Wednesday, July 3

Journey to the Center of the Mountain Bike Capital of the World: Part Two

Day Four

I was concerned that it was going to be hard to top the ride at Coldwater the day before.  It was.

I'd picked Monte Sano mostly because it was between two other stops and not much else.  I had a route pieced together with somewhat local intel from a former SS racing adversary and an MTB Project route.  It started out well enough...

Some roots, some rocks, some climbing... then a steep, long hike-a-bike up a very rock-strewn trail to a trail that just dead-ended in the woods.  And then it got worse.  An overgrown trail that musta seen some storm damage.  We rerouted to a nearby trail... and it was the same.  After hiking around a huge landslide, I called it.  We hopped on a road and beelined it back to the showers.  Womp womp. 

I feel no shame.

We had to find a place to sleep along the longest drive of the trip from Monte Sano to Mount Nebo.  Village Lake State Park fit the bill.  The bathrooms were choice, there was no lake, but then there were flies. Then mosquitos.  Then bats... I assume to feast on the flies and mosquitos.  Yay bats.  

Day five.

Wake up. Drive to Mount Nebo... and get pounded by a storm on the way.  We were worried that the trails would be a mess when we got there, but a short hike into the woods proved us wrong.  Open up the back of the van to get ready only to find a hoard of mosquitos had taken over the cargo area while we slept.  We emptied out the gear, and I crawled around and swatted them with a dirty rag in tight quarters.

Then we rode.  Nebo was the redemption we needed.  

So much elevation.  So fast.  So good.  So much Walton money everywhere, and perhaps the longest continual section of rock armored trail I saw the whole trip.

It was a race to the top of the first climb with this little guy.

I would say this place was a very close second to Coldwater in terms of quality.  I can't quite put my finger on the why of it all tho.  Coldwater was just that good, and didn't have that "Walton money" feel to it.  After hitting all the more gravity-oriented loops, I continued on the rest of the Miller GOAT trail solo to get in a few more miles.

We definitely hit the highlights tho.

Back at the van and over to the convenient Mount Nebo State Park.  The park ranger who checked us in probably wasn't at J6, but she certainly woulda been cheering them on and mighta made a donation or two to free the political prisoners. 

Back into town for supplies.  Ask the Super Walmart (it was the ONLY place in town) employee where the beer is...

"This is a dry county.  You have to drive twenty minutes over to New Blaine for beer."


Although, side note.  I don't know how to make apps or anything of the sort, but it would be a neat add-on to Google Maps or what have you to get a warning when your destination is in a dry county or if you're passing through one... or if your hours of travel through certain places with crazy beer rules like that time we slept in a truck stop on a Sunday in some state where we couldn't buy beer because we were too late or too early or some shit like that.

When it became time to settle into the van for the night, we were surprised to see that the dozens of mosquitos that had avoided the wrath of my dirty rag by hiding amongst the camping chairs and other cargo had moved into the main cabin area.

We spent the next fifteen minutes in extermination mode, swatting, strategizing, adapting our killing techniques, and teamworking our way out of a night of getting bit up.

This trip was been a lot of sweat and bugs so far.  I'll finish this out after the long weekend.

No comments: