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El Corte de Madera Creek - September 14, 2008

Distance: 10.45 miles Ascent: 2,295 ft, Moving time: 1:54 hours,

We had a good ride at El Corte de Madera Creek. As always, this was a last minute destination. We got a bit adventurous and decided to start on the back side of the park for a change. From Skyline, we went down Swett Road and left onto Star Hill Road. We went past the CM07 entrance to the CM08 gate at the junction with Native Son Road. There was some parking here, so it seemed like a good starting point. After riding a short section of North Leaf, we got onto the re-routed South Leaf trail. This narrow trail follows the contours of the hillside with plenty of rock, roots, and soft shoulders to keep things interesting. It has not rained in a long time, so things are very dry. Several sections were like moon dust and we had to space things out so we could see the trail (especially on the downhills).

We rode Virginia Mill, Timberview (a pretty good climb), Manzanita, Fir, Tafoni, El Corte de Madera Creek (closed from Tafoni to the top). We cheated a bit by exiting the CM07 gate "just to see what it was like."

We tried to leave continuing down Star Hill Road with the thought of connecting to Bear Gulch. We discovered that it ends in a gate into private property, so we had to back track. Of course, there are no signs or anything on the map to indicate this!

As with every good ECdM ride, we finished it off with hamburgers and beer at Alice's.

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