Written by: Tim Banning
Over 40 mountain bikers gathered for 5 days of singletrack goodness on the Kettle Crest trail system in Eastern Washington for the 2009 Kettle Crest Advocacy Fest. The Kettle Crest trail system is rugged, vast and mountainous, where the quality of riding is only surpassed by the variety of sub-alpine ecosystems and epic sweeping views. It is a premier trail system in that it is a non-motorized area chock full of singletrack goodness set in an epic backcountry setting. Unfortunately, mountain bikers may lose the area because it is under review for possible Wilderness Designation, which would eliminate mountain bikes from trails the area.
First few days of riding brought fun descents on the Midnight Ridge Trail, with big pine, open field with colorful wildflower and frolicking badger. Challenging climbs through cedar grove and rock outcrop on Hoodoo Canyon Trail. The weather was unusually iffy, as rain randomly rolled through, but nothing dampened the spirits of our group congregation as riders settled in at the Jungle Hill Campground.
Friday came, and volunteers rolled up their sleeves for a work party on Old Stage Coach Trail #1. Washingtons first state highway, Old Stage Coach #1 was originally intended for wagons to ferry goods, but was too steep and ardous. The wide trail suffers from springs seeping onto the trail and creating long saturated sections of mucky goopiness. The combined effort of 26 mt. bikers from Seattle, Washington to Boise, Idaho resulted in a sustainable trail segment which minimized water erosion by applying established IMBA and Forest Service trail building practices. Forest Service Recreation Specialist Dave Lent commented that our group had “brought the thunder”. Little did Dave know, we brought the bbq as well, as the trail crew was provided with food provided by the Evergreen MTB Alliance from Seattle, beverages provided New Belgium Brewery and schwag from Niner Bikes, New Belgium Brewery, MSC Bikes, Joyride Cycles of Boise, Idaho, and MTBR. com.