Man, talk about your Hero Dirt. There's a certain lake/reservoir in the Calaveras foothills that is in primo shape these days, and with trails being added constantly, it's easy to get twisted around. I've been riding there for 20 years, and got lost several times Sunday. 'Course, the safety break didn't help. :^D *exhale, coff coff* Many, many riders up there over the weekend, more & more people are coming to appreciate the excellence of the trails there in winter weather. As Uncle Stinky noted in his post, lots of riders from all over: Modesto, Lodi, Stockton, Oakdale, Arnold, Patterson & more. If you haven't been to Hogan for a while, or, like, never, you gotta get up there. I know it's a haul for some, but hey, I've been driving hours to get to trailheads for years, now it's someone else's turn!
Anyhoo, I went out Saturday with my focus on doing something with the bottom of Nate's Trail, as it was a great section of downhill trail goodness with a rather disappointing finale, petering out into a skull-strewn streambed for a few hundred yards before joining the existing lower trail. Rather a letdown, I thought. So, I rode to the top of Brian's switchbacks to pick up my HulaHoe (Registered Trademark), taped it to my bike and jangled back to Nate's to complete the job.
The gully lent itself to gentle back & forth swaths through the manzanita & soft dirt (I know, right? The rains we've been having really loosened up the rich soil), so I got to work. After a bit, Jeff joined me, and together we plotted out where the trail was going and got back to it. Several hours later, we were done, and we stood back & admired our efforts. A swooping trail now completed Nate's, and with a heinous little ending dropping you onto the lower trail, I suggested we name the new section Happy Ending (me love you lonnnnng time!)
I talked Jeff into pushing his bike to the top of Nate's to ride down the whole thing, hoping he would christen the whole trail with a (hopefully) uninterrupted ride down to the bottom. I ran after him with my camera, getting it all on film (albeit a herky, bouncing video), but little did I know that when we did get to the bottom, there would be blood. If you haven't ridden Nate's (and many have gazed over the precipes in awe, but declined to ride it) you might know that there are quite a few scary bits that will make your nutsack crawl back into their cave. Nice job riding it, Jeff. Not bad for an old dude.
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