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Note to Self: Darkness Comes Earlier Now October 8, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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We had eight guys show up for our Wednesday evening ride today! That’s the good news………

It got dark, and only one of us had a light on his bike! As it turns out, that is also the good news………..

Ray, Kent, Michael, Nate, Toby, Jack, Tim and I headed out of the White Spar trail head at a little after 5:30 tonight.  We road the 396 to what we call the Caretaker Trail.  Here Michael decided to stay on the 396, and meet us as we came back down it.

So seven of us headed up the Caretaker Trail.  We got to Goldwater lake and then connected back up with the 396 about a half mile west of Senator Hwy.  As we headed down the 396, we realized that the light was already beginning to fail.  Uh-oh!  Just before we topped out above the dam, we spooked a herd of deer ( I saw 5 but there were probably more, as I had to keep my eyes on the trail too).

At the top we met up with Michael who said he was just about to head back down when he heard us coming up the canyon.  Now there were eight of us again. The daylight was almost completely gone now, and we had 3 miles of narrow single track to go!  Toby turned on his headlamp, and we started down.  It was really an odd experience, as it was impossible to see any bumps in the trail.  I felt like I had to ride as if it were all very bumpy, and then be pleasantly surprised by any smooth patches.  We spooked up 2 more deer as we traversed the side of the hill above Lower Goldwater Lake. Luckily all of us but Jack have been on this trail many times, so we made it down to Banning Creek safe and sound.  At the creek, Tim decided to head on down into Hidden Valley Ranch because he lives down in that area, and I am sure it is easier to ride in the dark on wide smooth streets than it is on these trails.

So the seven of us made the final climb on 396 in the moonlight.  On the descent into the campground, Toby’s light went dim, and it was almost for the better, as the moon was bright and it was hard to look up ahead at his light, then back down at the dim trail.  We made it down to our vehicles at 6:45.

It was a fun ride, but we decided to either keep our Wednesday rides shorter, or come equipped with lights to ride in the dark.


  • distance 8.15 miles
  • total riding time 59 min.
  • avg. speed 8.1 mph
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