Wow, what a great weekend... as the laundry piles up...

Started out w/ meeting Borneo out in the Teanaway. We went out dinking around w/ the dog and tried bushwacking our way through from one cow trail to another, which didn't pan out as well as we'd hoped but it was still fun. He even ended up sporting a hawthorn in a tire for good measure.

And we cleaned up some of his fantabulous 'trail'. I now have proof of just how euphamistically he uses that word. :P

He went back to camp while I forded the river to check out what Jeff had done to BST. This old cabin ruins should be a landmark a few folks here recognize:

Overall the trails are looking good, and Borneo himself was melting down well into vacation mode. Not only did he and his wife ply me with beer, but he had some great advice for the next adventure I had my eye on: Hereford Meadows in the Manastash drainage. He recommended parking at the Shoestring trailhead and riding up Hereford as an out-and-back instead of the usual guidebook recommendation of going up the road to catch the trail at the top... then add the Shoestring loop onto the bottom for good measure.

I got up there this afternoon, and found the parking spot buzzing... not with people (only saw 4 motos the whole afternoon, everyone was bailing out down the road after the weekend). With YELLOW JACKETS. At the trail head and a few other points along the route, you could literally stand there and just listen to the forest vibrate. Insects of various types were an ever-present hazard throughout the ride as it turned out which is pretty normal for wet meadows in late summer. But I don't think I've ever heard whole stands of trees loudly humming before!

Frost Mtn/Shoestring junction:

Going up Hereford wasn't bad at all, and probably much better than the road. The road is dusty, gravely, and much more exposed to the sun. However, it kind of peters out strangely at the top into a maze of jeep roads without any markers. I took what looked like the last route out with this pond...

Across from this green shack.

The junction with the road was unmarked, but as I headed up to the top of Quartz mountain I never did find anything higher... so I guess that was it? If anyone else needs to find it, it's a triangular junction down below the ponds that become visible through the trees from the main road.

And glad that I took Clutch's advice to climb the bit extra to the peak while I was there, because the views never disappoint.

Coming down was much faster as always, with just a few really nasty granite sections I didn't feel up to attempting while riding alone on a late Sunday afternoon. I got back down to the junction between the Hereford and Shoestring trails with 3 hours of daylight left, double checked the map... oh yeah, better add the Shoestring loop on while I'm here.

First bridge below the junction:

And of course the lovely Keenan Meadows:

This section of trail down lower in the Manastash drainage was much rockier, and combined with deeper moto dust and ruts was kind of slow going in places. You could kind of see the appeal through buff bits of trail in the woods but overall I could tell this was something husband wouldn't be thrilled with. Maybe it's better after rain?

Other than shearing off a bit of the pin in my seat post clamp and suddenly having the rear wheel fall out of the drops (first time ever on the latter- suspect a stick must have whipped the quick release just right), everything was fine for this 4.5 hour tour. Wildlife this time included grouse, deer, and a herd of stampeding elk.

Oh, and this was the road block heading home from the Manastash through the Taneum drainage... just a few of the hundreds I had to wait for.... the guy looking after them has only lost 4 lambs to cougar so far, probably due to the livestock guardian dog he had in tow.