Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Northwest Passage

I haven't been riding a whole lot in the past couple of weeks, so yesterday I thought I would get out for a long ride. I've been getting a bit bored with my usual routes, so I thought I would be adventurous, and plan a route that would involve some forest roads and trails. I decided to revisit the same forest roads Trish and I went on a few weeks ago. I really don't like to double back when I ride, so I thought I would try to get all the way from Munger Shaw road to Three Lakes road. This link would have been in the northwest corner of my planned route and doesn't show on any maps so I thought I would be clever and call it the Northwest Passage.
Using satellite maps, I looked at the trails and roads going through the area to plot my route. I loaded the route into my GPSr and off I went.

All the Pretty Horses
I had to ride 20 miles just to get to the gravel section. I left the house at 7 a.m. so these guys were pretty much the only other souls who were out and about besides me and a few fishermen.
The first few miles of gravel were wide and smooth. I saw about a half dozen deer and an equal number of rabbits. The road then got narrower and I came upon my first obstacle.

Man Down
I had to do the limbo to get under this tree.

Rocky Road
The 2 inch wide tires I have on the trucker handled this terrain much better than the 38 mm ones on my Scott. I didn't break any spokes either, unlike last time.

Getting Narrow
The further I went, the narrower it got. The low branches were a good reason to ride in the drops.

I took my chances and rode through this. It ended up being deep enough so that my shoes went in the water as I pedaled.

End of the Line
A little bit further down the trail I ran into this little lake/river. I was much deeper then the first, and water was flowing down the trail for as far as I could see. I could have carried the bike and waded through, but I wasn't feeling that adventurous, so I turned around to find another way. I remembered from the satellite map that a side trail I passed further back looped around and met up with this trail again, hopefully somewhere after the water.

Just before rounding a curve on the second trail I heard the sound of running water. Luckily this water flowed underneath through a culvert.

Great Blue
Sometimes taking a different path can lead to good things. This great blue heron circled around me as I stopped to enjoy the scenery.

Wolf Track
Further up the trail I came across a muddy area filled with wolf and deer tracks. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, no wolves were to be seen.

End of the Line II
Finally, after 2 miles on this second trail, I came to the end of the line. This water was deep enough that I could hear green frogs calling along the side of the trail (they don't like it shallow). There was no way around, so I knew that today wouldn't be the day to find the passage. I'm pretty sure if we hadn't received 2+ inches of rain this week it would have been dry enough to make it through. I'll be trying again after we get a little dry spell.

Switch the map below to satellite and zoom in to see where I was headed.

1 comment:

  1. I've never gotten through there either. I'll try on my 29er after a stretch of dry weather. Maybe take some boots for portaging.