Monday, March 23

Supah Pahrs

So Dahn Pahrs and company were coming down from Pittsburgh.  Last year he brought many.  I assumed it would be the same this time around as it was last year. 

Worried that I would have the same language difficulties I had before (I don't speak Pittsburgh), I called The Other White Rich D (he's lived there) and asked him to come along for the ride and help translate.  On the drive up, he gave me some pointers.

yinz = y'uns

ahnno-dat = I know that

choobinuptoo? = what have you been up to?

mallanar = miles an hour

yer-in-yer-aht = you're in, and then you're out

Yuengling = something like beer that they drink but it's not really like beer at all

So to my surprise, when Dahn rolled into "The Mounds" (which are a landmark long since gone) off 181, I only saw him with Birdman and Mayor McCheese in tow.

And somehow, as never happens, a 10:00AM ride actually starts its way up the climb on 181 at 10:00AM.

Dahn lets me know we climbed 2,000 feet before the first descent.  The Mayor gets all mayoral before hitting Raspberry.

As always, Raspberry provides the standard shock to the system.  Winter had not been kind to the trail.  Alternative lines were everywhere to avoid the trenches.  Someone had built water bars across the trail that would have halted the progress of hoards of invading Mongolians.

Near the bottom, I threaten to take photos at the tiny hero drop.

The Other White Rich D rolls it like a tiny hero.

Dahn takes his shot without looking at it...

and admits that he had to, because he knew I'd post up pictures of him riding around it if he didn't.

Back up and over to Greentown.  The legendary Ditch Diggers of Greentown have committed their biannual act of trail sabotage, putting in trenches before every boosty water bar.  I apologize to Dahn that he's never seen it the way it should be (after the efforts of their hard, misguided work have weathered back down to nothing).

At the bottom, Dahn decides to be the only one to try to keep his feet dry at the mandatory creek crossing and discovers that without the aid of the guardrail bridge (washed away) or a bucket brigade style bike portage, crossing is difficult.

Out of Greentown, Dahn and Birdman crush my soul going up towards Raider's Camp.

Raider's Camp does not disappoint, and I get to see Birdman almost take flight.

Birdman is a nearly flightless Birdman.

Raspberry almost done.  The Other White Rich D, also almost done.

Roll out of Lower Raspberry, The Other White Rich D making the difficult switchback.  Me failing.

Past the semi-natural spring, past the Wilson's Creek Trading Post, onto the next climb up to Sinkhole... when I finally figure out that both of my bottles are dry.  Doh. 

Continue over to Sinkhole.  Stop at the top, which is only actually near the top, but fifteen minutes from the last top.  Stop and stretch my Old Man Back.

photo cred: Bradley Schmalzer
Final pain-in-the-ass climb and and then rally down.   Look down into the "sinkhole," spend the requisite amount of time talking about who's jumped it, what it would take, has anyone fallen in... and then continue on down.

Climb back up to the cars.  My stomach touching my spine.  My resolve to just enjoy the earned weight loss melts as I consider my proximity to La Salsas.  Consider ordering fish tacos and water, dumping the tortillas to the side to save calories.

End up with a Dos Equis, too many tortilla chips, and the "how can they make burritos this big for only $8.00?" chicken burrito.  The Other White Rich D orders the vegetarian burrito that's the size of a piece of firewood and looks like it just ate four other burritos for breakfast.  Dahn swims around in two margaritas and has to call for a lifeguard to pull him out of the second. 

And like that, I say goodbye to my friends in the parking lot as they head back to the land of ice and snow.

How's abaht yinz come back next year and we'll ride like at again?

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