|Squaw Rock Ride 2007
as viewed from the front of the mostly off trail group.
On Saturday morning, 22 riders on 21 sleds, covering over six decades of experience, left Gardener’s at almost 10 am. We traveled as a group to Five Corners, then down to the new Shadow Creek trail to Tamarack Springs in full sunshine and temperatures in the low 20s. We stopped to play in the meadows for about a half hour. At noon we split into two groups. Fred, who is writing this section, led a group of eight, including two adventuresome women and one preteen, all on seven sleds, on the mostly cross-country ride. Lee took the remaining 13 on a more road-oriented ride with the intent of meeting for lunch near Bald Mt. about 1:30 pm.
Fred’s group traveled on trails located in the checkout ride to a 360 degree panoramic overlook on the way to Buck Meadows. We had a few riders who made a couple of attempts to get to the top but all made it. We stopped at Tripod, made a short detour, in the wrong direction at Rocky Saddle when someone didn’t follow the rules and went past a corner without getting eye contact. We went through the hill climb open meadows and got on the ManastashTrail over looking the lake as Fred did an exploratory route. We arrived at the expected lunch spot at 1:55 but were unable to raise Lee on the radios. After lunch we played on the hills west of Bald Mt. then made a loop of Bald Mt. DeAnn was anxious to get to the hot tub and thinking we had missed Lee, we headed for Squaw Rock on the groomed trail arriving at 4:40 pm with a little over 60 miles on our sleds only to find we had beaten the other group. They arrived about a half hour later saying they had missed a turn and had to help a guy who had destroyed a demonstration sled.
It turned out that the hot tub was frozen. So, after wine, cheese, and Darrell’s S &Ms in our cabin, and some more fun than entitled, (see below) we went to a three hour dinner where fortunately we were the only patrons. The singing and camaraderie were great even if the service and food left a little to be desired.
The next morning after a two hour breakfast remnant of the night before, Fred lost three of his original group of seven sleds but picked up three comprised mostly of the geriatric group for the off trail ride. Three miles up the groomed road, we left the main group and although we were on a groomed road to Whistlin’ Jacks, it was barely obvious. The light was flat and the trail smooth, but the location of the road was not apparent. We climbed up to the hill climbs above Manastash Lake, crossed Rocky Saddle, to show Ed the site of last years memory with the promise not to tell Eileen, went through Tripod and attempted to go to String Lake. The trail was not broken through. So, we returned to Buck Meadows getting a little disoriented in the process, but thanks to Jeff’s GPS skills we were able to meet Lee for lunch at Buck Meadows at 2 o’clock.
After lunch Lee led the whole group, mostly via the road, back to Gardener’s arriving at 4:30. The group tallied between 110-140 enjoyable miles depending upon the route and amount of playing they did. It was a safe trip on our section with no equipment failures, real SNAFU’s or accidents, and I believe everyone created an enjoyable memory.