Decided to recon the area and see how conditions are out there. Last night a small rain/snow cell really hammered the crap out of the area but the day dawned below freezing and clear, then climbed all the way into the 50s with a mild east wind and low humidity. tl;dr summary: it's almost ready, but still just a little bit early. No flowers out yet and the roads aren't baked down so it's slow, 'like riding on gym mats' as someone around here once said.
It actually wasn't as unrelentingly goopy as I'd feared, so I made it to the top of the ridge and back. However, I did get into some mud on the north side of a valley the road goes across. Result:
This is the type of thing I'm aiming to NOT have a bunch of folks drive 100 miles to experience. Although if my fork crown were just higher, I could finally say I test rode a 29er...
jjcarr- Here's some rocks for ya.
This is the 'volcano puke' that one can run into around here. I did NOT ride this as it was too steep, too loose, and spotted some hedgehog cactus down below this point and decided I'd drop the bike and just hoof it the last little bit to the summit... the bike photo op wasn't worth destroying rare plants and/or flatting over.
More pics of ward's country:
More view out east- to the right is Frenchman coulee, and to the left I believe is the Ancient Lakes coulees.
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