When I helped man the STA table at the Bear Tooth showing of Reveal the Path, three fellas from Girdwood asked if I knew anything about the construction of a trail that follows the hillside in the 20 Mi river area.
As you approach the 20 Mi river there's a marsh north of the road. East of that wetland area is the river, to the west is a hillside. Their curiosity was based on a rumor, but they thought a trail may exist on that west side slope that continues north to eventually intersect with the Winner Creek trail.
With the conditions we've had lately I thought it presented a fun exploratory ride opportunity. The low temperatures recently have frozen the wet areas plenty firm enough, and with the lack of snow it seemed we'd be able to negotiate anywhere we pleased in that valley with the fatbikes. We could skirt the hillside and watch for the trail, if one existed. SuperBlinky and I loaded up to check it out today.
But boy did conditions change. That area almost seems to have its own microclimate, and as we unloaded it was well above freezing and lightly raining. Grey was the order of the day, with low hanging clouds confirming the lack of wind and socked-in character. An attempt to ride through the tussock field failed, as it was too soft today, but we were able to ride across the seagull rookery pond area toward the hillside, as it was solid enough for us.
Here's a shot of the pond area, after we crossed the railroad tracks and headed for the hills. The support under us was fine. SuperBlinky underway...
It was warm enough that there was some water on top of ice, but enough ice thickness and strength to ride across.
Drizzly, reminded me of coastal towns when it rains for days continuously.
We followed some fresh boot and dog tracks, someone obviously had just come through. We passed a couple of hillside cabins, each with canoes at water level, until a couple miles further in caught up to the track makers. A cabin owner and his sons were bucking up some wood for winter. We chatted a bit, and I asked about his knowledge of a hillside trail there, a possible connector to the Winner Cr trail. He had no knowledge of such, and admitted he would love to have one, especially for the access it might provide him. Hmmm...bummer....have to admit I was a bit deflated to hear it.
Thanking him for the info we turned around and retraced. What a good loop it turned out to be though, as it's always good to ride a bit off the grid and witness a fresh area.
Despite one slight mishap that resulted in a wet knee, SuperBlinky looked like he was diggin' it.
Fun time. If anyone knows anything to the contrary, please do tell. Maybe something's started from the Winner Cr end?
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Thread: Twenty-Mile to Winner Creek