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A Bit of Dampness

Finally! After a long time without much rain and increasing talk of voluntary or even mandatory water rationing, I finally found a bit of dampness on the trails at El Corte de Madera Creek. Winter riding was almost verging on being forgotten, but this ride brought it back.

While the East, South and Midwest have been suffering through severe cold, snow and ice, the west coast has been suffering without rain or snow. The trails are so dry that even the day after the first rain there was no evidence of it. Even looking at the shaded low spots that are usually the first to fill and last to dry out, there was no water to be found. It had "rained" but there was so little of it and the ground was so dry that it quickly soaked into the soil and disappeared.

Today's ECdM ride was the first that had some realistic evidence of moisture. There were a few puddles with water in them, there were soft mushy spots looking to catch your wheel, and there was mud on my tires! There were spots on the steepest uphill climbs where traction was difficult if you didn't choose your line properly. This was a refreshing change from the extended summer conditions we have been working with.

The wet conditions and a solo ride made me exercise a bit more caution than usual. Between the soft trails and the reduced traction offered mud encrusted tires, the descents were a bit more tame than usual. The reduction in friction due to mud and soft, slippery redwood duff and extra rotating weight provided by muddy tires made the long ascent seem a bit longer. It was a lot more work than usual but it was fun nonetheless.

My route was mostly a perimeter route starting from the CM02 gate on Skyline but leaving out the top part of El Corte de Madera Creek Trail. I headed out Sierra Morena to Fir and down Resolution. Perhaps because I was going a bit slower than usual and therefore not in my normal oxygen deprived stated, I noticed wreckage from the 1953 crash of the Resolution aircraft that the trail is named for. The ride continued with the lower part of El Corte de Madera Creek Trail, South Leaf and North Leaf. I took a short detour out (south) Star Hill Road to the point where it is completely blocked by a wooden fence just to confirm that this was a dead end for future reference. Back on the trail, I headed to the bottom and the long climb back up on Virginia Mill and Lawrence Creek up to Blue Blossom which took me over to the familiar Gordon Mill climb and a short ride on Sierra Morena back to the starting point.

I had a good time out on the muddy trails for a change!

ECdM Route


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