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A Day of Reckoning
We knew going into day 8 that it was going to be a day of reckoning. There were some huge climbs, and whisperings of horrible singletrack, of which we’d gleaned from the interwebs. However, the day started out with pleasant surprises. Our first pleasant surprise was that we started our climb to Fooses Creek trailhead on a dirt road rather than singletrack which, although steep, was rideable. We were assuming this section would be hike-a-bike.
Another pleasant surprise was that Fooses Creek Trail was mostly rideable until the top, where it got wet and a bit sloppy. However, that was where the ‘pleasant’ surprises ended.
Reasoning for the ‘Day of Reckoning’ Subtitle Above
After climbing up Fooses Creek Trail and getting over Marshall Pass, the riding got pretty bad. This section of trail allows OHV vehicles, which usually means big ruts down the middle of the trail. In this case, the trail was incredibly rocky, with HUGE ruts down the middle of the trail, and even if the trail conditions weren’t a factor, the trail grades alone would have made riding a challenge due to their steepness.
We ended up riding until 7:45pm that night, settling on a primitive campsite with lots of mosquitos in a meadow, right before the Sargents Mesa section, also infamous for its unrideability, so spirits were rather low as we settled down for bed that night, knowing that more of the same lay in our almost immediate future.
In total, we rode 42 miles and climbed 7,300 feet of elevation.