Joined: Jul 2007
This little campground was supposed to be closed at 10pm, it’s written in the Bible somewhere, so if you can’t get your dumb butt in there by 10pm, keep on a goin’ baby, officially, you’re out of luck. Unofficially, no one seems to give a hoot about regulations, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when a pickup truck with the big bad dual exhaust pulled in at 12:30AM. Had to be a crewcab, it was impossible to repeatedly slam all those doors if you were just working with two, don’t forget the twenty five tailgate slams. Loud music, loud voices, loud everything for an hour. Didn’t know who they were, but I did know they lucky as heck, I’ve camped places where gunfire would have broken out after the first five minutes of that nonsense.
Forty degrees when I rolled out at 6, heavy dew, the tent fly was soaked. The campsite across from me was the scene of all that midnight commotion. In daylight, it looked like a freakin’ bomb had gone off in the camping department at Dick’s. Tents, hammocks, gear, clothing, footwear, you name it, scattered around, now all wet, like very wet, soaked…looked like a big sodden pile of Chinese caca. Whoever thought up this expedition must have seen a photo of Chouinard’s people and decided to cut a few corners on the outfitting, those baggy homie pants hanging from the tree wouldn’t have made Yvon’s checklist. Could be wrong, maybe the planning was done by Peterpan on bath salts, the dazed half frozen kid wandering around over there in the wreckage would need a freakin’ search warrant just to find his socks. Sorry, don’t much care for bad manners, y’all have fun.
Packed up, made a nice little breakfast of semi empty calories, press coffee so black it was sort of chewy, and the day was looking way mo betta, time to ride. Fired up the rat, heehaw, is that testosterone coming out of that there pipe, or what. Sun out, nice and cool, places to see, stupid subversive exhilaration running wild…can’t tame it, edgy zydeco band playing in my head, and I was outta there, gone.
The PR75 road wanders before turning perfectly straight and running south southwest for miles. Well graded and no traffic this morning, a warm up gravel ride for the day ahead.
At the bottom of Dolly Sods, then a connection with FR19, where I found a young Forest Service crew cutting brush along the road, the only activity on this gravel since Jordan Run. There are almost no young Forest Service employees in this federal agency, ain’t the CIA, DOJ, or any of those, this one is under funded. See some young people in the FS uniform around here, they’re seasonal. The slack in human activity had been more than taken up, say exponentially, by deer activity, and I mean deer everywhere I looked, everywhere I rode, byproducts of an unusual nonwinter.
Riding west again, back on pavement at the river, more low water, it’s been unusually dry out here for at least six months. One lonely fisherman bobber fishing in a hole by the bridge, must have left all his Orvis junk at home today. He looked to be passing the time, smoking his cigs, drinking his breakfast from whatever was in that paper bag, might have a heart attack if that bobber ever came up missing.
The flow was so low and lazy it hardly produced much of a riffle.
Sprint, stop, sprint, stop, as 32 and then 72 took me west, still not getting a shot at everything I wanted, but I did get a few.
Not much in the way of traffic this morning, only a couple pickups, but with few shoulders, hills, and curves, it was tough to find a safe place to stop. If you happened to think no impaired drivers are on the roads at 9AM, you would be mistaken.
Sick of the pavement by now, I ran west out 72 and then turned south, connecting to Gladwin Road, and then down to the junction with Sully Road, I would be riding south the rest of the day. Sully almost looked like a farm lane from the north, and it would be easy to ride by without making the turn, now I was back on gravel and would be for hours.
Sully was in good shape to start today, but I had seen it in terrible condition too, deeply rutted and muddy. Hayfields and woodland, some cattle, plenty of deer. Little traffic on the north end, and trees had branched out over the road.
If you’re thinking was running to shady and cool, it was more shady and muddy, the spotty rain had fallen around here and the road was still wet under the canopy.
Mist, and smoke from a fire farther north, laid a haze down over the mountains, sometimes it takes a darn good wind to push it all out.
A muddy road now, not bad, and I had a young deer running down the road only slightly ahead of the bike, the darn thing could not make up it’s mind where to jump the old barb wire fences, then turned 90 and jumped the ditch and the fence at the same time, love it.
The entertainment was over, and I was down to pavement at 33, but it only lasted thirty seconds and a hundred yards before I was back on a big push of gravel.
(to be continued…)
Canada/Alaska, 2009; Eastern Canada, 2010; TAT, CDR, FTR, Yukon, 2011; Travels With jdrocks, 2012; jdrocks Rides CO to AK 2013; jdrocks Rides West TX, NM, AZ, UT, CO 2014
V649HP BIKE BUILD
jdrocks screwed with this post 08-12-2012 at 08:16 AM