Saturday, February 18, 2012

There and Back Again

Ok, a bit of a hiatus recently.  What do you expect in the middle of winter?
Well, the days are getting long again, and the weather more condusive to outside frivolitys, so off  we go.
Last weekend (  Feb 11) reasonable weather had us contemplating a jaunt on the Old Dawson Trail portion of theYukon Quest trail.
We, being Anthony, Mario and myself started from the Southern end and headed north.
Red sky in the morning, biker take warning

Well into the meat of the 100 Km ride, we found that the trail was less than optimal, but we were commited, so we soldiered on.  Soft snow, and not much traffic contributed to a slog fest.  But we did it, and it always feels good.
All dressed up at Dog Grave lake  

I feel your pain brother......

There is no question that this ride is heaps more fun after the quest mushers get through with it.  Dog sleds make better trail packers, bottom line.
So yesterday, Mario and I blew off work and hit the trail, from Braeburn this time.  Most of the quest mushers had passed, and the weather looked fine.
We arrived in Braeburn about 8:30 Am and were riding soon afterward.  It was cold though, probably -20C, and we were both feeling it after a few Kms.
Dude, my bladders frozen!

It was cold enough that we were thinking of stopping and building a fire, but by the old roadhouse site of Kynocks, we felt the first of the warm South wind that was forecast, and warmth returned to numb extremities.
Its easy to be happy on a buff trail

Trail conditions stayed rock hard, and we were making great time.
Rockin and rollin

We kept seeing bike tracks appearing from under skiddo tracks, and at the halfway point, we caught up to a friend who was making a bikepacking trip of the route all the way to Whitehorse.  His bike was loaded with a capital C.  He picked a great weekend to be out, lots of sun and great trail conditions.
After the halfway cabin, fresh skidoo tracks softened the trail a tad, and slowed things down.  Still good though.
Its like riding down a country lane.............

Apparently some sort of dog race comes though here....

The trail had gotten chewed up a tad, but it was still miles better than the previous weekend.  And the sun made it positively blissful.

I hate it when this happens

Its all downhill, except for the uphills

Backside of Pilot mountain.

Just as we were running out of fluids, we hit the Little river, and loaded up.  The extra water, spiked with Eload amped us up, and we were at the parking lot before we knew it.  Much nicer than the weekend before.
Gotta love spring.  Or at least late winter.