At this morning’s breakfast meeting it was decided that since yesterday was nearly 30 miles of pretty technical terrain we would embark today on an “easy ride”. Pardon me … “easy loop”. Like a shorty 10 mile loop. Enter a nice trail up to the base of Crown Mountain and back down the adjoining drainage. With a “modest” climb.
And it did seem pretty easy for the first hour. We had climbed up some really easy switchbacks to a gate. As I was closing it something started crashing through the brush towards us. My partner started announcing our position. Me, I raised my bike above my head. Not to throw the bike at a charging grizzly but to appear larger. And we waited.
Then a cow stuck her head through the brush and stared at us in amazement. We were just as surprised, standing there white as ghosts ready to be eaten. Suddenly we were the ones on the top of the food chain. After that things were a bit relaxed after that.
We had lunch by a stream and decide to continue around our loop. Earlier we decided that we would go to the first junction and make a decision. This would make sure that the day would be “light”.
3 hours later I was waiting at the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness at the next junction which would lead us to another trail going back to the car via the next drainage over. I was breathing heavily. I tried to climb most of the trail but it got the best of me. I had walked nearly all of it. We saw two freshly eaten deer carcasses as well. And then I wondered if I should have waited up more for my partner. My anxiety grew as time passed waiting.
Then she appeared looking quite frazzled and discombobled.
“Wow! That was tough”
We discussed going back but that seemed a little hairy. We decided to continue around the loop for no other reason but in hopes the trail would turn out better. And at first it seemed it did not matter as thunder and lightning starting crashing down on the mountain ridge high above us. We scurried across the base of Crown Mountain and over the saddle.
And things changed in an instant. The trail was heavenly. Smooth as butter and the scenery was astounding. And to make things even more cool the storm that was brewing stayed in the basin that we just left. It seemed as though it would be smooth sailing back. Given the amount of descending though I was still pretty skeptical.
Every switch back I gave thanks for the kick ass trail I just bombed down. It was all icing on the cake for me. I wanted to savor every ounce of trail before it turned to hell like the trail that we had climbed earlier. But that did not happen. The more I let go of the brakes and screamed down the trail the better it got. We plummeted down through at least three eco zones and I started to lose track of time. After a really cool wooded section I stopped to wait for my partner.
Again I grew uneasy. My anxiety grew as time passed waiting. I wondered how long I had blacked out in my orgasm of descending. Given, I can ascend pretty fast but I didn’t think I got that far out in front. Or did I? What if she crashed or worse yet run into a griz.
Just then she came screaming past me.
“Yeee hawwww … this is so coooool”, her voice trailing off as she disappeared down the trail.