Kade's Bonus Day & Curly Battle Ride

I felt a bit bad Kade really only got half a day of fun Wednesday, so when it was just him and me Saturday morning I decided we'd do the other stuff I had planned.

First up, Donut Falls. I'd never been there. It's a short hike. The falls aren't impressive, but it's a pleasant alpine setting with a stream. Kade and I scrambled around on the rocks below the falls. Then we floated stick boats and threw rocks. Simple stuff, but he loved it.

Plenty of flowers along the hike. I don't think I've seen this one before:

Next we drove up to Silver Lake. I expected the typical deep mountain lake surrounded by rock. But Silver Lake is shallow and marshy. There is a boardwalk loop around the lake. We watched these ducks for a while:

Then out on one of the fishing platforms we saw a large bird of prey flying over the lake. With it's white head I wondered for a moment if it was a Bald Eagle. One of the fishermen said it was an Osprey. It perched on the tip top of a large pine tree near the lake. I kept an eye on it. A few minutes later it dropped from the tree top and soared over the lake. Then it tucked it's wings and plunged into the lake and took off with a fish in it's talons. It amazed me that, so near civilization with people all around and opportune timing, we were able to watch this. I took a photo, but the camera only has 3x zoom so it just looks like a splash.

Back in the car we drove over Guardsman Pass then over to The Canyons to see Jolene at the final ICup race of the season. It was fun to see and chat with many MTB friends. Rain forced us inside for the awards.

Kade liked the gondola ride.

Curly Battle Ride

Back home I went for a mountain bike ride.

I've been wanting to do this ride for a while - I call it the Curly Battle loop. Starting from the firing range trail head, up Water Tank road, up Betty then left on 051, drop into Dry Canyon then climb out the other side, climb past Curly Springs and around the front of Big Baldy, drop down into Battle Creek Canyon, descend Battle Creek then take BST back to the trail head.

13 miles and 3000 feet of climbing. Took me 2.5 - 3 hours.

051 north of Dry Canyon is a good climb, but the recent rain (and water running down the trail) made it more loose than usual.

I've gone up 051 out of Battle Creek, but never descended it. It's steep, but surprisingly not that technical.

It's been years since I last went down Battle Creek. It's on par with Grove in terms of steepness, loose shale and technical features. I'll admit I walked a few places. Near the end my front brake started squealing and it sounded funny the rest of the ride (looks like the pads were worn out).

The BST climb hurt more, and I took it slower, than usual. The rest was mostly downhill and good fun.

I enjoyed this loop. The climbing is grunty but doable. The downhill is sweet, and with the addition of Battle Creek, more technical. The higher altitude and Battle Creek add to the scenery factor.


Joshua said...

Good job on a "man-camp" staycation. I'm having a hard time fitting in our trip this year.

Watcher said...

Flower looks like Western Monkshood. Beautiful and super-poisonous.

Thanks for the beta on Battle Creek, been curious about it for years.