Kenosha Adventures - Ride 3

For our last ride in our weekend of adventures, we had a choice. The fun and consistent riding at Buffalo Creek or a new trail that might be fun or might not be fun... Buffalo Creek we knew would be lots of fun, but all really crowded with the holiday traffic. Since this was the weekend was for exploring, we decided on the unknown trail. So it was down to Tarryall Reservoir and a tiny county road to find the trail head. The plan was to ride this trail across to Lost Park Road, then connect with isolated non-wilderness section of the Colorado Trail. On the map, it looked like a few solid hours of riding, with some good climbs and some dirt road sections. That was on the map - and the plan looked good on the map. However, reality and maps tend to be very different in the Colorado back country.

Adventure started a little early as we decided not to take the Turtle up the road leading to the trail head. The sign about no passenger cars seemed to indicate that we might be safer riding from that point. And that road was a lovely, steep climb - one that Nick had to do twice because he left his helmet in the camper! The only indication that there was a trail there was a truck parked on the side of the road. There wasn't much of a trail head  and not even a really noticeable sign marking the trail - just a post with TR 655 written on it. Well, that was the trail we wanted, so off we went. It looked like the trail had not seen much use in the last few years from even the hikers. But hey, it was an exploring and adventure day!

The trail meandered for a little, crossing a stream on a tiny wooden bridge. Then we tilted upward. Very upward. Really steeply upward with plenty of rocks and logs and other obstacles in the trail. To say it would have been a fun trail for hiking is being nice. I'm not sure that I would have wanted to trudge up that hill, even in comfortable shoes. We were half riding, half pushing and very slowly making progress towards the summit. And the only thing I was thinking about was "We are gonna have to ride down this and it's gonna really suck!" I was not looking forward to coming back down and every switchback uphill meant more we were going to have to descend. Just when I was thinking about asking Nick to turn around, the trees opened up and we had reached the high point - a saddle between two peaks. There was even a nice Forest Service sign to tell us about the big horn sheep and the controlled burn in the area.

According to the map, we would cross a stream, then intersect a 4x4 road which would take us down to Lost Park Road. Yeah, we never found the road - but we did cross the stream. After riding around, seeing no less the five cow skeletons (not joking!) and with me getting really nervous about the wind and the snags from the controlled burn, we decided it was time to turn around. And that meant time to start that fun down hill. Nick said to just take it easy and that going slower would be faster then trying to go fast. Surprisingly, the descent was actually pretty easy and a lot more fun then I thought it would be. I even cleaned more of the downhill then Nick did! It helped that he was leading and I was able to see where he'd picked the wrong line and then correct....

After getting back to the Turtle, it was pretty evident that in order to ride that section of the CT between the Lost Creek Wilderness boundaries, we would have to actually drive there. It was way to far to do in one day and try to make a loop of it. But the good news is that we now have a new place to go explore some day!

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