July 30, Day 3 - Final day in Squamish BC Wonderland Trail + Brackentrail add on

We had to get an early start today, as we have a 12 noon checkout.  Decided on the easier White Rabbit and Wonderland trails to end the trip, because we can ride from the unit.

Made our way to the pedestrian overpass over the Sea-to-Sky Highway 99.  Rode thru the Brackendale neighborhood to cross the railroad tracks.  Headed up the dump trails - Sweet Judy, Rusty Bucket Left to the Powerline trail, and up that to the Ray Peters trail along the road.  We debated trying Dump Express to the highway, which we would recommend.  For some reason it was noted as "not recommended" on the map.  Crossed the highway and found White Rabbit to the right of the bridge.  This was a nice, blue rated trail that Francine enjoyed.  This ended at Alice Lake Road, and we promptly found Wonderland trail accross the road.  Wonderland trail was a nice cruise downhill towards home.  Next, we doodled back thru the Brackendale neighborhood, looking for the little paths between streets, to the overpass.

Once back on the street to our unit, we opted to go left to the end of the street and climb up Brackentrail. Once up on the hill, we were in familiar territory.  We went right, descending on Jacks to Lumberjack's to Cherub to Slurm to Coho Park trail.  At the end of Coho Park trail, we hit the streets and booked back to the unit for a shower and checkout.

We don't know how far we went, but rode for a little over 3 hours.  We were definitely on the bike more than on previous days, as we rode Blue Square trails, except for the hike up Brackentrail, which is a Black rated trail.  Great trip and still left the Valleycliffe/Crumpit woods area to ride in the future.  No pictures for the day, as we were on a time limit.

July 29, Day 2 Squamish BC, Diamondhead

Day 2 in Squamish.  We parked at Quest University to ride in the Diamondhead area.  We climbed up to the first parking lot and hit the new to us - Legacy Climbing Trail.  2 hours later and 2000 cumulative feet higher, we hit the top.  Climbing was quite hot, as it was muggy and the wind had not picked up with our 9am start time.   We descended a few feet of the top of Half Nelson and went right on Recycle.  Last time we were here, the Half Nelson just wasn't our cup of tea.  So, we opted to take the right hand turn.  Recycle was narrow and old school, just what we were looking for.  Hit the road and made our way to Fred trail.

Kevin dropping into Fred trail
After Fred trail, went right on the road to find Lower Powersmart, another narrow, old school singletrack trail.  The we hit Plum Smugglers and finished up on Word of Mouth.  Both these last two trails were quite technical for Blue Square rated runs, with lots of ups and downs, rocks and roots.  Francine would have been happier with easier trails.  10.7 hard miles.  Total elevation/loss: 3,180ft.
switchback on Lower Powersmart
Steeper than it looks - still on Lower Powersmart

rock on Plum Smugglers

Lot's of split cedar bridges on Word of Mouth

a semi smooth spot on Word of Mouth

July 28, Squamish BC, Day 1, Garabaldi to Alice Lakes area.

Francine on Coho Park Trail

Left the house at 6:20am for the drive to Squamish, BC, to go mountain biking.  With the hot temperatures predicted in the high 80's, we wanted to get into town early enough to start riding before it got too hot.  Parked at the Garibaldi Suites where we would stay for 2 nights.  Rode thru the neighborhood to the Coho Park trail.  Went right on Trestle trail to Cherub to Lumberjacks.  Headed up Jacks then started the real climb on 50 Shades of Green and climbed even more on 50 Shades More.  Once at the top, we went right on the old road to the new trail Rupert.  This was rated as black diamond, and was appropriately rated.  Kevin really like the tech and steep rock roll-overs.  Francine did quite a bit of walking.

Francine approaching a bridge on Rupert Trail

At the bottom of Rupert trail, we ran into 3 guys from Mexico City.  Today was their last day of a 7 day trip.  They were headed our direction to the new Man-boobs trail, so we all rode north on Mashiter trail to Cliff's Corners to Rob's Corners.  Here we headed north to Ed's Bypass to descend on Made in the Shade and climbed back up on Soft Rock (used to be Rock n' Roll), and headed back to the end of Rob's Corners, where Man Boobs starts.  Francine really enjoyed Man Boobs (blue square rating), as this was easier than Rupert.  The guys from Mexico City gave Kevin a reason to turn up the speed and hit a couple of the jumps on Man-boobs.

Next, we headed out the smooth, old road called Bob McIntosh Memorial south to Edith Lake.  Here we went right onto Mikes loop looking for Credit Line, another black diamond trail.  Kevin really like this, and Francine did a bit of walking.  Once down on Jack's trail we retraced our steps and went right on Covenant trail to Coho Park trail and back to the unit.  Sweet day.  The trails here are really technical, but the conditions were primo due to the rain last week.  16 miles.  Total elev. 2,705ft.

Kevin on Covenant trail

Kevin on wood on Covenant trail

July 24, Teanaway Valley

With hard rains at Snoqualmie Pass, we headed east to the Teanaway valley.  With a light sprinkle as we headed out, the trail conditions were great.   Nice to get nice firm trails in the middle of summer.  Typically this area gets quite sandy, but thanks to the heavy rains the trails were perfect.

July 21, Hansen Ridge Trail

Got out with Don Hecker and Francine to ride the Hansen Ridge Trail.   The trail is almost in the backyard, starting above I-90 from ext 47.   It's a 19 mile out and back with a mix of singletrack and old road.   Views are nice and the amount of climbing is challenging.  About 5 miles out, we ran into Mike Westra of Evergreen MTB Assoc. putting some finishing touches on a nice section of dirt with the help of about six hard working  volunteers.  Thanks!  Good, tough ride.

Don checks out the small lake at the turnaround point.

June 22, Waterski

Last day of our weekend and finally got a wind free morning.  Headed up lake, towards Manson and found some pretty smooth water.  Got super smooth and I lost concentration in my bliss.  Did a nice forward flip as I cut across the wake.  Still paying for that one.   Chiropractor today?  Nice way to finish the week, other than my crash.  Thanks to Len for piloting the boat.


Big sister, Kristin




6/21 Echo Valley trails

Rode up from the ski hill to the top of the area via the shoe trail.  Tried out an alternative descent out past Bergman's gulch.  Just off Outback trail, it stayed above Bergman's and dropped all the way back to the ski hill.  Not bad, but not as fun as the shoe.  Rode one newly built section of trail, but it was pretty short.  They have 11 miles of new singletrack planned, but not sure they have the volunteer labor to get it done.


June 20, ZIP ZIP, Chelan, Wa.

It was the first day the whole family was in Chelan.   Unfortunately with a brisk breeze, it was a little too cool for lounging lakeside.  We decided to go check out Tunnel Zip Lines.  It was a little spendy at $75 bucks a pop for four zip lines, but we all had a good day.   The owner's were very entertaining and Len was able to buy the first bottle of their first white wine bottling.  They got the okay on their liquor license while we were zipping.   Scenery was terrific and the last zip line got you going pretty good!

Jack, Kelly, And Len


Jim comes in hot, backwards

Francine hanging out

The Gang,
Len, Hilarie, Hannah, Kelly, Jen, Kristin, Jack, Kevin, Jim, Francine

6/20 Sage Hills

It's been slow in my blogosphere.  6 weeks of hard labor on my rental house has taken a bite out of our free time.  Hopefully, it's almost fixed up and rented, so we can get back to the important things in life.  We took the weekend off to head to Lake Chelan, with a stop in Wenatchee for a little ride.  Parked at the Horse Lake trailhead which is 3 miles above Wenatchee.  Still managed to do a 13 mile ride heading up into the hills.  Trails were nice hardpack.  Cimbed up the Homestead trail then hit the new connector trail Apricot Crisp.  This took us to a double track that led up to a weather station.  We decided to turn around at that point.  I believe we could have continued to the summit of twin peaks.

May 30 , Silver Peak

Hooked up with Tom Davies, Greg Louie, and Elissa for some backyard turns on Silver Peak.

April 25, Vernal, Utah - LaPoint "Corkscrew" & "McCoy Flats"

This will probably be our last day of riding, as a big weather system is moving east.  Drove to the Lapoint trail head about 12 miles west of town on Hwy 21 between mile markers 28 & 29 to ride the Corkscrew trail.  The cows had been here recently, and the first mile was definitely bumpy.  Heading up valley the  the cows have made multiple paths and braids.  We were slightly confused to what braid was the actual trail.  Near the top, route was slightly confusing.  We had done this ride the last time we were in Vernal and had an idea of where to go, but could be confusing for a first time ride.  The downhill was pretty good off the top, but lacked flow and not enough people are riding this loop to pack the trail down.   10.75 miles. Overall, did not care for the ride.  Maybe we are getting spoiled?

Francine on Corkscrew
We needed more trail to take away the bad taste corkscrew left in our month. After hitting happy hour at Taco Bell to refuel, we headed  to McCoy Flats trail head.  This is the trail system that Troy from Vernal's Altitude Cycle promotes and helped develop.   In contrast to corkscrew, which has no trail signage, the BLM has put in a fenced parking lot with covered picnic area and a pit toilet.  The trails are all extremely well signed and there is little chance of getting lost.  There are several loops emanating from the parking lot, so you can easily do anywhere from five to sixty miles.  We rode out Got Milk to Retail Sale to Slippery When Wet.  Then took Corral Trail to the car.   8.25 miles.  This system is real fun, smooth, and swoopy.  Definitely has a technical side as well, and the trail can be fairly rocky/pebbly.  Favorite ride at Vernal is definitely the Red Fleet trail system with it's butter smooth red dirt.  Overall, we were stoked we did another ride and got to end our trip on a high note.  Total miles for the day 19.

Francine on Retail Sale

Kevin near the end of Slippery When Wet
Tomorrow, we will probably drive home in one day.  14 hour drive to wet Snoqualmie Pass.  Another awesome bike trip.

April 24, 2014 - Vernal Utah, Red Fleet

Francine on Jazz trail

Francine near end of  Jazz trail

Kevin on JBoy

Kevin on JBoy

Francine on bottom of JBoy - We were on top of those rocks

Left our very nice house in Grand Junction and headed north to Vernal, Utah.  We rode here in 2010, and wanted to revisit.  The trails are still real skinny here, as they don't have the riders like Fruita/Moab/Salt Lake.

Checked out Altitude Cycle for latest trail info, then checked in to a hotel for two nights.  Drove the ten miles from town to the Red Fleet area.  Started the ride on Jazz Chromoly, to Handsome Cabin Boy, to JBoy.  Rode JBoy on both sides of the paved Dinotrax road.  Joined back up with Handsome Cabin Boy to climb back to the car.  Ride was basically above 5700 feet, and our tired legs were needing more oxygen.  It was sure nice to ride on smooth, flowy, narrow single-track.  8.5 miles.  This is a great trail system.  Don't miss these trails if you come to Vernal.  We had parked at the pullout .6 miles up the road.  It looks like they have an official hiking trail further out the road, where you could park and finish with a downhill, versus our uphill grind to the car.  Generally it is a clockwise loop and loads of fun, wherevever you park.

April 23, Palisade Rim Trail

Kevin on Upper Loop

This new trail has been on our list.  The initial climb up to the rim and the upper loop were completed in the Spring of 2013.  We were really worried about riding today, as it was quite windy today for a rim trail.

The trail climbs steeply for 800 feet in the first mile.  Went right around the lower loop.  Checked out the petroglyphs off the trail.  Then hit the connector trail to the upper loop and went left.  We climbed on new, narrow, bench-cut singletrack.  Luckily the trail along the rim/cliffs was nothing to worry about, as far as cliff exposure.  We were quite worked by the technical nature of the trail system.  The description rates it as difficult, even by Grand Junction standards, and they are correct, until more use causes the natural widening of the trail.   9.4 tough miles.

Stopped in the local bike shop, Rapid City Cycles, after the ride, and got the skinny on future development.   The owner of the bike shop says the upper loop is already wider than it was a year ago.  Sounds like the next trail will continue to climb even higher, with hopes of reaching 10,000 feet.

Francine with Petroglyphs near Lower Loop trail

Francine on super-narrow singletrack, climbing on the Upper Loop

April 22, Grand Junction - Lunch Loops area

Francine on Leftover Lane

Francine cruising on smooth Holey-Bucket trail

Don & Val left for Seattle this morning, sometime around 4 am?  They were so quiet, we didn't hear them leave.
Today was supposed to be 82 degrees, with a severe windstorm arriving around 1pm, accompanied by  45-50 mph winds, lasting until 11pm.  Since our early risers had departed, we got started about 10:30am.  The wind was starting to pick up.  I think it was blowing around 20 mph when we started, but we seemed to be fairly protected during our ride.

Climbed Curt's Lane to Leftover Lane where we went left on the Miramonte Rim Trail.  Headed down and left on the end of the Holy Cross trail to Holey Bucket.  Retraced our steps yesterday on Holey Bucket to Clunker.  Continued on Clunker until it hit Holy Cross.  Went right and climbed up on the rim.  Went left on Coyote Ridge to Raven Ridge to High Noon to Pet-E-Ekes.  Here we split up.
The wind was really beginning to blow, so Francine opted for a trail she knew, Pet-E-Ekes, while Kevin wanted to try a trail new to us, Eagle's Tail, for his final descent.  When we hooked back up, we added on a final loop on Kid's Meal.  10.4 miles.