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Quicksilver - September 17, 2009

Distance: 16.72 miles Ascent: 3420 feet Moving time: 2:41 hours

I noticed that I hadn't been to Quicksilver it quite a while, so it was time for a visit. The ride started on my normal route to the top: Mine Hill and Castillero up to the abandoned rotary furnace. I continued on Castillero, but rather than going all the way to the bottom, I turned on Providencia and took this down to Enriquita. This took me past Providencia Pond where I stopped to enjoy the view, snap a few pictures, and listen to the sounds. The abandoned Enriquita Mine is at the end of Enriquita trail, with various ironworks being the only remnant of what was once probably a thriving mine. There was a single track here that headed in the right direction and opened into an old road, but it was covered with poison oak and not worth the trouble. I headed back up to Providencia and continued heading west (down), which took me back to Mine Hill for the final descent to the reservoir.

I turned onto Randol and started climbing. There was a small unmarked single track that I explored that took me up and over a hill and then down (looking at the map after the ride it seems to be a connector to Webb Canyon. It looked to be heading to the houses, so I backtracked to a singletrack I had crossed and headed east on this. Looking at the map, this seems to have been New Almaden. This was a very nice single track that basically followed the contour of the hillside. This seems to be the best trail in the park. I went until I got to a road-width intersection and turned around, returning to the last junction. This was a connector up to Randol. This section was very rocky and tough to ride, reminding me of ascending Rocky Ridge in Santa Teresa. After taking a few pictures at the foundation of the Buena Vista Shaft, I continued to the end of Randol at the junction with Mine Hill.

I still had a little bit of energy, so I headed back up Mine Hill to the rotary furnace. I turned left onto Hidalgo Cemetery. Before I knew it, I was at the cemetery. The trail continued around it, so I kept going. It started to descend quickly. Looking at the GPS data after the ride, it hit a 40% down grade in some spots. The trail was pretty loose, so I was managing my speed very closely. The trail went past the chimney of what must have been an old kiln and then to Deep Gulch and back to the parking lot.

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