Friday, August 20, 2010

2010 AF Canyon - first trip

With the weather being so wet in June, and cool, we didn't get up into the mountains to ride the area until August. Last night, 3 of us went up to Salamander Flats and staged for our first ride. This ride almost didn't happen, as a huge rain storm occurred earlier in the day. But with the sun coming out for most of the afternoon, it seemed like we could give it a shot. It was a cool 60 degrees, and the trail was slick in spots, but extremely fun. We take off from Salamander Flats and head to summit. This is always a great little leg to get started on, as it has some tight curves and rocky paths that are not hard to pass, but remind you of whats coming up in the harder sections. We got to summit and took a small break to make sure we were all ok continuing on. We were, and we took off, heading down the hill on 252 (i think). This is a quick little trail, and has some meadows that you pass thru rather quickly. The climb back up to 157 on the ridge is some of the funnest simple trail in this area. I love that leg. Once we got to the top of the ridge, we encountered a group of riders numbering above 12 riders. They were going opposite of us, and we met about midway. We had a great little chat with these folks about bikes, trails, and so forth. We continued up along 157 to the junction that would take us back to Salamander Flats. But at the junction, instead of heading right, we headed left, and went back up to summit. This was the first time i recall hitting this section of trail, and it was enjoyable. Once at summit, we could see that there was still sun in our favor, and it seemed like we were quitting early if we headed back to Salamander Flats now. So, we repeated what we had just done, and headed down 252 and back up to 157 on the ridge. Once we got to the turn off to Salamander Flats, we took it this time, and chased the sun all the way to the Staging area. We barely made it as the burning globe dipped behind the mountains, leaving us to pack the bikes and gear in the twilight. This is the perfect timing, having used all available sunlight to our advantage. While loading up, we could smell the dinners cooking nearby from the campers in the area. It smelt divine, as I had not had dinner yet prior to the ride. While loading up our gear, one of my knee guards went missing. I could swear it was right there a moment ago, but it was not there when i went to close up my bag. I looked all over the place, in the bag, around the bag, around the trucks, and so on. It was then that we remembered the puppy that had come over to say hi to us from a nearby camp. We strolled over to the camp and found the extra knee guard. This camp was the same one that had come over to invite us to feed on their leftovers. So we proceeded to enjoy their hospitality and chowed down on some yummy stew. We stood around their campfire, had some fun discussions and ate their stew. It hit the spot. As we talked and enjoyed the ambiance, the sun completely disappeared, leaving us to drive down in the dark. We realized that our wives may be worried, as the sun had set and we still hadn't returned. As soon as we got out of the canyon we made the calls to let them know we were ok, and returned home, tired, sweaty, full of stew, and muddy. I hated putting my bike away dirty and muddy. But with no sun to allow me to wash her off, i had too. Maybe tonight, i can get her back out and clean her up, gas her up, and get her ready for the next adventure.

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