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I Miss Getting Out August 1, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation.
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My time on the bike was very limited in the month of July.  One of my beloved Aunts slipped away into the netherworlds after almost 84 years hear with us.  I am not sad, but happy for her.  She asked me every time I spoke to her in the last few months to pray that she could go join her loving husband in heaven.

She had no children.  My father was her baby brother.  Ergo, I am the kin that she has asked to be the Executor of her will and Trustee of her trust.  This monumental task is what has eaten up the month of July.

I miss getting out.  I miss the peacefulness of the forest.

While tag surfing tonight, I came upon this blog.  Nicely written, in fact, I wish I had written it, because it describes almost to the tee, exactly my position on why I ride.

Maybe Sunday afternoon………………

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Granite Basin was Gorgeous Today July 23, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Ray and I were the only two to show up to ride this evening.  Maybe because today was so hot, maybe because people were on vacation….who knows?

We went up the 349 today.  This is a trail that I have ridden down about 98% of the time, and hardly ever gone up.  It was really beautiful today, plenty of shade and because we weren’t bombing down it (yet) we had plenty of time to see things that are usually just a blur.  There are some big old ponderosa pine trees in there!  On the way up, Ray and I were talking about Adventure Racing, and I told him about the Gilmore Adventure Race.  He thinks he wants to get a team into it this year!  I told him to hurry though, as it is almost sold out for 2008.

When we reached the pavement we went down the 351 (lots of fun) to the Cayuse area. Then we chugged up the hill to the 2 gates.  Luckily it was getting a little cooler by then.  We absolutely bombed the “10 jumps” trail today!  What a gas!  From there we headed back towards the 351 and down towards the lake.  Part way down there is a little social trail that cuts over to near the camp host’s spot.  We headed across it and then started our climb back up the 350.

The 350 is always a pleasure because it is a “no horses” trail, which means that it is not torn up by horse hooves, and is smooth as silk.  Ray was climbing like a mountain goat, and I could feel myself running low on fuel.  We took the turn onto the 349 heading west (today was the first time I have ever actually made that climbing turn without dabbing). As we topped out before the big downhill, we admired the view of Granite Mountain and figured that the mountain lions that live on it have it made.  What a great habitat.

Ray and I bombed the 349 all the way to where it comes up over a little saddle facing west again.  That has got to be one of the funnest rides around, swoopy, and narrow with lots of ways you could easily blow a turn and end up in the pine needles 50 down an embankment.

From there, we played Michaels “coasting game” again.  Ray made all the right turns this time, I guess I just forgot to tell him not to pedal until you come to a complete stop…..that is the point, to see how far you can coast.  Michael’s record still stands.  I had a real chance at it, as I was carrying lots of speed into the last corner, but I started to wash out and had to dab to save it, thus blowing my momentum.

From there, we just road the pavement back around to the cars.  Great ride today, thanks Ray!

Stats:

  • distance 10.49 miles
  • total riding time 1hr 8min
  • avg speed  9.2 mph

Geocaching is Outdoor Recreation Too July 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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I haven’t written about Geocaching as Outdoor Adventure Recreation, but it is!  The official definition of Geocaching is:

“Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a GPS unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.”

I am a Charter Member of geocaching.com, and have been since February 16, 2001.  At that time, Geocaching was only about 6 months old, and not widely known.  I happened upon the website while doing research about the new GPS receiver that Tracie had given me for Christmas. I was hooked……

I will definitely blog more about my family’s geocaching adventures as time goes by.  I have been lucky enough to introduce dozens of people (kids especially enjoy hunting for “treasure”) to it over the years, and it is something that you now can do almost anywhere in the world.

There are now over 617,000 caches waiting to be found worldwide, so get out your GPSr and log on and go have a self-guided outdoor adventure!

Overgrown Trails July 19, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Day Hiking, Just Stuff.
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Tracie and I took the dog out in the mountains yesterday, and found that all the recent rain has encouraged weeds aplenty to grow all over some of the less travelled social trails.  Next time we go out there, I will carry a small shovel and some clippers, and help it look like a trail again!

Gilmore Adventure Race is Only 2 Months Away July 17, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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I will have to be spending some of my time out on the course of the Gilmore Adventure Race in the next few weeks, so my blogs might be a little cryptic.

Because we don’t release the event location until 4 days prior to the race, I will have to make sure that my blogs don’t give anything about the GAR away.  I will continue to blog about my outdoor adventures, but try to be vague enough so that racers don’t figure out where I have been……yes, they are like that!  I have had racers try and trick me into divulging the location in the past, so I know that they will often go to great lengths in order to know the location in time enough to either get out and scout it, or spend many hours on the internet pouring over maps and aerial photos.

I will tell you all this much.  This year, as always, it will be a lot of fun!

A Gang in Granite Basin July 16, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Today I rode with a bunch of guys in Granite Basin.  Five of them got there earlier than Nate and I did, so they had already done a 4 mile loop.  Nate and I joined up with Hal, Tim, and Ray (Ray’s first ride with us).  We went back up the trail to meet with Michael and Ken, but never found them.  I figure they didn’t want to be held up by someone as old and slow as me, so they just ditched us!

So the five of us that were left had a great ride up to the top then down the single track commonly known as “10 jumps” and back toward the lake.  Hal and Nate left us then ( I think Hal had a dinner date with his wife), so Tim and Ray and I went back up and came down and around trail 349.  Boy is that a ton of fun!  At the bottom section we played the coasting game that Michael made up, and I just barely beat Tim by about 20 feet, while Ray missed the last turn and ended up on a different trail.  I had to whistle at him to get him to come back to us.  Welcome to the group Ray!

All in all it was another great way to spend an evening.  The decomposed granite had mostly dried from the last few days of rain, so it was tacky but not boggy.

Stats:

  • distance:  9.05 miles
  • riding time:  59 min.
  • avg. speed:  9.1 mph

Day Hike on Maverick Mountain July 15, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking.
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Tracie and I took the dog out on Sunday afternoon for a little bit of a hike along the Hassayampa River and up the north slope of Maverick Mountain.  First we drove in on FR 79 to Trail 284.  We walked down to the swimming hole I used to frequent as a little boy.  It amazes me that even such a high traffic area (relatively speaking) remains unchanged over the last 35 years.  We had a picnic lunch on the rocks around the swimming hole while the dog played in the water.  I spent a while building a small dam in order to redirect some of the water flow down a natural slide in the rocks.  Tracie watched a water beetle repeatedly try to scale the vertical rock wall next to the small waterfall.  I say repeatedly, because that darned beetle was persistant!  It would get part way up, only to loose its grip on the water-smoothed rock and fall back into the water.  She watched this happen about a dozen times while I played with the water flow.

Later, we headed up Maverick Mountain to Kendall Camp.  On the way we saw a young doe.  She was alone, and just watched us as we watched her.  Finally she sauntered off into the trees as we made our way uphill toward the old abandoned mining camp.  The apple trees in the old orchard are loaded, and will make good picking in about a month.  While we were there, the monsoons started to kick up, and we decided to head back down the mountain before we got too wet.

Though pretty steep, FR 79A and Trail 65 make for some great hiking.

Pines to Boulders and Back Again July 2, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Our group plan was to meet for a mountain bike ride in “The Pines” today, and when we arrived there, the Prescott Cycling Club was also meeting there for a ride.  The parking area was full!  Our group of 6 decided not to horn in on the PCC ride, so we took off while they were still getting there gear together.  Michael, me, Tim, Rob, Toby and his roommate Steve headed out the Emanuel Pines road and then up the single tracks toward the old railroad grade.  After we climbed out into the borrow pit and onto the grade, another Steve (the hardcore variety) showed up, and the 7 of us continued up the grade to the 332.

When we got to the 332, Michael decided to head back down through “The Pines” and call it a day.  For various reasons he hasn’t been on his bike for nearly a month, and said it felt like it.  So the 6 of us rode on.  Where the trail bottoms out and crosses a creek, there is a gnarly, rocky, curvy, slippery climb that is almost impossible to clean.  In fact Rob tried it 5 times, each time getting progressively closer and closer but just couldn’t get it done.  No one did.  We stayed on the 332 all the way to where it meets the 346 and 347, then we took the 347 down into Granite Basin to the 348…lots of whoops and tons of fun!

We rode the 348 to the 351, then took a social trail over to the 350 and made the climb back up to the 349. Tim and I took the 349 east to another little social trail that runs south to the dirt road, while the other 4 guys took the 349 west about 50 yards to the dirt road then followed it south to where Tim and I came out.  Of course they beat us there, but we caught up with Steve (the roommate) right at the saddle and the 3 of us hammered it down the pavement back to the cars.  I topped out at 45 mph on the hill, with my eyes stinging and mouth grinning.

stats:

  • distance 11.63 miles
  • riding time 1 hr. 20 min.
  • avg speed 9.4 mph     (this is skewed due to the crazy paved downhill)

Up the Rocky Way, and Down the 396 June 25, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Four of us made the ride today.  Me, Kent, and two newcomers (not to mtb, but to our ride group), John and Toby.  They had never met each other, but showed up on nearly matching Surly single speeds.

We rode up the Feldmeier Trail, and across the Telephone Line Trail and then down the 396.  It was a tough and rocky climb.  Today was the first time I had ever done Feldmeier going the uphill way…..rocky is always tougher going up.

It was a beautiful evening for a ride, and we saw 7 other bikers out on the trail which was nice. We stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes.  One of them was Steve that rode with us on Friday morning last week, and another was Debbie, who is a long time Prescott mountain biker.

Stats:

  • distance 8.42 miles
  • riding time 1 hr. 4 min.
  • avg. speed 7.9 mph

Single Track Web Site June 21, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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I happened upon a neat web site that is dedicated to single track mountain biking.  It is called Single-Serving.com and is one man’s ode to single track riding.  He is from so-Cal, but I noticed that he mentions Prescott’s own Granite Basin on his site.

Check it out, he has some good tid-bits.

Half Day Hike June 21, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking.
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Josh and I left early this morning to get some trail hiking in.  We ended up driving some Forest Service roads and exploring quite a bit too.

All in all, we probably hiked about 7 miles this morning.  We took it slow and did some trail maintenance along the way.  It got hot by about 9:00am today.  It feels like the monsoon is almost here, although I know from past experience, it is probably at least 3 weeks away.

My Review of Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle June 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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I have ridden a few times on my new Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle now, and I have to say I really like it!  It is very comfortable, and padded enough for my bony butt, but not so much so that I squish around on it.

The first day I rode with it, I kept sticking to it, because it was brand new and somewhat tacky especially compared to my 4 year old worn out smooth as glass OEM saddle.

I hope this one lasts me as long as the original did.  I have to say, I have been very pleased with every single Specialized product I have purchased over the years.

Mapping Trails in The Pines June 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, Mountain Biking.
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Kent and I rode this evening in “The Pines” see this post to know why I call it that.

It carried my GPS with me so I could track the trails we rode on.  We wandered all over the trails out there, and the way I figure it we probably tracked about half of what is there.  Now all I have to do is download the track to my topo program to see what we rode.    It was another perfect evening to ride, and we only saw one other person the whole time we were out there.  He was walking his dogs up one of the singletracks near the end of the ride.

The Pines is really a great place to ride, as it is so close to Prescott and has some very friendly and pretty singletrack.  It is also a good place to take shady day hikes in the warm summer months.

One section of singletrack in The Pines

  • distance 9.45 miles
  • riding time 1 hr 21 min.
  • avg. speed 6.9 mph

Strikingly Good Advice June 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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I am a Boy Scout volunteer and today I received an e-mail with some very good advice about how to live through lightning season.  I am passing it on to all of you.

Lightning Safety Rules and Tips

Before Lightning Strikes…

  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts.
  • An AM radio will pick up static from lightning strikes in your vicinity before you see or hear them.

When a Storm Approaches.. .

  • Lighting storms are often announced by a sudden drop in temperature and increase in wind. The temperature drop and breeze are usually the result of a downburst of cold air. Once the air hits the ground, it has no place to go but outward in all directions. In the process, the cold air mixes with the warmer air at ground level, becoming a breeze and a temperature drop. Temperature will also drop from the air moving toward you through all of that cold water, in the storm, that is approaching. This can happen several minutes before it actually begins to rain.
  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances.
  • Stay away from open doors and windows. fireplaces, radiators, stoves, metal pipes. sinks, and plug-in electrical appliances.
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job!
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blow by the wind the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.

If Caught Outside…

  • The summits of mountains, crests of ridges, slopes above timberline, and large meadows are extremely hazardous places to be during lightning storms. If you are caught in such an exposed place, quickly descend to a lower elevation, away from the direction of the approaching storm, and squat down, keeping your head low. A dense forest located in a depression provides the best protection. Avoid taking shelter under isolated trees or trees much taller than adjacent trees. Stay away from water, metal objects, and other substances that will conduct electricity long distances.
  • Stay in the car if you are traveling. Automobiles offer excellent lightning protection.
  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

Protecting Yourself Outside…

  • Don’t take laundry off the clothesline.
  • Keep away from fences, metal clotheslines, telephone lines, power lines, pipelines, and any electrically conductive elevated objects.
  • Avoid hilltops, open spaces, isolated buildings, exposed sheds or other metal structures. Descend from ridges and mountains on the leeward side.
  • Don’t handle flammable materials in open containers.
  • Don’t use metal objects such as fishing rods and golf clubs. Golfers wearing cleated shoes are particularly good lightning rods.
  • Avoid the highest object in the area. If only isolated trees are nearby, the best protection is to crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from isolated trees as the trees are high. Whenever lightning is nearby, take off backpacks with either external or internal metal frames. In tents, stay at least a few inches from metal tent poles.
  • When you are setting up a campsite in the summer-time, keep thunderstorms in mind. Don’t pitch your tent close to the larger trees in the area, since these are the ones sought afterby lighting. Be especially careful to avoid trees that have long vertical notches in their trunks, or have long, narrow strips of bark peeled from the trunk. When lighting hits a tree, most of its force travels down the moist area between the bark and the wood of the trunk. The bark gets stripped off when the resulting stream forces its escape, and the narrow vertical notches come about as the tree heals over the following years.
  • Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects.
  • Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding
  • Stop tractor work, especially when the tractor is pulling metal equipment, and dismount. Tractors (including lawn tractors) and other implements in metallic contact with the ground are often struck by lightning.
  • Get out of the water and off small boats. If you cannot get out of the small boat (i.e., too far from land) you should position yourself as low as possible in the boat, preferably with your entire body below the line of the boat. Do not try to out race the storm to land. Also when getting out of the water go at least 100 yards away from the shore.

Be a Very Small Target!

  • Lightning takes the path of least resistance to the ground. Since air is a very poor conductor, lighting seeks anything better – and an upright human being is far better for its purpose than air! Stick up above the grass and trees while hiking, and you become a prime target.
  • Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible. By squatting with your feet close together, you have minimal contact with the ground, thus reducing danger from ground currents.
  • If the threat of lightning strikes is great, your group should not huddle together but spread out at least 15 feet apart. If one member of your group is jolted, the rest of you can tend to him.
  • If you can’t get out of the open, put your pack, walking stick, whatever, about 30 feet away from you, propped up high, and huddle on the ground.
  • Don’t sit down, you make a larger target. Crouch down (between two boulders if possible) on your feet on top of your rolled sleeping bag, a foam pad, coiled rope or whatever supplementary insulation you have and ride out the storm.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground—this will make you a larger target!

After the Storm Passes…

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.

If Someone is Struck by Lightning…

  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Call for help. Get some one to dial 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.

Learn First Aid and CPR

  • Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR course. Call your local Red Cross chapter for class schedules and fees.

The Trail Builder June 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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On the ride this morning were me, Hal, Paul, Steve, another Steve, and Rob.  Rob is the trail builder and designer who is responsible for trail 396.  He designed the trail, and directed the building of it.

We had a fun and slow paced ride this morning, it was nice and cool to start out. We rode part of the new trails that loop around the White Spar Campground first, then up the 396 to Senator Highway. From there we took396 down to the social trail that most of us call the telephone line, to the Feldmeier trail then back over to the camp ground.  If you want to look at this map, We rode 371 to 372 to 396, to Feldmeier, to 61 to 373 to 372 to 396 and back to the trail head.White Spar Trails

Thanks to Rob for sending me this map.

Stats:

  • distance 9.76 miles
  • riding time 1 hr 19 min.
  • avg. speed 7.3 mph

Motorized Outdoor Adventures June 19, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Just Stuff.
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If you are looking for someone that knows almost everything there is to know about off-road expeditions, vehicle dependent travel and the equipment to go along with it,  look no further than Expeditions West.  They have driven all over this planet in and on all kinds of motorized vehicles.  Scott Brady and his wife Stephanie own this company and that means they get to do all kinds of crazy things, and get paid for it!

Another great publication that anyone interested in overland expeditions should take a look at is something called the Overland Journal.  Scott and Stephanie are joined by many very experienced drivers, writers and photographers in the production of this world class adventure travel journal.

On the way home today I found myself in traffic behind an expedition-ready FJ Cuiser.  It had a snorkel, basket rack, a lift and a bunch of other stuff.  It turned into a driveway in front of me, and I realized that it was a test vehicle for the gang at the Overland Journal and Expeditions West.  Chris Marzonie (editorial director of the Overland Journal) got out of it and told me he had just picked it up in Washington and was going to have it for a couple of months.  SWEET!  He said there is going to be a big FJ get together in Colorado, and he gets to take this new Cruiser to it.

These folks are involved in all kinds of interesting things, take some time to view their sites and the links they have to other great stuff.

Evening Ride in The Pines June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Nate, Kent and I rode in “The Pines” this evening. I am calling it that, because it is the area between Emanuel Pines and Highland Pines. So in other words, it’s an old nickname I just made up.

Nate ,Kent, and Me

We took a nice leisurely cruise up, around, over and through. There is a myriad of single track back in that area, and we rode without a plan, taking any trail that looked interesting. Nate rides up here pretty often, and we even took some trails that he had never been on before.

I am going to have to take my GPS up there and set it on track mode and just ride everything I can find, then download it into my topo program so I can see all the trails that are out there.

This was the first time that Nate had ridden with Kent and me, and it was a real pleasure. We all can only hope to be in the kind of shape that he is in when we are as long in the tooth as he is. (Was that politically correct Nate?)

Stats:

  • distance 7.2 miles
  • riding time 53 min.
  • avg. speed 8.0 mph

Is PQ back pedaling? June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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It seems that there has been enough outrage over the aforementioned decision by PQ to allow GPS receivers that they are backpedaling it. See the PQ blog here.

Take (and view) a poll on this subject HERE.

There have been lots of rants and dissension among the ranks in the AR community over this. One of my favorites is one written by a member of Scarabs named Jason Quinn. Jason is formerly of the Silly Rabbits, and will be racing PQ with Team Bones this year. In it he says what many racers and race directors across the world are feeling. His comments are HERE.

It looks as if PQ management is feeling the pressure of the AR community.

Is PQ watering down Adventure Racing? June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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The Primal Quest directors sent out a message to team captains this week that could lead a watering down of what Adventure Racing is all about. It reads:

Important Message for Captains

Primal Quest Race Management has made the decision NOT to prohibit the use of GPS units in PQ Montana. This decision was made due to the fact that the course still has a great deal of snow covering trail and road markings, and we need to ensure that competitors do not wander into avalanche and cornice hazard areas.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about safety, BUT this is Adventure Racing for God’s sake! The participants know the dangers, they know how to navigate, and they know what kind of epic event the PQ is!

I am sure that I wouldn’t be able to finish the PQ, and I know I am armchair quarterbacking this, but won’t it be like a 10 day Hi-Tech or Balance Bar race if GPS receivers are used? My 4 year old grand daughter can follow the arrow on my GPSr.

My personal feeling (in case you couldn’t tell) is that Adventure Racing is about using a map and compass to navigate. Pure and simple. If you have an area on your map that racers are not allowed to go into, mark it in red crosshatch, and let that be enough. They know at any given time where they are, and where they need to go, especially at PQ!! These are the best of the best!

My Rant is done.

Back in the Saddle Again June 14, 2008

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My mtb seat has seen better days, not that it’s torn up, but the seat rails are so bent that I can’t adjust it to the angle I prefer.  So these last few months, instead of buying a new seat, I have been riding with it pointing upwards. What a dork.  Well, all that has changed.

Today on the way home from a ride, I stopped by my local bike shop Ironclad Bicycles and bought a new Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle. In size and shape, this was the closest one to my OEM seat, so I brought it home and put it on. I have only ridden around my driveway with it, so I can’t offer up any opinion yet, but it looks good!

Maybe I can sneak in a short ride on Father’s Day and then let you know.

Mtb Adventure in the Pines June 14, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, ar guide, Mountain Biking.
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Today I met two guys for a short ride in the pines.  They needed to get it done in 2 hours door to door, so we went from White Spar Campground up the 396, did a little detour around the lakes, and then back down the 396.  It was another beautiful day in Prescott, Arizona.  We only have about 300 of them a year!

It was a fairly casual pace, although both of these guys were pretty experienced mtb riders, so it wasn’t like some of the rides I take beginners on.  We saw a total of 8 hikers and 6 bikers on the trails this morning.

Stats:

  • distance 10.05 miles
  • riding time 1hr 12 min.
  • avg.  speed  8.2 mph

Well Grounded June 7, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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I forgot to mention that I got bucked off my bike today.  It was on a downhill left turn that had a whoop right in the middle of it.  When I came over the bump, my front tire couldn’t hold on and it washed out to the right, and down I went.  Luckily, because it was a trail I had never been on before, I wasn’t going terribly fast, so I just ground (get it) to a halt after sliding on my left side for a few feet.  Nothing broken but the skin.  Scrapes up my forearm, on my shoulder, and on my hip and shin.  Nothing that will keep me off my bike.

It has been quite a while since I have crashed, and it is fine with me if it is quite another while before I do it again.  I find that the older I get, I am more sore the next day than I used to be, and it takes me longer to heal.

And for all of you that were concerned……….the bike is fine!

Saturday Morning Ride June 7, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Four of us went on a exploratory ride this morning up into some trails that were in an area that I have been in just a few times, but not enough to really know it.  Because we were exploring, we had no set route and just left it up to whoever was at the front at the time.  When we came to an intersection of trails, they just went whichever way they wanted, and the rest followed.

This was really a pretty neat way to spend a morning in the forest.  I am the kind of person that usually likes a plan, but this was a good change to that.

stats:

  • distance 8.0 miles
  • riding time 1hr. 4 min.
  • avg. speed  7.5 mph

Video – Trial by Fire June 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, ar guide, Mountain Biking.
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A couple of weeks ago Michael brought his video camera on a ride out in Granite Basin. Well, I am just learning how to use movie maker, so here is a video of me riding some that day.

Another Wednesday Ride June 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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5 of us met up for a ride up the 396 yesterday. Shawn and Tim were newcomers to our riding gang, and they fit right in. We started up from the White Spar trailhead and Kent the climbing monkey was immediately out of sight. The rest of us plugged along at a more human pace. About a mile into the ride, Ken was having trouble with his rear brake dragging, and decided to turn back rather than to hold everyone else up. That’s a team player.5 Guys on a Ride

We only took 396 over the first hill, and when we hit the valley that Hidden Valley Ranch is named for, we took an unnumbered trail that the Forest Service doesn’t want to recognize on up to Senator Hwy. From there, we boogied the mile or so up the pavement to the top end of 396. When we hit the pavement, I knew Kent was going to put the hammer down, so I immediately jumped on his wheel stayed there (as painful as it was) all the way to the turn off to the trail. When Tim and Shawn joined us, we chatted for a minute about important issues like……….ok, we just BS’ed for a bit. Then we headed back down the 396.

Shawn flatted on the way back, so we stopped while his pit crew put a new tube in. The ride back to the vehicles was great! Everyone stayed together and we pretty much bombed it. I say pretty much, because for every guy out there that is slower than me, there are probably 10 that are faster!!

stats:

  • distance 8.9miles
  • riding time 56min.
  • avg. speed 9.3mph

Saturday in the Park………. June 1, 2008

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Had a great ride on Saturday evening out at Granite Basin. We headed out just after 5:30, and decided to just take an easy-does-it spin. I am shocked that we were out there on some of the best trails in Prescott, and saw exactly ZERO other people on the trails! What are people doing? It was the cool part of the day with a beautiful blue sky that melted into oranges, pinks and purples right before our eyes. Their loss!

Michael had just picked his bike up from the lbs after having new tires, chain, brake pads and a tune up. He said he could really feel the difference, and I could hear the difference……his bike was sneaky-quiet!

stats:

  • distance: 11.78 miles
  • riding time: 1hr 24min
  • avg. speed 7.4mph

New Cateye Enduro 8 May 30, 2008

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After months of having a broken mount for my computer, It finally gave up the ghost with all the rattling around I guess.

That was 3 months ago.

Yesterday I put a BRAND NEW Cateye Enduro 8 on my bike. Yay!

Micheal and Bob and I rode the 396 last night. We were hoping some more riders would show up, but I guess they chose to miss a perfectly awesome evening ride.

We took it easy so we could stay together for about the first 3.5 miles, then Bob decided to to head back. He did great just to get in the 7 miles that he did, this was his first time out in several weeks due to a bad back. After Bob turned around, Michael and I pushed a little harder to get to the top where it meets Senator Hwy. We stopped there long enough to chat about how we are lucky to live in such a great place as Prescott, and admire the forest at sunset. We bombed (at least for us) the trail back down to the vehicles…….what a blast! Too bad we were the only two out there.

stats:

  • distance: 9.97 miles
  • riding time: 1hr 17 min.
  • avg. speed: 7.7 mph

Amazing Free Ride Video May 27, 2008

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Many of you may have seen this one before, but I just had my first look at it, and it is truly amazing what some of these people will not only attempt, but what they can actually do!

Memorial Day Group Ride May 26, 2008

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We had a group of 6 riding at Granite Basin today. It was a great day to be out on a bike…..(what day isn’t?). We left the boat ramp area at about 9:45, and in the 2 hours on the trail, we only saw about 8 other mountain bikers.

We spent the morning making a big figure 8 in the trail system (or was it an infinity sign?). Prescott has miles and miles of great mountain biking.

Up the 350

All 6 of us made it back to the vehicles safe and sound. Just another day in Paradise!

Just click any of these photos to see them a little bigger………

Today was rainy out there May 24, 2008

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Ken, Michael and I met out at Granite Basin Lake to ride this morning.  We were going to ride somewhere else, but Granite Basin has trails that are mostly DG (that’s decomposed granite), so they don’t gunk up  your bike when they are wet.  They are really the best riding around Prescott, when the forest is wet.

It was a little chilly to start out, but then once we were climbing, everything was great.  We rode for 2 hours and saw no one…….NO ONE on any of the trails!

Crazy!  It was a perfect morning for riding or hiking, and yet there was no one but us out there enjoying it.

The damp trails were tacky, so you could really hold your line in the turns. It was a ton of fun riding out there today, and because we were on DG instead of mud, the bikes didn’t require much clean up at all once we got home.

A great day in Granite Basin May 10, 2008

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Today was a near perfect day here in Prescott.

Michael and I left his truck at Iron Springs and Granite Basin Rd.  We got a good warm up by riding up the pavement to the saddle where the new 332 trail crosses.  We took the 332 north to where it meets the 346 and the 347.  The 347 is one of my favorites, affectionately known by the locals as “10 jumps”.  It is fast and swoopy with a roller coaster feel, and a couple of gotcha corners to be wary of.  We then took the 348 back over to the 351and chased each other down to the lake.  We road around to just past the Metate trail head then took the 349 south and around to the east where we hit the paved road again.  We road up the the saddle, then bombed the pavement back down to the truck!  It was about 10 miles of pure fun.

The 396 is a good ride! May 10, 2008

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One of the the newer mtb trails in Prescott is the 396.

Three of us met at the lower trailhead and rode up the trail to where it meets Senator Hwy, then back down. Out and back is probably about 8 miles (none of us had a computer).  The trail is definitely new, still choppy in some places and some of the side hill sections need to be benched a little better, but all in all, it is great and a ton of fun.  I will be riding this one a lot more often, especially in the summer, as it is in the shade of tall pines for the majority of the way.

Going to try the new 396 tonight May 7, 2008

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The Circle Prescott Trail is slowly becoming a reality.  There is a new section of singletrack called trail 396 that is now open and begs to be tested.  A group of us are going to give it a go tonight.  That’s all for now…..so long!

Whiskey Off Road May 6, 2008

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There were over 500 riders in the 2008 Whiskey Off Road mountain bike ride in Prescott, Arizona this year.

My goal was to beat my time in the “25 Proof” (it’s actually 27.4 miles).  On the climb out of town on Copper Basin Road, my legs felt tight and like there was nothing in them.  Last year I made it to the Camp Perlstein turnoff with only about 20 bikes ahead of me, THIS year, I was weak and slow and probably had over 100 riders ahead of me by the time I got to the single track.  This made it slow going.

On the way up the trail 48 section, I found myself in a conga line of people all pushing their bikes.  No way around them because there were so many.  I am sure that I lost at least 10 minutes in that section of the course, as we all walked and pushed for the majority of a mile and a half.

Once we started the downhill section however, it was a different story all together.  I passed about 6 riders just before 48 hits the 260.  Here I found myself behind a female that was a downhill maniac!  I stayed with her as we passed rider after rider on the punishing descent.  She asked me if I wanted to go by her, but I said “Heck no!, you are riding as fast as I would care to ride this, and you are giving me a good line to follow!”  We bombed the whole section until we hit forest road 53.  I had no chance at keeping up with her on the 6 miles of climb that followed, as she probably weighed 100 lbs. soaking wet, and I am almost double that!  (That’s my story and I am sticking to it)

I suffered through the climb.  It was a hot day, and the road is mostly in full sunlight.  When I made it to the overlook, I stopped long enough to put some Heed in my bottle, then hit the final few miles of singletrack down to Thumb Butte.  I rode this section better than I ever have, but found myself on the edge of control a couple of times when I passed other riders and had to take a line that I really didn’t want to be on, and found myself bouncing over loose babyheads just before a big left turn.  Scary…….but fun!

When I finally dumped out onto Thumb Butte Rd. Shifted into the big ring and tried to gain some speed only to have both my hamstrings lock up.   After forcing my legs through a few rotations of the crank, they loosened up a little and I was on my way.  I caught up to another rider as we approached Gurley Street, and we took turns riding in each others slipstreams all the way into the final turn onto Goodwin.  Here, I gave it everything I had as I pounded through the finish.

Last year I crashed twice and had to stop twice with bad cramps, this year I kept the rubber side down and didn’t have to stop, so I figured I have a better time……..but alas, I was actually 3 minutes slower this year.  I think it was getting caught up in the bike pushing conga line that did me in.

Still, I am happy with the way I rode, happy that I lived through another grueling event, and happy to finish in 19th place in the Masters Division.

Rosarito to Ensenada Bike Ride May 6, 2008

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Wow, we had another awesome time this year at the Rosarito to Ensenada fun ride!

7 of us packed into the Suburban with 3 bikes on the back and made the trip down to La Playa de Mision to a rented beach house.  We played on the beach on Friday, then we drove up to Rosarito on Saturday morning where 3 of us got ready to start the 52 mile road ride to Ensenada.

This is no ordinary ride…..there were over 5000 riders, only a few of which were serious about their riding time.  Most of the riders are there for a good time and a fun ride.  There are people in costume, people riding cruisers, mountain bikes, tandems, I passed a guy towing a small trailer with a cooler full of beer on it!  Here is the web site.

One of the most fun parts of the day, comes at the finish line.  There is a MASSIVE fiesta!  $2 Corona beer, and $1.25 fish tacos!  10 of each please!!

We spent Sunday recovering and laying on the beach, and then made the long drive back home on Monday.

This was another successful outing!

A Day of Rest April 13, 2008

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Today is a day to do the chores around the house and rest up from the last 2 days. Both Friday and Saturday were two-ride days. I already posted about Friday afternoon, so this will be about the Saturday rides.

Saturday morning I met up with a group that road rides together every weekend (not me mind you!) 7 of us headed out White Spar with the intent of doing the out and back to the Wilhoit store, a round trip of 34 miles with plenty of vertical. By the time we got to mile marker 298 (14 miles out), I knew that I needed to turn around. While the other 6 riders continued out the last 3 miles to the store, I turned around and took a leisurely pace back up toward Prescott. I stopped once when my chain came off on the inside of the crank, and another time to look at where forest road 53 (part of the Whiskey Off Road in 2 weeks) connects to hwy 89. When I made it to the top at mile marker 305, I sat and waited for the other 6 that I knew would be along shortly. Looking down across the last switchback canyon, after about 10 minutes, I saw them come around the corner and head into the long switchback. By the time they all made it up to 305, I had been there about 16 minutes. They made good time, much better than they would have if I had been trailing along. We held together as a group on the fast descent into Prescott, and ended up at the Starbucks parking lot.

That was the morning.

In the afternoon, four of us did the exact same ride that Kent and I did on Friday evening, but we had arranged to meet up with some other riders coming the other way up to the overlook. So we had a group of six for the fun, rocky and wild trail riding back down to the cars. That part of the Whiskey course is becoming pretty familiar to me, so I am confident that come race day, I will do well there. The other side, however, is a different story. I am hoping to ride it at least once before the Whiskey.

Busy afternoon today April 11, 2008

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This afternoon my friend who is loaning me his road bike for the Rosarito to Ensenada ride next weekend called me up and said, “I have to get out on my bike for a little while, can you go?”

With nothing but chores to do at home, what do you THINK I said?  I drove over to his house and then realized that I had forgotten my riding shoes, so we rode from his house to mine to get my shoes, then continued across town and out White Spar Rd.  I needed to keep it short so that I had time to get to Costco and still make my scheduled mtb ride with another buddy Kent after he was off work.  We ended up burning through about 20 miles.  I usually have no interest in road riding, because I am smaller and more fragile than any car.  However, with a 50 miler looming next week, I figured I had better get some miles in on Bob’s Trek.  It was a good ride, and my legs felt good when it was over.

At 5:30 Kent and I road our mtbs up Thumb Butte Rd. to the overlook and then down the winding convoluted bundle of trails that make up part of the Whiskey Off Road that is on April 26th.  We had a good ride as well, my legs felt pretty tight on the climb up, but all was well, and I made it back having stayed on top of my bike throughout.

Now, it is off to bed to get ready for tomorrow!  I am going to join a bunch of roadies for a 34 miler down to Wilhoit and back in the morning, then some mountain biking friends and I are going to go do part of the Whiskey in the afternoon.  I know, I am a glutton for punishment.  Hopefully, Sunday will be a day of recovery (and chores).

One Week to the Fiesta! April 9, 2008

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I know I write about mountain biking and other pursuits in the woods, but there is one road riding activity that I just have to do year to year and that is the Rosarito to Ensenada 50 mile ride.  This is a ride that friends and I do that ends in what might be the world’s biggest fish taco fiesta!  They do it two times a year, but we have only done the one in the spring, as I am always tied up as the Gilmore Adventure Race Director in the fall.  There are slated to be over 5000 riders this time, and it is always a hoot to see the different bikes and outfits that people wear.  Check it out.

Priming for the Whiskey April 9, 2008

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My buddy Kent and I rode after work yesterday.  We parked on Thumb Butte Rd. where the 392 hits it, and rode up the road to the overlook.  That part is a grind….42 minutes of up, up and up.  From there, we hit  part of the up coming Whiskey Off Road (April 26).  The 366 was in pretty good shape, although there was one tree down across it.  The descent just before the 4101J is pretty sketchy, with lots of loose rock and some big ones mixed in.  The 4101J is fine until you get to the rock garden.  This part is a total mess, it has been really torn up by atvs or jeeps.  There are many big holes and rocks, all covered in loose and sketchy babyheads.  There will be mass carnage here on race day!  If I wasn’t riding that day, I would be here with a video camera.  The FR51 was in nice shape, only someone has put some logs out into it, and they sneak up on you (hopefully someone will move them by race day).  The 321 starts out as a double track then suddenly becomes a single that edges along the side of a canyon, there is a single tight switchback turn that will sneak up and bite you if you let it.  The 323 is a short but beastly climb on loose rock that makes it hard to hold your line.  It levels out and becomes smooth after about 300 yds.  It curves south and becomes the 326 which is a double with lots of room to get by people (this is good because there is no room on the next leg). A sharp turn onto the 392 gets you onto singletrack that is just a couple of years old, and switchbacks down the face of a mountain before it changes into double that you can really let it rip on.  This part of 392 goes straight down the bottom of a canyon and crosses the creek (yes it was running!) several times.  Just before it gets to Thumb Butte Rd. it takes a hard right and parallels the road for a couple of hundred yards to the intersection with trail 367.  This is where we parked, so it was the end of our ride for today.

I am looking forward to the Whiskey this year, my hope is to improve on last year’s time of 3:47 for the 27 miles that is the “25 Proof”.

Finally got my bike back April 5, 2008

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Monday I dropped my bike off at the lbs, and told them how bummed out I was with the troubles I had with it at the Desert Rage Adventure Race.  I told them I was going to be busy all week and that I wanted it fixed more than I wanted it back in a hurry. Remember it gave me fits at the race, and  Team Gilmore Adventure Race (that’s us), didn’t have time to get all the nave points.

Well, I went and got it this afternoon, and can’t wait to get out and see if it’s 100% again. A full week off is killing me.

Desert Rage Adventure Race March 30, 2008

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Finishing the Bike LegMy team just raced in the Desert Rage Camp Verde yesterday, and WOW
what a blast!

Our regular third couldn’t race with us, so Jonea and I asked a race
director named Jeff Hobbs to race with us as team Gilmore Adventure Race in the Masters Division.

The race started out with a 9 mile paddle down the Verde River. The
river was flowing at about 550cfs, so we had a few sets of rapids that
were a little rowdy and fun, but not enough to really scare us. Our new
partner flipped his boat about 10 minutes into the race, and we spent
some time recovering his paddle and waiting for him to make it down to
us so we could continue. The rest of the paddle was just pure fun;
water over the bow and into our laps, beautiful scenery, and a little
adrenalin too.

From the take out, we had to carry our boats up a hill and about 100
meters to the TA. Here we dried off and transitioned to the Mountain
Bike leg. I had just had a new cassette and chain put on Friday, and
started to have trouble right off the get-go. My chain was jumping
all over the cog set anytime I really pushed on the pedals, and I
couldn’t get onto my small front ring at all! Two miles into the
biking, we had to drop our bikes and trek up into a canyon. There was
a very cool waterfall and swimming hole. We scaled the rock around
the side of the swimming hole to get CP3. On the way back down, our
replacement team mate Jeff inadvertently took a dip in the swimming
hole when he slipped of the rocks. From there we climbed up a
hellacious steep rocky trail to CP4, then back down the canyon to our
bikes. The out and back trip to CP5 was on a dirt road scattered with
loose rock that went up and down across the canyons like a roller
coaster. At CP5, we hooked up a tether so I could help Jeff on the
long uphill sections on the way back. When we were almost to CP6, I
could feel myself about to bonk, and quickly ate something to help
refuel. I had to sit down for about 5 minutes in order to go on. We
got CP6, then absolutely bombed the downhill on the way back toward
the TA. I don’t think Jonea hit her brakes at all, way to go!

At the TA, we changed into our trekking shoes and headed out to get as
many of the 6 trekking points as we could before the 5:00pm deadline.
The alergy medicine that Jeff took did the job for him, and suddenly
I was the one holding us up. We figured we could get at least 4 of
the 6, and headed out to do so. When we were almost to the first one,
suddenly Jonea was on the ground, and I thought she had broken her
ankle….instead,she said she had something stuck in her foot. I took
off her shoe, and there was a piece of wood almost the diameter of a
pencil sticking through the sole of her shoe! It had given her a
puncture wound in the arch of her foot. We dug out the giant splinter
and off we went again. We got the CP (1 down) and were off the the next.

On the way to the next point, we saw a team ahead of us, but they
headed up a different wash than I thought the point was in. We went
to where we thought it was, and lo and behold! There it was! (2 down)
We decided to head up that wash to the power lines and then make a
decision based on time left from there. When we got to where the
power lines crossed the wash, we had a choice: try to get the point up
on top of a mesa about a mile away, or head out of the wash the other
way and forget about the point on the mesa. Based on the time and how
we felt at the time, we decided on the second option. We came out of
the wash along the power lines, followed them to a trail on the map, and
from there we took a compass bearing and walked (yes walked..not ran)
to within 30yds of the point we were looking for. (3 down)
Again we evaluted the time left and our physical condition and decide
that 4 would be enough and that we did not have time to get the sixth
point possible. We took another bearing, and trekked (sounds better
than walked) right to it. From there it was just a matter of making
it back to the Finish in one piece. We ran (yes ran….after all,
people were watching!) across the finish line at about 4:05.

There were several teams that managed to get all six points, and our
hats are off to them!

As it was, we ended up winning the Masters Division!

Another great day of racing!!!

Day Hike on 392 March 20, 2008

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I am always scouting the local trails for my Adventure Recreation business, so I took a short hike up trail 392 from Thumb Butte this afternoon.  Man is it great to see all the water running!  There was even one spot along the trail that was like a seep or slow spring, water was just coming out of the ground and running down hill to another small creek.  For anyone that is riding in the Whiskey in April, this part of the trail actually looks really good (did a little trail maintenance with my foot as I hiked along).  There are, however, several places where (right now anyway) you cross water.  That’s cool though, you always look a little more extreme if your bike is muddy!

Anyway, it was nice to get out for a quick hike, even if it was for only an hour or so.

A Memorable Hike up the Peaks March 19, 2008

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The San Francisco Peaks a mountain that had its center blown out over a thousand years ago in similar fashion as what happened to Mount St. Helens back in 1980, but BIGGER.

The Peaks are on the rim of the volcano, and include Doyle Peak, Fremont Peak, Agassiz Peak, and the highest point in Arizona, at 12,633′ Mt. Humphreys.
This hike is only doable as a day hike if you are in very good shape, and can carry a lot of water. We did this hike in the first week of October before the snow came, but after the threat of summer lightning storms.  This requires leaving one car at the snowbowl recreation area so you can get back to the other car that you will leave at the trailhead.

The trail #102 trailhead is at Schultz Pass on Forest Road 42o, just a few minutes north of Flagstaff. The thing that I really love about this hike is the amazing scenery changes that you encounter as you hike up and up and up through different layers of flora until you suddenly emerge at Doyle Saddle to the incredible view across the inner basin to the towering Mt. Humphreys Peak.  The hike along the inside edge of the ancient volcano where rocks have tumbled like water down the steep interior slope is quiet and peaceful. Then the trail turns and takes you up into Fremont Saddle, where you encounter the view of Flagstaff and points south.  Another reason to stop and just enjoy.  From Fremont Saddle, the hike immediately goes above the tree line as you zig-zag up the east side of the pyramid like Agassiz Peak.  After almost 9 miles and 4000 feet of climbing, you come to the unnamed saddle that sits between Agassiz and Humphreys. This is where you get two more spectacular views; one looking northeast  down into the inner basin, and the other looking west towards Williams, Ash Fork and beyond.  Take the time to rest your body and your feet, assess your water supply and remaining daylight to see if there is enough time to make a summit attempt and still make it back down to the car before dark.  The hike up to the summit is not far, but is pretty tough due to the scarcity of oxygen, and the rock scrambling  that is required.  There are several false summits on the way up, you think, “there it is!”, just to find more trail leading further up the ridge when you get “there.”  Eventually, you DO actually get to the top, where you can turn 360° and everything you see is below you.  WOW!  On a clear day, you can actually see into the Grand Canyon.  Make sure you sign the log book in the ammo box!

As if you haven’t had enough for one day, now you have to beat your knees, hips and feet to a pulp as you descend back to the unnamed pass where the Humphreys Trail takes you down almost 3000′ in 4.5 miles.  Rocks and roots, roots and rocks…..that is what I remember most about this part of the hike.  You will come out of the thick forest and stroll across a meadow toward the parking lot after completing about 15 miles and seeing some of Arizona’s most beautiful sights.

When you get to the car, all you have to do is find someone in your party that can stay awake long enough to go pick up the other car!

Prescott Arizona Mountain Biking March 16, 2008

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There are literally hundreds of miles of mtb riding available just on the outskirts of Prescott.  And if you want a variety of difficulties, we have that too.  We have the easiest of easy in part of the rails-to-trails project called the Peavine Trail. We also have a multitude of forest roads, rowdy rock gardens, superfast singletrack, and more.  Prescott will soon host the Whiskey Off Road, a ride that offers riders a sampler of what we have in the ways of trails.  As a guide, I make it my business to get out and ride as many trails as possible.  See you on the trails!

A Couple of Good Adventure Racing Blogs March 16, 2008

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I have a couple of new Adventure Racing entries on my blogroll from blogs I found interesting.  The first is from a team that I have watched on several multiday races like Primal Quest, it is Team Racing With Giants.  The second is called the Weekend Warriors Guide to Adventure Racing, and it has got all kinds of cool tidbits in it.

There are many, many good sources of info about Adventure Racing out there, and I am sure that some of you know of great ones that I have yet to see, so if you do, please let me know!

The toughest part of the Whiskey Off Road March 16, 2008

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Several of us went on a training ride on what I consider the toughest part of the Whiskey Off Road course yesterday. We parked at the Aspen Trail Trailhead off Copper Basin Rd. and started up trail 48. It was very slow going for a bunch of reasons, We had to hike a bike (this area is generally a lot of hike a bike for me anyway) much more than usual, as I counted 17 pine trees down across the trail. It was also a bit more rocky than it is during the Whiskey.

This is all I can tell you about today as I had to stop at the top of the ridge and head up to Mt. Francis and down the road in order to make it to a noon wedding. Guys I am sorry that I couldn’t suffer through it with you!

I heard from one of the guys and he said:

It was a great ride indeed. Little hike-a-bike, lot of grinding and some brutal downhill into Copper Creek. I haven’t ridden that trail in years, but remembered right away how rocky the 260 on the south side of the ridge was. I think I saw on Hal’s trail profile that there was over 4700 ft. of elevation change.
Great ride topped off with a big greasy cheeseburger and beers!

Training Ride March 13, 2008

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For those of you that are riding in the Whiskey Off Road in April, some of us are planning a ride over part of the course on Saturday morning at 9:00am.  We will meet at the Trail 48 trailhead on Copper Basin Rd.

We will ride 48 to 260 to FR53 to Copper Basin and back to the cars.  This should take about an hour and a half.  Yeah, that might seem short, but there is a ton of vertical in it!

Come join us!

Sand Storm Race Report March 12, 2008

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The final climb to the finishTeam Gilmore AR was made up of Kent Keegan, Jonea Mounsey, and me Dave Sewell. Not sure, but I think we might have been the 3 oldest racers that day. We started out with an uphill run of about 600 yards to pickup our passport, then out into the hills to pick up 4 other CPs in any order. We jogged down part of the Arizona trail past Kentucky Camp’s old adobe buildings and out into Kentucky Gulch. There was a point high up on a ridge, and we chose to go up the ridge-line to it. Once we had the point, we bailed straight off into the gulch and then followed it about a half mile to the next point. By now, my knees couldn’t run anymore, so we fast hiked. From that point we went over the shoulder of a hill into a narrow gully that we followed uphill to the 3rd point. We climbed out onto a road and followed it for a few minutes then descended into yet another draw to get the 4th and final point. From there it was half a mile up the road to the TA.

We transitioned to bikes, remembering to pack our trail shoes for the trek we had been told would be somewhere on the bike section. We headed out down the same section of Arizona trail that we ran down before. No sooner had we turned up a rocky forest road than my back tire felt mushy. It was going flat. We stopped and began our best pit crew impression and got it changed is just a few minutes. Then back on the bikes and up into the hills. The we arrived at the next CP at the same time as 3 other teams, it was on an old piece of equipment in a field by the road. The other teams out-climbed us to the next checkpoint, but the blew right by it and we got it before they figured it out and came back to get it. Shortly after that, there was a big nasty rocky section that we had to hike-a-bike. At the top, we stopped to make a route choice decision and while we were doing that 2 teams went by us on up the forest road. 2 other teams were also looking at their maps and we all decided to to take a single track down to some hairy-steep switchbacks that went down into Gardner Canyon. We got onto Gardner Canyon Road and followed it up to the third biking checkpoint which was also our bike drop. While we were changing our shoes, the teams that had chosen to continue on the forest road arrived.

The first trekking point was back down the road we had just ridden up about a mile then up a canyon to the mouth of a cave. Only one team member was required to go into the cave to punch the passport, but all three of us wanted to see the cave! So we probably gave up about 5 minutes so we could enjoy the experience. After that, the next point was back on the other side of the bike drop at the very peak of a mountain. We decided to to go to the drop and get rid of our helmets (they were required in the cave). From the bike drop it was about a mile and a half of up hill, and more up hill on a seemingly never ending rocky forest road. We encountered teams coming back down as we were going up, and vice versa. One the way up, Kent said he saw something in the road ahead of us, and then it was gone. A minute later he saw it again (hallucinations?), nope he did see something, it was a grey fox trotting a few yards ahead of us up the road. It had a huge bottle brush tail. We got several good looks at it until it left the roadway on a bend and disappeared into the tall dry grass. Coming down was hard work, it was steep, and hard on the knees and feet.

We got back on our bikes and had to ride another 3 miles up Gardner Canyon Rd. At the 4th bike CP we had to take a hike-a-bike trail up a creek-bed then switchback up through a fairly recent burn area to a junction with another forest road on the spine of ridge. We road down the forest road and crossed the creek several times, getting another CP along the creek. Then we followed the road back around the mountain to the Gardner Canyon Rd again. Here we followed it back down to the base of the same hairy-steep switchbacks we had descended earlier in the day. Now, we pushed our bikes up them. We got to ride about 5 miles of the Arizona Trail on our way back to the TA, and it wound through some beautiful country. The final hill up to the finish was enough to put me over the top, as my legs had turned to silly putty. We finished in 6 hours and 12 minutes though, not bad for a team whose combined age is 136 years!

Adventure Racing is Hard to Beat March 10, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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Our team just raced on the long course of the Sand Storm II Adventure Race in southern Arizona, and boy oh boy was it cool!

This race was put on by a company called Monsoon Adventures, 2 guys that have raced in the Gilmore Adventure Race the last few years under the name of Team Chupacabra. They did a super job of organizing and hosting this race. It was very challenging (for our team anyway), and took us through some very scenic country.

When most people think of Arizona, especially southern Arizona, they think of flat, hot desert. Well this was anything but that. We started at a place called Kentucky Camp at an elevation of about 5200′. The terrain there is rolling hills leading up to steep mountains that still held snow on the NE face. At one point in the race we were up as high as 6000′.

Once I get my photos sorted out, I will post a complete race report, but until then, I will just say that our team comprised of 2 forty-five yr olds and a forty-six year old were very proud of our finish.

Arizona Adventure Racing March 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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The sport of Adventure Racing has introduced me to a really wonderful group of people.  Back in 2001 when we opened the Gilmore Adventure Race up to the public, I got my first taste of who and what Adventure Racers are really about.Now 7 years later, I can tell you that being both a racer and a race director has allowed me the privilege of becoming a member of the Arizona Adventure Racing Family.  I say “Family,” because that’s what it feels like, both out on the course in the heat an event, and any other time that I am around other Adventure Racers.

I have never seen another sport where your direct competitors cheer you on or even help you during the event!  It is amazing how you can be running up a rockstrewn canyon in the middle of nowhere when another team passes you, and as they do, they say, “Good job!, Keep it up!”  Don’t get me wrong, teams are competitive, but never it seems, so competitive that they would ever wish bad luck on their opponents.

Another great thing about this adopted family of mine, is that without exception, every location I have ever either raced, or hosted a race, has been picked up and left cleaner than before the event took place.  Adventure Racers don’t wait for someone else to clean up after them, in fact, they take the initiative and clean up after both themselves, and those other users of our great outdoors that seem to throw things anywhere they want to.

I am very proud of my Arizona Adventure Racing Family.