|Kevin on Cooks Meadow Trail|
Drove out the 44 road to hit a nice ride we have done before. This area is in primo shape right now. The flowers are all starting to bloom. Trails are in fantastic shape - practically hard pan. We started at 4550 Feet and climbed from the car on Knebal Springs Trail 474 for 3/4 of a mile before we plateaued at a high meadow. This was followed by a bermy, fun 1 mile descent. Did a bit of route finding trying to find the correct road/left for the new Super-Connector trail. Went left on that to descend to Forest road 1720. Cruised out that to FR44 and went right for 1/4 mile and found trail #688 on the right. Rode that for 1/2 a mile on a fun descent. Climbed back up to the road, crossed FR44 and started a climb on Cooks Meadow Trail 439 at our low point of the day at about 4100 feet. This trail is a grunt up hill, but lots of work was put into it a few years ago to reroute the trail. A few years later, and all the loose corners are hard pack. Eventually we were treated to a sweet, flowy and fast descent that ended too quickly at a gravel road at 10 miles. Went left for a 2.2 mile climb on the gravel road. Luckily no cars came by to dust us. After the climb to 6000 feet, we went left on a jeep road which climbed slightly, then descended 1.35 miles to Lookout Mountain Trail #450 where we went left. Again, they have done much work on this trail, and of course, some clearcuts have grown, providing more trees and shade. Climbed a bit here and there, but basically descended to the car. 18 mile day.
Kevin drove the car back down to Hwy 35, and Francine opted to descend the Dog River Trail #675 to Hwy 35. For most of the ride, Francine wasn't sure she was on Dog River Trail, but wondered if she was on the Surveyor's Ridge trail, as after descending about a mile, she had a 1 mile climb, and was still high up on the ridge, and wasn't making any progress down to the Highway. After a few highly emotional moments, turning around and climbing back up the trail, finding cell coverage and downloading a map, she decided she was actually on the right trail and continued down toward the car. 7 miles later, not the 5 they guessed, she made it to the car. 25 mile day for Francine. The trail was actually in fabulous conditions. On some of the steeper sections, and approaches to the switchbacks, there were some braking bumps, but generally the trail was great, and worthy of sending more of the family down when they arrive.
Later that night we headed to DaKine down on the waterfront for a mountain bike movie, The Builder. Bought $15 dollars of raffle tickets, and scored. Kevin won a pair of mountain biking shorts and Francine won a bike hydration pack. We also won a kids size medium bike jersey, probably female colors. Anyone want it?