This is a long one, so grab a cup of coffee, a pint of beer, and maybe a snack and get ready! Got a lot of pics also, so even if you don't like words you can look at the pretty photos.
Thursday we got home and had a ton of stuff to pack up for the weekend. I went in our guest bathroom to get some bike clothes off the drying rack and noticed a dripping sound. Hmm. Monday of last week I was in the bathroom and noticed a HUGE bubble in the ceiling near our tub and noticed it had been leaking down the wall, all over the floor, onto our towel rack, etc. Justin went upstairs and the neighbor said they hadn't accidentally flooded their bathroom or anything, blah blah. So, Thursday night he went up there again. The mom had just showered in her guest bathroom and Justin asked her not to use that shower again until we got the issue figured out. The ceiling leaked for probably 4 hours after that.
It was too late to get ahold of anyone other than an emergency plumber, which wasn't really necessary. We left messages with the HOA (never got a call back) and homeowner's insurance. Next morning we stayed home to take care of everything. HOA was going to contact the owner upstairs, and insurance said to let them know if any contents were damaged. So, we sat around waiting to hear back most of the morning, and eventually followed through with our weekend plans.
The provisions before they went in the cooler
Got up to Barton Flats Friday night sometime before 7. It was chilly (mid-50s) on the drive up there. Eek!
Dinner! And Dessert!
Justin was checking out his new birthday toys / provisions
After we got camp set up we cracked open our last 11th Anniversay Ale. Jeff was telling us that they weren't lasting, but this baby was PRIMED and ready to go. Tasted awesome up in the mountains.
Camp fire was stoked and warm
Dinner is served
We hung out by the fire for awhile
It had been fairly cloudy, but the clouds cleared and the moon (nearly full) was just gorgeous
It was a really cold night. Not the same as Crested Butte cold, or Downieville 2007 cold, but it was really chilly.
I eventually made my way out of the tent to get us some creamer for our tent coffee!
The sun was out, but there were clouds swirling around on all sides. It was warm in the sun, but the wind was cold. We got breakfast together, sat by the fire, and waited for Luke to arrive for our big ride! Credit where it's due... I sent Brian from the Path an email earlier last week asking about climbing Radford Truck Trail for a big ride from camp up to Big Bear. He suggested taking Clark's up, traversing up at the Bear trails, and then heading down Radford. His suggestion was stellar, since climbing Radford would've been challenging in spots!
My new tube holder set-up
We got on the trail I think around 10:30 (time is irrelevant when you're camping) and had the most fun of the day in the first 15 minutes of the ride! I can now say without a doubt that the singletrack from Barton Flats down to Glass Rd. is essentially ALL descent! After 25 miles and reaching South Fork campground it definitely feels like there is a lot of uphill on the way back toward Angelus Oaks, but in case that is NOT the fact that all! Soo much fun!
We were all grinning ear-to-ear upon reaching Glass Rd, and were ready to shuttle that same 4-5miles all day! Well, we had bigger fish to fry, so off we headed down Glass Rd to meet up with Clark's Grade instead.
I lost sight soon after. My legs felt like they were in knots. No power what-so-ever. I was doing everything I could just to tick the pedals over. The further up we climbed the cooler it got, and eventually we were in the clouds and temps continued to drop. Had we not been climbing it would've been pretty uncomfortable. I only stopped once for a route check early on, and after that kept pedaling the whole way up.
I had been alone for awhile and for some reason had a random song stuck in my head:
Had a bad day, don't talk to me / Gonna ride this out … You can't save me / You can't change me / Well I'm waiting for my wakeup call / And everything, everything's my fault
I had no idea who sang the song, or the last time I'd heard it. It must've been on an old MP3 CD that we'd been listening to from songs I used to have on CD or on my iPod. Weird. So, the song floated in my head for about 50 minutes as I climbed. I just "rode it out". Eventually I saw Luke headed back toward me. I figured he and Justin had made it up to 2N10 in Big Bear and turned around. I hesitated to ask how much further, and we chatted as we continued up. It was getting really cold!
Justin made his way back also, and I found out Luke hadn't gotten up to 2N10! So, the 3 of us rode it out and stopped at the junction to put on some extra layers and grab a bite to eat before descending Plantation.
It was totally frigid! I couldn't feel my hands at all.
We hopped back on a fire road and followed some of the Big Bear Shoot-Out course
As we descended down Cabin 89 to Pine Knot the sun was coming out. Ooh, soo nice! It warmed up just a tad.
Back on 2N10 we started to traverse back to where we'd pick up Radford Truck Trail for the descent back down to Glass Rd. It was gorgeous once we descended a little out of the clouds and looked out over the valley. SART is over there somewhere!
We weren't really looking forward to climbing back out of Glass Rd and up to Barton Flats, and while I was pretty fatigued, it wasn't *that* bad…
Back at camp I was slow moving, but took a sun shower, made some PBJ's, and we got dinner set out to cook in a bit. We enjoyed some 60-minute IPA!
Dinner was so good and gone so quickly I didn't even get any pictures!
Justin and I sat around the campfire for awhile until we were both ready to pass out, and then it was time to hit the hay. We wore some extra layers to bed and wound up sleeping in til almost 7! It was sunny out again Sunday morning, and while chilly, the sun just felt so good.
French press is cooking and berries are ready for eating
Tent was a little moist, so we sat around and enjoyed the beautiful weather, being lazy. We had no idea of what route to do, but wanted to take it easy. We were both a little on edge, and exploring isn't my deal. For some reason I was expecting about a 6 mile route out to Jenks Lake for a bar or something, then back. Well, it was about 2 miles of fire road to Jenks Lake, and then Justin wanted to go exploring unsigned backwoods fire roads.
Eventually I asked if we could just find 38, get over to Barton Flats, ride down to SART and do some traversing, and head back. We wound up popping out at a different SART connector down 38 that couldn't have been too far from South Fork (maybe 1.5-2 miles at most?)
Made our way down to SART, traversed back toward Barton Flats, and rode that back to where we had parked.
Radford Truck Trail! We were up there yesterday
Our picnic spot after the ride
It was gorgeous sitting out in the sun.
On the way home we stopped off in Fontana to watch a buddy from college race his old Corvette race car
All in all, GREAT weekend!! Wish we could do that every weekend. It was kind of pricey for a camp weekend (next time need to share the spot and fire wood with someone!), but fun anyway. The hard part is a) camping - I woke up pretty sore/tired on Sunday morning, and b) elevation - it is tough the very next day at elevation. I think similar to the weekend before we camped the night before a race, and your body is just in a weird transition area that first 24 hours or so!
My legs were worked and fatigued anyway from 2 full weeks of hard workouts and not recovering from the race the weekend before. But, I totally enjoyed the big ride on Saturday, as painful as it was!
I also realized I really like camping! I want to do some more of that this summer. Just hope we can find a way to make it a little cheaper!
Will hopefully have a post put together before Friday about how AWESOME Rock N Road Cyclery is! Got a few pics together, but will be taking a few more and adding commentary once we utilize some recently purchased items :) Report forth-coming!