Back on the road with bikes!

After about six weeks playing and working on the van in Oregon we are back on the road with our mountain bikes.

Our first stop was for a quick visit to McCall, ID, a couple hours north of Boise, as we head back to the east coast. It is an outdoor mecca with two nearby ski areas, amazing backcountry, great mountains, and access to some of the best whitewater in the country. I got to spend time here and make a bunch of friends when I was a whitewater raft guide during college.

In 2014 we bought a small lot in a very cool development with a golf course and a bunch of mountain bike trails hoping to someday build a house and settle down here. Unfortunately we haven’t quite pulled off the building a house and settling down thing yet. Good thing we now bring our house with us wherever we go!

Despite the short notice of our arrival, we timed it well as a buddy and his wife were heading out on Saturday for a wilderness bike ride to check on some trail conditions and the progress of a trail maintenance crew.

I stole this shot from Dave’s FB page as he wanted to compare his VW to our Transit.

Most of our riding recently has been in concentrated mountain bike areas, but this was a regular wilderness trail in the national forest. There were quite a few challenging technical areas and a lot of places where we lacked either the skill, the legs, or both to make the climb. The challenge was well worth it, though, to be back in the mountains.

Sara, Michael, Sid, Dave – not a normal one in the bunch.
Riding through the meadow at our destination. Definitely worth the views.
Another meadow on our ride. Photo again lifted from Dave’s FB page.
Dave’s picture of Sara using the smart way to cross the creek.
Dave wanted to make sure he got a picture of us with the trail sign.
This is what happens when you give your phone to Sid.

On the way out everything was rideable, though the technical sections were challenging. Sara did a great job until near the end, where she took a digger into the rocks and jammed her thumb. Some vitamin I and a beer at the trailhead helped and I don’t think the injury will significantly slow her down. The final tally was about 14.5 miles and 1600′ of climbing.

The best part about riding with local friends was that we got to use their shower after riding! No truck stop, laundromat, or hose for us … yet.

On Sunday Dave took off for some more trail inspection, but he left us Sid. After comparing van builds with another buddy in McCall, Sara, Sid, and I rode a couple of the fun downhill flow trails at Jug Mountain Ranch, where we have our lot. These are super well maintained trails with fun rocks, jumps, and berms.

One last shower and it was time to go. Hopefully we get to spend a much larger chunk of time back in McCall this fall visiting and doing a little work on our lot.

Our current goal is to make it a to a buddy’s house in Wichita, KS for the 4th of July, but we want to ride a few places along the way. We left McCall around 4:30 p.m. and looked for good places along our route. Snow Basin, UT seemed like a good spot to shoot for on Sunday night and we made it just after midnight.

Nice view from the parking lot when we woke up.

In the morning some guys in the parking lot were nice enough to give us some info about the trails and we picked the Sardine Loop, which is in the national forest right next to Snow Basin. It’s a steady climb up, but you are rewarded with great views and super fun descent.

The Ogden overlook just off the trail with views back over the mountains to Ogden and the northern edge of Great Salt Lake in the distance.
Share the trails!
Because you might have this in your face when you come around a corner!
As you continue around the loop you get views of Pineview Reservoir and Powder Mountain in the distance.

Sara at the end of the descent.

Now that it is summer, we don’t have to rely solely on friends, laundromats, or truckstops to clean up because I installed a pressurized water line to the back of the van. Bike wash, dog wash, people wash. Now if I can only figure out an easy way to heat up the water a bit. It was pretty chilly!

Good thing it was hot out!

Okay, so we are on the road back east and our mountain bike plans are going well. Next stop, riding in Wyoming!

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