Michaux MTB Thanksgiving

Michaux was dripping wet like Tolkien-land on Thanksgiving morning as grey light entered the gunmetal sky.  It was cold, yes, but thoughts of backcountry riding warmed me to the bone.

I pedaled out from the reservoir where I parked and climbed, hike-a-biked, climbed, hike-a-biked, and climbed straight up the ridge after turning off the forest road.  It had been years since I had been on that trail, one I used to downhill on occasion. 

Going up the ridge, I stopped in an area that had been logged, and where white pines were now dominant, and looked out across the forest.  Rounded lines folded in the direction of the reservoir, fog rose up, and on the far western horizon below the gunmetal overcast heavens, pale yellow-white light shined through. 

Let go.

I did.  I connected to the trail that eventually bottoms out back at the reservoir, and meandered along the ridge top, rocks and boulders being good ol’ friends from yesteryear.

Around the rez I went, with no desire to be anywhere else.  It’s a rare find when you reflect in a moment and reach the understanding that right there in that moment you are fully alive.

I was back onto the forest roads, rhodos sitting dark emerald green along the way.  I turned back into the forest and hit one of my favorite little Michaux downhills. 

It spit me back out at the forest road and I coasted back to the reservoir area, deciding to jump back on the Beaver Trail to the car.

Thankful for bike rides on mountain trails.

**********

Saturday  morning of that weekend I pulled off the hard road at Dead Woman’s Hollow Road, and was greeted by an early bird logger heading up the ridge.  

“Enjoy the morning.”

“Thanks, you too.”

I crossed over the hard road and hike-a-biked straight up to Grave Ridge; I didn’t have time to take the long approach to climb up the spine.

A few dabs, expected for Grave Ridge, but still a perfect ride.  It’s not the same trail it was 10 years ago due to increased mtb traffic, but it’s still burley nonetheless.

I jumped onto 233 and rode it back to Dead Woman’s–again, short on time–and climbed up Dead Woman’s.  A few tens of feet under 1000 feet of elevation in under 1.5 miles.  

Mountain goat-ed it.

Crested, I made way around to 3 Mile, and had a stupid smirk on my face when I entered the trail. 

If there’s a better MOUNTAIN BIKING cross-country trail on the planet…

Highlight: cleaning the twisting climb that is more stream than trail.

I pointed the front tire towards Woodrow, climbed up, downhilled, climbed up the dirt road again, and turned into Rattlesnake Ridge. 

House-sized boulders, gnarley rocks, a few drops.  Soulifying.

Back out on Woodrow, I bombed off the ridge and cut into the woods to shoot down a fast, twisting gulch of sorts, getting dumped out in the turkey habitat area.  I pedaled hard on the singletrack that flows all the way down to the mountain stream.

Early morning mountain stream, no sounds other than water over rocks.

A creek crossing, up onto a connector trail, singletrack back to the hard road, and a few more minutes back to the car. 

Michaux at its finest.

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