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  1. #1
    FatBike Fiend
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    Valley Trail Ride Invitation

    The Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers are hosting a winter trail ride (or XC ski if you prefer). I've been riding out there quite a lot this winter and it has always been ridable (disclaimer: on FatBike) despite a bunch of snow. It's got a lot of terrain, great views and variety and follows along the base of the Talkeetna Mtns between Palmer Fishhook and Buffalo Mine Rds. Here's the official scoop:

    Wasilla Creek Headwaters Trail - This is an easy to moderate trail that offers varied terrain - large open meadow to forested narrow paths - and great views of the Talkeetna Mountains to the north. It is a multi-use groomed winter trail and is great for skate skiing or classic skiing, and biking. There are several loops to explore and if you aren't familiar with this area it is a good time to see some new territory. The entire trail system is probably about 18 miles but there are many shorter loops - so plan on a nice afternoon outing. Any child old enough to enjoy this activity is very welcome to join us.

    Where & When - Meet at 12:00 pm, Sunday, January 21st at the trailhead on Sun Valley Road.

    Directions to trail - From Palmer - take the Glenn Highway to Palmer Fishhook Road, at MP 6.5 Fishhook take a right on Sun Valley Road. Follow Sun Valley around past Wendt Road. About 1/4 mile past Wendt Road on the right side there is a small trail that leaves the road. Parking is on the side of the road.

    What to bring ~ bring water, snack and appropriate winter clothing for the activity.

    Call our Hotline 761-3636 if you have any concerns about changes or cancellations due to weather.

    Come out and enjoy all the snow!

    http://www.vmbah.org
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    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  2. #2
    Mr.Secret
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    Do we have to bring water ??
    Last edited by R.T.R.; 01-19-2007 at 03:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Caveman
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    Nice photo, looks like fun riding

  4. #4
    FatBike Fiend
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    Bring beverage of choice

    I forgot that some of you don't drink water (rusts your pipes) so bring whatever you wanna chug and chunder after the ride. I'm heading out there this afternoon and will post a trail report upon my return. Should have a good turn out from the valley fat bike contingent so if you Anchoragua riders wanna join in we should be able to throw down a nice trail.
    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  5. #5
    FatBike Fiend
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    Looks good

    Just got back from a ride, not bad, 3" of new snow over a firm base. Some drifting happened on the Great Swamp but overall pretty ridable. There were a few skiers out, a dog musher and a couple snowmachiners so the trail is being packed and the Powder pounder said he was going to run the groomer over it tomorrow morning.
    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  6. #6
    Mr.Secret
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    Marc, if the conditions stay the way it is right now, how do think sno-cats / WTB Timberwolfs, would fare out there ?
    Last edited by R.T.R.; 01-20-2007 at 05:08 PM.

  7. #7
    FatBike Fiend
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    No problem

    Quote Originally Posted by R.T.R.
    Marc, if the conditions stay the way it is right now, how do think sno-cats / WTB Timberwolfs, would fare out there ?
    We'll dig you out in the spring Dallas was out last night on Snowcats and did fine on the main trails but had to push a bit on the open swamp areas. I rode it again today and did the whole loop. The main trails had been groomed but were a bit soft still but I think they will set up well tonight.
    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  8. #8
    FatBike Fiend
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    Good turnout

    Thanks to all who showed up. The trail conditions were excellent. Here's a picture of our synchronized pushing exercise.
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    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  9. #9
    Mr.Secret
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    I'm glad I took the fatbike instead of the sno-cat bike. Nice trails, BTW.

  10. #10
    FatBike Fiend
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    Thanks for coming out

    Quote Originally Posted by R.T.R.
    I'm glad I took the fatbike instead of the sno-cat bike. Nice trails, BTW.
    Glad you and Brij could make it, it was fun despite the soft conditions. Hope you're truck's alright.
    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  11. #11
    Mr.Secret
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    Trucks a-ok , thanks. WE'LL BE BACK.....

  12. #12
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    Pushing?
    Ummm ..... nope, don't remember any pushing.
    Beautiful trails back there. I am glad that I was invited.
    Thanks everyone.
    Brij

  13. #13
    Caveman
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    Brij, you probably didnt do any pushing,
    Pushing would imply that you didnt enjoy it, or work was involved.

    Its so enjoyable for you that you've turned it into an entirely seperate activity called
    "assisted bike walking" or something

  14. #14
    FatBike Fiend
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    The man can float

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearbait
    Brij, you probably didnt do any pushing,
    Pushing would imply that you didnt enjoy it, or work was involved.

    Its so enjoyable for you that you've turned it into an entirely seperate activity called
    "assisted bike walking" or something
    He possesses great skills. I really don't think Brij did any pushing unlike us mere mortals. I could barely even make out his tracks. Maybe I should go on a diet and lose about a hundred pounds then I too could float like Brij. Nah, probably not.
    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  15. #15
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    The oldest hindu trick

    Levitation - growing up in India they teach you this is elementary school. It's getting the fat bike to levitate with you that is the real litmus test.

  16. #16
    Mr.Secret
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    Levitation

    See Marc, I told you it was a " Johnny Quest " thing

  17. #17
    FatBike Fiend
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    Just as I suspected!

    I figured it was some kind of magic carpet thing, very impressive!

    Hey, who started selling fat bikes to light people? The whole idea was as an equalizer/cheating devise for bigger people who used to sink like a stone on SnowCats. Now (gasp) light people are getting ahold of them. I must protest. Don't you know there's a minimum weight requirement on those things?.
    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  18. #18
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    Beware with dogs on those trails

    Hi All, Glad to read through the thread and not find horror stories of dogs in traps. Those are the trails I find myself on nearly daily and unfortunately there are a couple of active trap lines out there. One on the Murphy side (~1 mile from 90 degree turn on Murphy rd.) utilizes leg hold traps (which one of our dogs "discovered" earlier this winter) which were only about 60 feet from the main trail. I've also found a small snare set on the "foothills trail" that is due north of the Wendt Rd. parking lot and across the marsh and just the other day I came across someone putting in a new set south east of the wendt parking lot in the trails off the large cut out there. I know these locations are vague, and I'd be happy to elaborate if people want to know. As an FYI, all of the traps are set there are removable without tools, but the snares might be difficult depending on how tight it is. A small pair of wire cutters may be a good addition to the saddle bag. There was also one more I found where the a**hole actually put dog bones in the lower branches of the spruce along with a jar of stinky stuff. All that was left there was a cut cable. This trap I could have hit with my ski pole from the middle of the trail.

    My girlfriend and I attended a trappers meeting shortly after our incident and they were sympathetic and thought the people trapping out there are out of line in such a heavily used multi-use area. I tried to get in contact with the trapper that caught our dog but got no response.

    Keep an eye on the pooches and enjoy the riding. I wish i had some fat wheels, I haven't been able to ride out there in a long time, so I've been on the twin planks.

    -Will

  19. #19
    FatBike Fiend
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    Thanks for the warning, yours wasn't the only dog caught out there. Hope he's ok. Always something. I think I ran across that trapper parked on the trail with his snowmachine: smaller guy, smoker, dark hair, scraggly beard, blue snowmachine suit? It would certainly be nice if he could do his trapping away from the trails but then that would of course involve extra work to check his sets. This is a problem all over the valley, people think it's the wild west out here. Bike softly and carry a large stick.
    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
    Palmer, Alaska
    www.trailwerx.com

  20. #20
    Mr.Secret
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaRed
    Hi All, Glad to read through the thread and not find horror stories of dogs in traps. Those are the trails I find myself on nearly daily and unfortunately there are a couple of active trap lines out there. One on the Murphy side (~1 mile from 90 degree turn on Murphy rd.) utilizes leg hold traps (which one of our dogs "discovered" earlier this winter) which were only about 60 feet from the main trail. I've also found a small snare set on the "foothills trail" that is due north of the Wendt Rd. parking lot and across the marsh and just the other day I came across someone putting in a new set south east of the wendt parking lot in the trails off the large cut out there. I know these locations are vague, and I'd be happy to elaborate if people want to know. As an FYI, all of the traps are set there are removable without tools, but the snares might be difficult depending on how tight it is. A small pair of wire cutters may be a good addition to the saddle bag. There was also one more I found where the a**hole actually put dog bones in the lower branches of the spruce along with a jar of stinky stuff. All that was left there was a cut cable. This trap I could have hit with my ski pole from the middle of the trail.

    My girlfriend and I attended a trappers meeting shortly after our incident and they were sympathetic and thought the people trapping out there are out of line in such a heavily used multi-use area. I tried to get in contact with the trapper that caught our dog but got no response.

    Keep an eye on the pooches and enjoy the riding. I wish i had some fat wheels, I haven't been able to ride out there in a long time, so I've been on the twin planks.

    -Will
    Better show this to Charlie

  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    Wildfire,

    Thanks for asking, and yes, the dog is okay. It was an 8" leghold and my girlfriend (who was alone) didn't know how to release him, so she had to leave him freaking out. Luckily I was picking her up on Murphy Rd. to go to dinner over there, so we ran out and he was only stuck for about 45 minutes. At first I thought he was busted up because he wasn't putting any weight on it at all and just whimpering constantly, but I think it had just fallen asleep. Probably the worst case of pins and needles ever! He probably was lucky the trap was so big because the jaws closed on a large leg bone rather than the little bones in the paw/wrist. I didn't mention the bait there either. I went back a day later to look around and found a pile of caribou remains, including two heads?! This was all (including the bait) within 100 feet of the main trail.

    I can't say I saw the trapper the other day to match descriptions. I saw the machine parked and a trail to a swampy hole made by snowshoes followed by a cargo sled. I could hear someone messing around in the woods but got no response to my shouted hello. That's been a constant lately, a snowmachine hauling a cargo sled that leaves four distinct, deep grooves about 2 inches across. Everywhere I've seen those tracks I've found traps.

    -Will

  22. #22
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    Red,

    In your post you suggest that removing the traps might be a good solution, however if the trapper is there legally you could be cited for tampering with his traps.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
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    Misunderdstanding

    AleutianMTB,

    I re-read my post and can understand your reaction. I know it is illegal. The only trap I removed was the one my dog was stuck in, and I left a note there saying i'd be happy to return it.

    By saying "all of the traps are set there are removable without tools, but the snares might be difficult depending on how tight it is", I meant your pet is removable, not the trap. The suggestion of a small pair of wire cutters was for getting an animal out of a snare if it is too tight.

    Speaking of the trap that was close to the trail and saying "all that was left was a cut cable", a cut cable was all I found besides the bait. The trap was removed by someone else.

    After we attended the trappers meeting and introduced ourselves to the trapping community I effectively pulled myself out of the running for vigilante justice. I know it's legal for them, and I know there is a leash law in the Mat-su (or voice control), so I go there with my dogs at my risk.

    Thanks for pointing that out and letting me clear it up.

    Will

  24. #24
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    Thanks Will. Sorry if I got the wrong impression from your post and I'm sorry to hear that your dog was caught in a trap. It's too bad that trappers have chosen to work on these multi use trails.

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