Jack Rabbit Lake Ride Henry Coe Park
I nabbed another 10K with bruised ribs no less! You can't stop me. Lovely out there. I saw Ranger Cameron at Tie Down Peak Trail and Kaiser-Aetna Road where I was taking a break. He thought I might have been broken down and wanted to help me out (as he knows a lot of my past mechanicals). He was a bit disappointed when I told him the bike was fine.
Route: HH Parking, Gilroy Hot Springs Road, Coit Road, Anza Trail, Jackson Trail, Elderberry Spring Trail, Rock Tower Trail, Elderberry Spring Trail, Jackson Road, Wasno Road, Dexter Trail, Grizzly Gulch Trail, Wagon Road, Snake Trail, Wagon Road, Center Flats Road, Burra Burra Trail, Kaiser Aetna Road, Mac's Corral Trail, North Fork Trail, Tie Down Peak Trail, Kaiser Aetna Road, Woodpecker Trail, County Line Road, Long Ridge Road, Jack Rabbit Lake Trail, Long Ridge Road, Orestimba Creek Road, Orestimba Creek Trail, Orestimba Creek Road, County Line Road, Coit Road, Pacheco Camp, Coit Road, Wagon Road, Wasno Road, Tule Pond Trail, Grizzly Gulch Trail, Serpentine Trail, Steer Ridge Road, Middle Steer Ridge Trail, Hunting Hollow Road to Parking Lot.
The Laughing Jack Rabbit Route.
Started in the midst of the Hunting Hollow 5K/10K run. I was hoping for a 10K myself but not what these runners may have had in mind. I call this one "The Laughing Jack Rabbit Route" as the gps track animates. I leave seeing many of the Coe volunteers helping park cars and the rangers, Jen and Cam talking with the large group of people. I consider saying hello to Jen and Cam but decide, no, they are too busy. And then it is up Gilroy Hot Springs Road to start the ride.
Up Anza/Jackson, then Elderberry Spring Trail I decide to go up Rock Tower, Jackson Road to Wasno Road. Instead of the usual jaunt down Kelly Lake Trail I change it up a bit and head for Dexter. Steep and fun I pass a hiker on the way down. Across Grizzly Gulch Trail at the bottom I note a trail up the opposite way and up to a knoll. I forage a bit and see that the trail dead ends in a combination of thick brush (not absolutely sure on this) and a cliff (there might be a way down). I go back but tuck it away for later. Maybe a new trail to Steer Ridge Road? A tough go but I feel stupid enough to try at some point in the future. Maybe Paul might be interested.
Grizzly Gulch Trail to Wagon Road. No Tule Pond Trail this time. Up Wagon, up Snake Trail, down Center Flats Road and up Burra Burra. Feeling good, I clean the tough 1st climb and manage to bag a KOM passing Patrick and Dirk. Hooray!!! No easy fete ever.
I hang at Dowdy a while, relaxing and soaking in the sun. So peaceful here. Down Mac's Corral and miss is again. I right myself and soon am zooming down a fun and sketchy downhill single track. North Fork is difficult as usual and am at the base of Tie Down. I break and soon I am climbing again. A failure at the beginning and back for a 2nd try. I get to the usual difficult part of the climb and am off again. 2 places to try to beat. I seem to fail at the same point. Loose dirt on a steep section. Very dis-heartening. So I continue and don't dab anymore.
I take a break at Kaiser-Aetna Road and Tie Down. Up drives Cameron (back woods ranger and now head of trails at Coe) zooming rather fast. He is in hopes that he is saving me as maybe I might have a mechanical. But, no. We talk for a while and then I we part. Cameron on his way back and me to Jack Rabbit Lake, up Woodpecker and County Line then down the steep Long Ridge and a brief nap at lake side. I filter and am on my way. Down and back on Orestimba Creek Road and Orestimba Creek Trail. A failure of switchbacks I try again and eventually get them both. Mental. Have to work on that. I hate failure.
I note a mccloud at Orestimba Corral. Then up County Line and to Pacheco Camp.
I am tired. Sore. Ribs seem ok but there is a certain beat the hell out of feeling. I have to get past this and embrace the pain. Somehow. I am a bit disgusted. How can I do the solstice if I feel like this on a punier ride. No excuse.
I lie down again at Pacheco Camp and try to get it back. Up from the hole on Coit Road. Right on Wasno, At Tule Pond at Wasno is the evil earthmover that has ruined Steer Ridge Road, Wasno Road and the road part of Grizzly Gulch Trail. I hate this thing. I go around it and swoop down Tule Pond and then left on Grizzly Gulch (very bad shape since the grading. Hard to stay on with the powder and loose rocks). Up Serpentine and it is tough. I clean it and reward myself with Middle Steer Ridge. At the car....yes....a 10K ride!!!!!! Sore but did it.
Last edited by plymmer; 06-10-2012 at 10:56 PM.
Epic.. this is plymmer weather!
For the people not familiar... what is plymmer weather? This was recorded by Garmin 800 on Mr. Mud's and my yesterday's Coe ride. As you can imagine, Saturday, when plymmer did his ride, would not have been far off.
Plymmer, wish I could write as poetically as you do. But I'll be glad if I can get a laundry list out soon about my ride from yesterday.
Last edited by mudworm; 06-11-2012 at 02:33 PM.
I always have to get acclimated again even though I enjoy the heat. Maybe it will be hot enough to swim on Saturday. That would please me. We need more ride reports on this site please. No matter where it is, it is interesting.
Originally Posted by mudworm
Go deep, go big, and go have some fun (or pain?) at Coe - Bear Mtn, here we come!
Okay, Roy. Here is mine. June 10, 2012.
Originally Posted by plymmer
Oh Bear Mountain, where do I begin? People who have visited Bear Mountain speak of it as if it was a giant beast hidden deep in Henry Coe. You can't quite tell whether it is excitement, or fear, or joy of survival in their voice. I'm intrigued. This weekend, despite having not done any long rides for a while, Mr. Mud and I will go pay a visit to the beast. I found one of plymmer's tracks, but we decide to add the Jim Donnelly Trail, a climb right out of the parking lot. 9:40am start. We are not young chicken any more.
Here is the route: Hunting Hollow Parking Lot >> Jim Donnelly Trail (up) >> Spike Jones Trail (dh) >> Anza (up) >> Jackson Trail (up) >> Elderberry Spring Tr / Rock Tower Tr >> Jackson Rd >> Kelly Lake Tr (dh) >> Coit Rd >> L: Willow Ridge Rd >> L: Eagle Pines Tr >> R: Bear Mtn Rd >> R: County Line Rd (incl. side trip to Mississippi Lake for water filtering) >> L: Turkey Pond Tr >> R: Kaiser Aetna Rd >> Dowdy Ranch Visitor Center (deserted but has water) >> R: Burra Burra Tr >> L: Center (NOT) Flats >> Wagon Rd >> Wasno rd >> Tule Pond Tr >> R: Grizzly Gulch Tr >> Gilroy Hot Sprint Rd >> Hunting Hollow Parking Lot. (49.9 miles / 11,190 ft / 8:01 Riding / 3:03 Resting)
As of today, ten days before summer solstice, Henry Coe is dry and hot. The blue sky is always pleasing to the eyes. Tall grass every where. Coe is a raw beauty. But today, it's also a tick city.
I feel the leg cramps on the wall right before the summit of Willow Ridge Rd. The sensible thing is to turn around then, but I have not seen the beast yet. Head filled with the craze to see my star, all sense is out of the window. I give the two trunks below me a good rub and we drop down Eagle Pines Trail. We are committed, except ... where exactly is the trail?
Here is me checking and double checking the track on my GPS not understanding where the trail is that plymmer took last time.
But Mr. Mud is ready to take the plunge.
As it turns out, much of the riding on the upper portion of this trail is a silent pissing match between you and the bushes. Either you are more determined to push through, or a bush is more determined to stop you. I'm surprised with my own determination many times and we push on through... Oh, then there is that tale in which the private property own points his gun at a trespasser to force him to turn around and go back up. I admit I did lie awake at night thinking about strategies should I get caught in that situation. I plan to cry.
As we all know, photos can never capture the steepness of the trails well, but I'll post a couple any way. The lower portion of the "trail" is mostly riding through tall grasses. Occasionally, you get surprised with a downed tree branch or trunk hidden deep down that threatens to throw you OTB.
Bear Mtn Rd is right below this drop.
While still higher up, we have a good view of the surroundings. Not knowing where exactly we are going, I whisper to Mr. Mud in horror if Bear Mountain is this mountain in front of us, which means we drop all the way down only to climb straight up. There is a structure at the summit. I whisper for fear of waking up the gun bearing property owner. Mr. Mud refuses to look at the mountain I point at and says he will be in denial until he can't any more.
His denial is effective as it turns out Bear Mountain is much mellower than I have just feared. I was looking at a wrong mountain. Here is a peek at the beast sunbathing.
As we get closer, we can feel the hot breaths from the beast.
Talk about hot breaths, 100+ degrees is recorded on our bike computer for a good three hour duration and at one point, it reaches 113 degrees.
Engulfed in the hot breaths of the beast, you wonder how much longer you can go on.
But finally, it's over. You've seen the beast and he has spared you. You dry off the sweat (or is it tears?) in your eyes, and suddenly, you are greeted with an expansive view. You feel that you are at the top of the world. You've lived to tell the tale.
Oh, yes, the Mississippi Lake. Always the kind-hearted fairy. She supplies abundant water for any visitor to replenish and refresh. I immersed my legs in the pleasantly cool water while operating the filter. That feels good!
But the ride is only half over at Mississippi. We move on and make our way to Dowdy Ranch Visitor Center. It is deserted, but the facilities there are operating and they are appreciated. We take a picture to remember the hospitality of this quiet corner out in no where.
We take Burra Burra Trail out of Dowdy to reach Center Flats. After a long climb, we suddenly are descending. Maybe it's the sweat that blurred the vision, Mr. Mud did not see a rut hidden in the grass, and it stopped his front wheel cold. He tells me while he was rolling down the hill, he was wondering if it would dump him right in the center of Center Flats Rd. It did! Nothing is broken, not even the water bladder. But he is not happy to have to walk back up the hill to fetch the bike. It is quite comical. I laugh even though laughing hurts.
The rest of the ride is mostly uneventful except for my progressing leg cramps. Finally, at the last wall on Center Flats (pffft!), both my legs lock up. It takes Mr. Mud some vigorous rubbing to bring them back to life. Thankfully, by then, all the hard climbing is over. This is the final photo taken on the trip when Mr. Mud is coming down Grizzly Gulch Trail with all the climbing behind him by now. We will be back at our car in no time.
Related or Unrelated Links
My ride on Strava with comments
Mr. Mud's ride on Strava with comments
My ride on Garmin Connect
Mr Mud's ride on Garmin Connect
My Ride on MtbGuru
Thanks for the reports !
Those are two beautiful yet monstrous Coe excursions
Great write-up. Pretty impressive you headed for Dowdy once at Mississippi; you could have easily bailed via an easier route back.
Two HUGE rides n the summer heat
I have yet to see a writeup on going to Bear mountain that made me say, gee I want to do that, just looks to painful!
Prolly will not make it back to Coe till Fall or a warm summer full moon ride
Okay guys, I think we have found our summer writing assignment.
Originally Posted by TahoeBC
Hmm... why did I read "riding assignment" earlier? Had I known it was just a writing assignment, I'm sure I can come with a writeup, after sitting in front of a computer in an air-conditioned room for 10 hours, that will lure TahoeBC to jump on his bike and ride out to Bear Mountain up or down on the very next day!
Well, my "riding assignment" turned "writing assignment" has been posted to the Solstice Ride thread.