First the good news.
WOW ! What a difference a year has made, since Soapstone was opened last June
The trails are now perfectly hardpacked, for the most part. Mahogany is probably the stand out piece of trail there now, and it even has a little bit of tech if you ride the loop clockwise. (Highly recommended ! )
But following some suggestions from last years "Grand Opening" posters, I decided to take the longer way down/up through Red Mtn vs Cheyenne Ridge today. It would only add 5 mi.....
The top 1/2 mi of Ruby Wash dropping into Red Mtn is great, but then I hit the bottomless peagravel of the riverbed for a few 100 yds. There is a trail left- off of the current map at junction " F" , that forks to the left (E), but I made the decision to continue down the Ruby Wash "trail" hoping it would improve.
It doesn't and gets worse. Bottomless dry wash peagravel forcing you to pedal to even go down hill, for another 2.5 miles to the only escape point beyond Junction "F". The scenery is spectacular though, slip-sliding your way through a tight slot canyon, but even that didn't make up for the riverbed biking.
The icing on the cake is that you then get to climb the likewise, horrendous, bottomless gravel of "Big Hole Wash Trail" to get back up to Cheyenne Rim.
4.8 miles, 1hr 20 min. from "H" to "K" CCW
Ruby Wash is a spectacular sight, but I won't do it again.
Grand total: 4 hrs 45 min
1 Burrowing Owl
1 other biker.
Don't disturb the locals
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