Grouse Ridge. Late November??
This ride should not have happened. In a normal year Grouse is under snow and has been under snow for more than a month. Thanks to a freakish Fall, we snuck this ride in on a day that saw temps start in the low 40s early in the morning and climb to at least the high 60s in the afternoon.
This route started with a little used forest road to a mellow old flume trail that was buried in leaves in most places. Where the trail wasn't buried in leaves you could usually find a bit of bouldery fun.
As we climbed we broke out of the heavy forest and into sections of classic high altitude Sierra scrub.
A small water-filled old mining pit yielded a window pane which was promptly shattered.
Then we had a little mishap which could have been much scarier. As he was portaging up a small exposed section, Eric found the adhesion limits of SPD cleats and worn down Sidis soles. I looked up as he was rag dolling over the side of the drop, sans bike. Somehow he bounced on his ass and spun in the air and landed on his feet rather than on his back in the rocks. I even got him to pose while he worked off the shakes.
Then it was on to Baltimore, lake that is, our destination for the day. Paul filtered some tasty, ice cold, high mountain water (people pay big bucks for this stuff) while we checked out the lake.
The trees all bore snowpack lines where the moss stopped growing.
Then it was time to turn around and head back to civilization.
Hey, there's the truck, just on the other side of that lake...
Climbing towards some gnarled old trees. It's a tough life up there.
The trail turns down once again and gets tech.
Back into the trees and many organic land mines, aka pine cones, were waiting.
Then it was time for one more water load for the last hour grind out.
If you made it this far, go visit BONC and learn more about this great area and the people who are protecting it for riders.