Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chili's Great Adventure

I used to adventure race and yesterday reminded me why I did it. F.U.N. It gets you out of your routine -- outside the box. It gets you bloody, frustrated (in a good way), a little skeered, and almost always stiff the next day from using muscles that aren't used to that kind of activity. My 3-hr ride was local (to save gas money!) on the local mountain which has a serious network of ATV trails (there's a club that socks guests $50 bucks a day to ride there!) and old mining trails. Of course I got lost - yet again. I wanted to do this loop that included an ATV trail up and over the mountain to an old logging trail that's about 10 minutes from my house. But I wasn't sure which trail it was. So I had to trek up 1/4 of the mountain to see if I had the right trail (there are a bunch of confusing trails on the ATV section). The first try bumped me into two hikers which is very rare to see on these lands. It turns out they are locals who are very familiar with Rattling Creek. The one guy turns 91 next week! I was impressed. The second try was another dead end like the first. And the third trail I knew wasn't correct, but it was a new road that I wanted to see what was there. It almost looked like private land that someone tried to set up a camp of some sort but vandals destroyed it. Next to it was a pipeline that I knew led straight to the trail I was looking for -- at the bottom of the other side of the mountain. "Look Jill -- there's an obvious path up to the top. Just a couple rocks to climb over and a log or two -- but it can't be that bad." Ha! Who was I kidding. 45 minutes later, my legs were bleeding from the thorny weeds, my ankles were killing me from having to plant my feet into the ground so I wouldn't slide on my ass (it was STEEP), and my shoulder was hurting like hell from carrying my bike the entire time. There was no way to set the bike down - it was too steep and too rocky. Yes, think Wigwam going up and then turning around and go back down. Double the length. I was never so happy to see an established trail in my life. I was also never so happy to get home in one piece. It was quite the adventure. It certainly took the boredom out of a routine ride by myself. Rick was getting a little worried -- he didn't know how long I'd be and Bear Valley isn't a place you want to be messing around (old open mine shafts too). He was happy to see me. I was happy to see him!

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