Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has received a fair amount of praise in mountain bike circles over the past few years, and rightfully so. Mills Peak downhill is one example of hard work, dedication, and vision.
We parked a car at the bottom in Graeagle and then parked two cars up top at county line. Across the hard road at the parking lot, the singletrack was right where they said it would be. We turned on it, an excellent stretch of trail to warm up the body. Countyline to forest road to Sheepdog, which spilled back on to the forest road for the final push up to Mills Peak, 7342 feet:
It was a gorgeous Sierra morning. No smoke drifted from any wildfires. Blue skies stretched above and rays of sun passed through the trees, dappling the earth with drops of positive energy.
At the tower, the man on duty confirmed that in the far distance, yes indeed, it was Mt. Lassen. The view in all directions was breakfast for the soul.
Satiated, we clipped in and went down. The riding was superb, with some technical sections to keep you honest, but all was able to be ridden. More than once, we stopped to regroup, take in the woods feeling, and said: this is a very well-built trail. Again … Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.
At the end of the two-track before we jumped back onto one-track, I snapped a photo looking back up at the fire tower:
Fifteen or so minutes later, I flatted. Damnit. It had been a while since I did so, this time my rear tire catching a rock the “wrong” way, putting a small gash in it. The gash was a little too big for the sealant. A tube went in, and then I slowly picked my way to the bottom.
Done at Mills Peak, we had originally intended on riding again later in the day. However, we ended up going to the Brewing Lair. The day’s riding was done! After that, we stopped in Graeagle to fix my tire with a new tubeless set up. The beers had me not wanting to deal with it back at the cabin. Plus–support the local bike shop.
So, we stopped in at Howling Dogs. He had time to fix it. First response when he heard what was up: only one flat tire, so far?! That’s pretty good!