I was awakened by logging trucks going over the bridge at 4am. WTF, I guess these guys get paid by the load and they are going to get a full day’s runs in!
I was off at 6:30 for the long road climb up to French Meadows Lake and then on to the Western States trail for the remainder of the day. My water filter had broken the prior evening so I was in a pickle. I had enough water to make it to the spring just before Hell Hole Rd but I was reluctant to drop the Western States without a filter, I had Iodine tabs with me but really didn’t want to jack my stomach up for the next week. As I made my way up to French Meadows I decided that as long as the pump at Deadwood was working I would be fine, or dead if it was broken
As I dropped down the WS towards the swinging bridge the temp was really beginning to rise, I was starting to think I was a dumbass for thinking this was a good idea. For those of you lucky enough to have done this section from Last Chance to Devils Thumb (or Middle Finger as I like to call it) you know what the deal is…. 1.2 miles and 1,800′ of hike a bike
I made it to the spring at Deadwood in a respectable 58 minutes. Man, it was really hot in the exposed sections though and I knew it would be even hotter on the way to Michigan Bluff. I ate pretty much the remainder of my food at the pump (which was working thank God) and headed off for Michigan Bluff. The WS flowed out as usual, excellent. No one was out on a hot Monday so I had the place to myself (also had to be careful since no one would find the body either!).
At the bridge over El Dorado Creek I dunked my head in the creek and hit the trail. I rode most of this section to my surprise. I was at about 300 miles so far and had figured this would be pretty ugly; 56 minutes later I was sitting in Michigan Bluff. Crap was it hot. I had slurped the last gulp out of my Camelbak coming into town so I blew off the idea of dropping down to Volcano Creek and instead hit the pavement for the slog up to Foresthill Rd.
I beat it down Foresthill Rd to Wortons Market and bought the biggest cheeseburger and fries they would sell me. Man was I a stinky mess though, so I hit myself up with some AXE body spray before I fouled up the store. The smell of 3 days of B.O. and Axe body spray must have been a sensory overload, although it is Foresthill so…
All in all a great few days, a good time to ponder the road we could have traveled and the road we traveled down. Thanks for reading
Rubicon River, French Meadows, Western States, Foresthill by seanallan at Garmin Connect – Details.
Visit Sean Allen’s Well, I had an adventurous weekend….. forum post
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Q&A with Sean Allan
Thanks all for the positive theme to your posts, we all deal with the crap life throws at us in our own way. I don’t typically find riding to be therapeutic in dealing with the crisis of life, in fact it has been quite the opposite lately, too much space and time alone to think, which is not always good.
So to answer a few questions
Oh, what’s with the roses?
For my lovely Cousin, it was her and her husbands 28th wedding anniversary on that Sunday.
Is this the route for your adventure race?
Some of it, from Mount Rose to my house is included. Unfortunately the race will be so much harder coming and going all the way from Auburn, out through the Rubicon and doing all of the legal TRT, it is a monster. It’s another 100 miles and almost 25,000 feet of climbing in addition to what I did. I couldn’t pull off the organization of it this year, it’s on for next year though.
What did the setup weigh and was it hard to get used to the loaded down bike in technical sections? Care to share your food/water fueling?
The setup when I left the house was 10 pounds on the bike. That was including a lot of gear I would not normally take because of rain. That also included 4 days of dinner and breakfast, lunch and other stuff I just got along the way. Since I was just cruising I also took my Ipod, phone and a portable charger and 10 AA lithium batteries. I also took a helmet light and battery just in case I got caught out. A SPOT is necessary and needed. Camelback weighed in at 14 pounds with a full bladder.
I can ride roughly 90-95% of what I would normally ride on the TRT. Example would be I didn’t put a foot down from Spooner to Kingbury. Once you’ve been riding for a couple of hours you can’t tell the difference other than the added weight. It’s like riding a 40 pound 4″ downhill bike If you’re tired, technical climbing and climbing in general become harder due to the extra weight, but not a huge deal. Hike a Bike can be brutal. Plus the more you eat, the lighter the load gets MSR water filter( which has broken for the second time) for water. Bought some at the Tramway market, love that place!
Freeze dried dinners unpacked and then vacuum packed to make them smaller for dinner, instant oatmeal for dinner. No racer boy stuff when your touring, although I did take 4 days worth of Recoverite. Self supported racing is a whole other beast……
Where did you find the saddle bag(s)?
Those are Carousel Design Works in front and Revelate designs in back. High quality stuff for not a ton of money.
But was it therapeutic? Have you punished yourself enough yet to get over it?
Neither, which is good, since I wasn’t looking for either. I used to race a lot and was pretty good at it, I still do occasionally, but this type of riding appeals to me more these days. Self supported racing, ala Tour Divide, Colorado Trail Race and such are the places I try to punish myself at. Finding the time and mental strength to do them lately has been really hard though, some people thrive on conflict and pain, I’m not one of those people. I do this stuff quite often if time permits. I just can’t usually find the time to write about the adventure, plus you all would get bored if I wrote about it every time
Amazing journey Sean, I hope the mountains brought you some much needed solace and peace.
That is what I generally find on these trips. Sorry to have missed you Jeff, I saw you as well. I also saw Wherewolf and his riding partner on Spooner. I was not in a good place and felt bad for not stopping to talk to them, it wasn’t till I saw their post that I realized it was them. I hate that climb to the bench for some reason and the rain the day before had rubbed my ass raw. No chamois butter at the Spooner bike shop left me in a foul mood. I must have looked like someone shot my puppy when they told me they didn’t have any….
Someone on the the comments section of the feature story sounded as if this was some sort of adventure that he could never do. Anyone of you could do this or your own version of it. Whatever you think is epic or adventuresome is exactly that, yours and yours alone.
Like I said, I do this and other stupid stuff often enough that it seems somewhat normal, in fact my happiness depends on adventures like these. Hopefully you can find happiness in your next adventure