came to an end. Rather than make the 45 minute drive home, I hiked up to one of the bluffs along the Smith Creek Trail and made camp. Lemme tellya, those woods come alive when the sun goes down. I’ve never heard so many coyotes in my life.
- Thankfully, this fire was just big enough to keep the Boogeyman away
Thanks to some frozen feet and an angry bladder, morning came early. A quick hike back to the truck, and I was on my way to the Moon Loop. I’m pleased to announce that this trail is about 80% leaf-free now. The only problem is that horses are rutting the trail and leaving massive piles of shit to clean up. This is nothing new.
Trekking along, I found another example of equestrian laziness:
- So lazy
Rather than move the tree off the trail, people just blazed a new trail past it. This literally took me 2 minutes to clean up, and I can only wonder how long ago that tree laid there.
- Seriously. 2 minutes.
Later in the day, I met a pair of horseback riders who thanked me for cleaning the trail. They seemed oblivious to the destruction they were creating and the mountains of shit their horses were leaving behind. Since they were so nice and since it was Christmas day, I decided not to pull my gun.
At the Big Branch Creek crossing, there is a strange and interesting rock wall. I have to assume it’s man-made, and I can only guess at its historical significance.
- This has to be man-made, right?
I think that’s about all I’m willing to share for now. This race is only 5 months away and there is still a lot of work to be done. Maybe I should be doing more work and less typing?
Just so we’re clear, I am NOT creating any new trails out here, only clearing leaves and downed trees from trails that already exist. I’ve been in contact with the local forest service, and they are well aware of my activities.
I have no desire to go to prison for trying to organize a free bike race, so there will be no new trails cut by me. This thing isn’t about new trails, it’s about showcasing the ones we already have. Aside from having a great time on a kickass course, The whole point of this race is to get people out here enjoying these trails and working together to bring them back to their former glory.
Soon I’ll be adding a place on the website for people to RSVP. The way I figure, if we know you’re gonna be there on raceday, we’ll be more motivated to get out there and make this course even better. When it’s posted, please take a moment to add your name to the list (if you plan on racing). You’ll totally make my day.