My apologies to all who have already read this basic story (but with more words!). I am re-posting it because I lost those stories when I had to delete some of the other stories on this blog. This is a more “visual” version of the week’s riding – less text, more photos. I hope you enjoy it for the first time, or the second time if you’ve already read it!
For our first vacation of the summer, Hal and I traveled to the White Mountains and explored some dirt trails. We were there during the week of June 17, 2013. Here is a short synopsis with lots of photos. I did not want to leave, as usual, when the week was over!
Day 1: FS24
The forest is recovering:
Day 2: Red Hill Rd. (FR567)
This is a fun road, easy despite the sign at the beginning that says “primitive road.” One of its features is that it drops down in elevation through several switchbacks, and the terrain changes drastically from tall pine forest to dusty red desert. It was much warmer when we got to the bottom, at Blue Crossing. Then we rode north at that intersection to Alpine.
Horses at Blue Crossing (horses were the secondary theme of this trip!)
Hal near a red rock formation on FR281:
Day 3: Hiking in the morning, and Aker Lake in the afternoon:
Hal at one of the same places we photographed last winter. Do you remember it? It was covered in snow, and we were standing on cross-country skiis. It looks a little different now!
By chance, we were here on the same day, 87 years later!
Blue Vista. It lives up to its name:
Day 4, FS37 – the “funnest” forest road ever!
You can’t see much of it from this photo, but it was a great road. We enjoyed all the turns and elevation changes on this road, and we got to ride super-fast (for us). It was such a rush.
The scenery was spectacular because part of the ride took us onto FS237 which paralleled the Black River:
When I got back to the lodge, I went horseback riding! I hadn’t ridden in a few years, so it was time to get back in the saddle. I think it is long past time for that anyway. I am not much of a trail rider, normally, but I enjoyed this ride a lot. I went again the day before we returned home. Hal chose not to participate in the horse riding!
With “Wild Bill” McClain; p.s., I am not slouching!:
Day 5: Back to FS37 and FS237. Then we rode FS403 southwest of Alpine and went high up into the burned trees. The aspens are growing like crazy, and the forest is recovering.
There is still some logging up on this road, evident by the trucks and equipment parked there. It was not being used that day, however.
After a break in Alpine, we rode FS59, which is just south of Alpine.
This area was in a severely burned section, near where I have been shooting progressive photos of the recovery:
Day 6: One more day!
We were supposed to leave on Saturday, but begged to stay another day. I rode horseback again in the morning, this time it was an hour and half ride that went too fast. I am definitely going back to being a “horse girl.”
We took FS37 again, but then took FS37B through a pretty area to hook up with FS26 (boring). Then we got on FS25 south. We had to do this the “long way ’round” because a small segment of FS24 is closed, which added about 30 miles to our day. Oh, darn. Except FS25 was not in the great shape it was last summer and we battled through deep large gravel for every one of those miles. We were rewarded at the intersection with the other end of 24 by seeing a huge herd of elk in the meadow below that intersection! There were about 15-20 of them.
One of the many opportunities to photograph elk on this trip:
Then we took 24 north and closed the loop.
Me on FS24, on the south segment:
After that road, I looked in the mirror on my bike, and this is what I found (a super-dirty face, and dirt all over me!) Guess that’s why they call it “dirt biking.” Duh:
Day 7: Had to go home. Boo hoo. No photos, too sad.
We rode a total of about 400 miles on dirt roads during this trip, and had perfect weather the entire time. The afternoon rains haven’t started yet, so we had all day every day to play.
I miss it already.