If memory serves - Cottonwood

Ever since my solo ride that turned into a guided trip down Cottonwood, I've been trying to get backup there with Nick. It was such a fun ride - from swooping through the ravine at the start to the nearly-unridable (or so I thought) water fall feature near the end. Finally, we had good weather and a the chance to ride up Ute Trail to the jeep road. And then, it would be time to see if memory served me well and I could find the trail again. I wasn't confident - I knew I could get to the first part - the swoopy ravine section. But then there had been a grunter jeep road climb and an unmarked turn to the left to drop into Cottonwood proper. That was the section I wasn't sure about. We rode pretty easy up to the intersection with the jeep road. To my surprise, there was a brand new, very nice parking lot there now - not just an open field. And a sign.

Nick started pedaling up the jeep road, but I headed over to check out the sign. A map of the S-Mountain trails, including the new singletrack right there, heading off into the trees. Well okay! Since I wasn't quite sure where I was going and there was singletrack right there, we opted for the trail. It was easy to see that it was new - there were some tire tracks, but it was still dusty and loose. The trail traversed to the west of the hill the jeep road climbed, then dropped down into the ravine I remembered. I think we missed some of the built features in the ravine, but it was still fun. Where I remembered having to get off the trail and onto another jeep road, the new trail continued. Across the road, climbing up and meandering around. This section was even newer - like it had just been finished in the past few weeks. So much better then the jeep road and mystery drop in. I saw the trail that I'd taken with the two locals on my first ride up there after a while. That meant one thing - the water fall was coming up. On that ride, I'd looked at it and opted not to try, not even seeing where the line was. This time? Without scouting the lines like I'd planned, I managed to roll right down it. I think it was cleaned up a little, with the safe line more noticeable then before. But it was still chunky and big and I was really excited that I'd been able to ride it.

Nick finishing out the waterfall - yes, there is a trail behind him!

After chatting with some trail workers from the Southwest Conservation Corps, it was time to finish the ride. I think we took Sweet Dreams down to the far south edge of S-Mountain, but not entirely sure. Whatever it was, it was another new section of trail - well built with some good fun but nothing crazy. All of the trails in S-Mountain are fun and as challenging as you want to make them. It's great place to play and still be really close to town.

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