Crosspost from the Idaho, Montana, Wyoming forum
So I wake up and get ready to take the Mrs to the airport. Weather.com says 40%+ rain at 10a and later. After two days of hiking in the rain I was not in the mood for any more of that. Took her to the airport. Came back and had my free breakfast at LaQuinta and took a nap. Awoke around 9a to BRIGHT sun shining in the window. WtF? I hop on weather.com again and it's partly cloudy with 0% rain until 4p. HELLS YEAH! Packet my sh|t up and headed to Super 8 to drop my bags off and then to Two Wheeler Dealer. Sorry I missed you at the shop this morning, Nick...
A young, tall kid with glasses tried to give the Camber but I knew the Stumpy was gonna be marginal, the Camber would not be up to it. He looked around some more and found a mustard yellow & black Stumpy 29er with a Command Post. If I can't have an Enduro this will have to do. Pulled both wheels off so it'd fit in this tiny clown car and headed to the trail head.
I shot a BOAT LOAD of video on my way up 257 which is why it was bearable. Stopping every 200 or 300 yards to setup a shot is a darn good way to catch your breath. Got to the top of 257 (I think now that maybe I wasn't) and was about to sh|t myself 'cause I had no idea where to go because I was expecting double track that would lead me to the picnic area and then 79. I'm looking both directions when I see the little slats of wood tacked to the tree that says 79. That's the way I sent. I found out when I got to the end of that trail it was 258 but then I again had NO IDEA where I was or where I needed to go. I figured I had to head west to catch 79 but was still keeping an eye out for the picnic area.
Somewhere before the end of 257 and when I got on 258 I realized I was probably gonna get eaten by a bear out here... So, I started coughing and clearing my throat periodically. Then started to whistle as I ran down the trail. Didn't see any bears
So, I'm heading west from 258 on some unnamed trail and I start heading DOWN. Sh|t, I don't think I should be headed down yet and certainly not in the southern direction. But, it was my only option. Then i finally come to another large clearing with an option heading north as well as continuing west and I stop.
Now I'm really frustrated. Nothing here is marked either. I'm taking an educated guess on this one but I think from where I'm at on the mountain and where my Garmin shows me to be that I need to take the north trail. So, I do...
Turns out I was right on the guess. Thank God I brought the Garmin, had it turned on, and it didn't lose the satellites at all.
At this point I still don't know if I'm right but I'm hammering down this trail now and due to the lengthy climb that I'm not used to I'm just exhausted. I handle most stuff easily until I come to that right handed switchback with the tree root step in the middle of it. I sit there and make several run ins at it but no matter which way I go, low or high, my tires are slipping all over the place. My stomach isn't willing to commit so I mutter some unsavory words to the camera and continue on.
It's about this time that I'm realizing how beat I am. I'm making lots of mistakes 'cause I don't have the energy to ride this stuff properly. It certainly didn't help that just about everything that my tires touch that isn't dirt is slippery as sh|t on a shovel. The Purgatory's were not up to the task of traction in those conditions. In all honesty, I'm not sure if any tire can give traction under these circumstances.
So, I'm beat and all this slippery sh|t is just pissing me off... Making mistakes... Just making this trail look embarrassingly difficult. Probably the last 1/3 of 79 I walked many of the tech spots just 'cause I was beat and didn't wanna risk going down the side of the mountain because there's no traction available.
I did my best to video as much on the DH as I could but my energy was just so low that for a lot of it I just kept the Chesty on and went until I had to walk a section.
All in all it was a pretty fun day even considering how beat I was which forced me to squash my ego. Not a huge fan of the slippery roots and rocks and now I know why I see threads here and there about what tires to use on slippery roots and rocks
Hopefully, I'll have time to throw a video together this evening but I'm pretty sure the connection here at Super 8 isn't going to like uploading a big video. May have to wait until I return to Phoenix and a real connection.
Thanks to all you guys that gave me the intel that got me on and off the mountain. And thanks to TWD for the cheap rental!
Now I get to start working the Ironman race...
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho: Caribou Ridge Trail 79 from Michael Stevens on Vimeo.
Coer d\'Alene, Idaho: Caribou Ridge Trail 79
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