Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Divide

Who could this character be?

Is it possible that he had something to do with the mysterious death of Michael Jackson?!

Sunday I followed a very non-creative strategy and rode pretty much the same ride I did last Sunday. I threw in one little wrinkle though, when I got to Marshall Pass I turned right and rode up the Monarch Crest Trail for a few miles to see what the snow-in-the-woods situaton was like up there.

The Marshall Pass area is my favorite local hangout, and I really only see it for 5-6 months out of the year. All these scenes are woven into my life in Salida, and I do not really get tired of riding up there to look around.

So there was some snow in the woods. I stamped and dug riding channels through a couple of mushy piles until my shoes and gloves were wet just to encourage people to stay on the trail. Then found some very muddy sections that people have been riding around anyway--nothing I could really do about that.

I went to the point where I could take the above photo, then turned around and rode back to Marshall and on to the Silver Creek Trail. I found this season's first pair of kind-of-lost out of town riders. They were carrying the inaccurate and vague freebie map that comes with the local mountain bike guide.

That stupid map--it's just amazing that after years of being told that the Rainbow Trail does not start at the CDT/Colorado Trail intersection they simply cannot figure out how to get it right. I've showed them, I've marked notes on the map and explained...

People have trouble finding the CDT/CT south from Marshall (the forest service has had confusing signs there since I first saw the Crest in the early 90's--also cannot get it right) then continue looking for "The Rainbow Trail". They come to a sign that says "Silver Creek Trail", pull out their crappy maps and say, "Jeez, this can't be it." Some continue on south, others give up and turn around, but many figure it out because at least the map shows that the trail they are looking for goes along next to Silver Creek.

If only these folks would spend $11.95 for a map that makes it all clear, they would be able to just focus on the ride without spending time trying to figure out the route.

It's a rich summertime tradition, finding groups of confused riders and explaining the way to them. I sometimes get riders who argue with me. I tell them, "I live here, I've been riding this for decades" and still they argue that the map doesn't show it that way.

Ah well, life is always interesting. At least I (usually) get to meet and assist some nice people during my trips up to the Divide.

The Silver Creek Trail is a beautiful thing, then there's 11 miles of Rainbow. After decades of riding in this area, I do not get tired of that 1-2 punch.


Ed said...

You don't know what you're talking about, that's obvious ;-)


Scoty in Salida said...

Well, um, Deer have nothing on MJ.