Sunday, November 29, 2009

Biking to Colorado Creek Cabin for Turkey

Temps: 0 to 20 F
R/T mileage: ~31
Awhile back Dick and Sarah invited me out to Co Creek Cabin in the White Mtns for Thanksgiving weekend. I decided to bike out to the cabin which is a 14 mile fairly flat trail.. but the trail had not been groomed by BLM yet. Started a couple of hours ahead of Dick and Sarah so I could get a head start to the cabin, as I was expecting to have to push quite a bit on the trail. The first half of the trail was a breeze - totally rideable until I reached a long stretch of tussocks, which exposed punchy ground all around them... on top of that, it was pretty balmy, near 20 degrees.. so the snow seemed to be a little bit soft because of that.
After the tussocks, riding was on and off, but mostly turned into pushing, especially up the hill at the end. Sarah and Dick caught up to me about 3/4 of the way in.
The last stretch before the cabin was windblown with very soft snow. Even with deflated tires only short squiggly lines led into snowbanks on the side of the trail. :-) Surprisingly, I managed to not take a dive into the deep snow this time! Haha.
By the time I got to the cabin, (cough, 6 hours later, UGH! i am out of shape!!), Dick and Sarah had it warmed up and had the turkey and sides warming up. :-) Here they are during a mean game of spoons.
Friday night we had some really cute puppy visitors. Some folks were snowmachining/skijoring out to Wolf Run but had missed the trail and came across our cabin. I almost kept one of the puppies for myself, they were so darn cute!! Hence, why I cannot go to the animal shelter because I would most likely come home with one.

Here is a picture of the Colorado creek cabin the next morning. We had awesome weather - unfortunately it was cloudy at night so no aurora. :( My dream will have to live on and not happen quite yet. "Patience young grasshopper".. yes, yes I hear you.
Saturday I decided to head up the, uhhh, "trail" to get a feel of what the White Mountains can expose a biker to. Dick took some photos of me trying to ride. They are below.
photo courtesy of D. Flaharty
photo courtesy of D. Flaharty

Man, I love this time of year. As long as I'm able to get out to places like this I am happy. We were so lucky to have such mild weather, too, and little wind for the area.
I pushed up the ridge a little ways to get a better view of things.
Awake to take in the view....
These trail markers show where the trail is supposed to be. The sastrugi was pretty sweet even though it made biking nearly impossible. A fluorescent sunset graced me over the white land, illuminating the sastrugi on the ridgeline.
On the way up I could float on top of some areas but then would come crashing through a foot and a half in other areas.
Sunday time to rock and roll out of there. I left at 11am figuring there would be some walking to do.
But lucky me...
...had INCREDIBLE trail conditions!!!! I was so excited and knew it was going to be a good ride when I was able to ride on the trail that I was stepping through on Friday. Thanks to the snow hardening in the cold! The uphill on the way in, turned into a massively FUN downhill on the way out. I actually had to brake a few times because I was getting a pretty ridiculous high speed going down and we all know I'd be the first to endo into the snow.
The sky had fogged up and began to snow lightly on the way out. Couldn't ask for much else except some aurora. ;) On the way out, I intercepted some skiers from the UAF Outdoor Adventures group- just four of the guys who work there. Stopped and chatted with them for awhile and they gave me some jelly bellies - yum, thanks! They were out at Wolf Run with the puppy-people and had heard there was a biker but sounds like they were wanting to visualize that so good thing I caught up to them. ;)
With the ride taking me about 2 hours and 45 mins to get back to the car, Dick and Sarah finished just 10 mins after.
Enough said.

1 comment:

AP said...

Oooooh, I learned a new word! Thanks for posting the wikipedia page for sastrugi :)

Gorgeous pics from this trip.