Friday, August 26, 2011

Bear Creek Overlook

Must be a bunch of mommas in town for the summer family visit, since their boys were missing in large numbers this week. I can understand not going for a ride while family is town. If your Moms and anything like mine, my routine activities send her into a tizzy or worry. She thought biking was safe until see discovered then I said I going for bike ride did not mean tooling around town on a cruiser, but rather meant zipping down narrow root and rock encrusted trails lines with immovable trees. Since then see has added biking to the list of hobbies see mentally translates into a safer activity to maintain her deliberate ignorance of my risk taking predilections. So for her a day of skiing is sitting home by the fire drinking hot chocolate. Kayaking is swimming laps at the pool, and biking is weeding the garden.

So I guess the mommas boys can get a pass if they are trying to honorably deceive their moms and keep them in blissful ignorance. Hopefully there was some fun family cruising around town. Otherwise I don't want to hear your namby pamby excuses like I'm recovering from chemotherapy or it was my wedding anniversary.

As Ventana Jeff predicted the winds shifted and blew a hole in the smoke around Victor.  Smoky to the south from the Saddle Complex Fire and smoky to the north from a fire in the Selway. Dean has returned, riding his new El Rey frame that looks just like his old one except for the absence of the cracked aluminum.

Another last minute work emergency pushed my lateness to the breaking point and I had to cheat driving 2 miles up the road to the fork between Gash and Bear Creek Overlook Rd to catch up. Parking this winter is going to be challenge with sleds and trailer.  A whole crop of "No Parking" signs have sprouted and blossomed.

Uniting with the three remaining dedicated backcountry cyclists without weaning anxiety disorder, I discovered I had forgotten my pack and water,  leaving me with the backwoods options of foraging for residual huckleberries and drinking at stream crossings.

We made quick  work of the remaining 3.5 miles of fire road and 2 miles of nontechnical (by Bitterroot standards) singletrack to the overlook, cleaning up a few trees that had recently fallen.  While climbing we passed a couple of hikers who were on one of the well established illegal shortcuts between switchbacks.

This reminded me that this is another one of the trails on the chopping block because of its "wilderness potential". A two mile dead end trail to an overlook an the edge of a shear cliff, and according to the Sierra Club our presence would ruin the pristine trail, unlike the pure of heart virtuous hikers who never ever create shortcuts and also never seem to clear trails.

Speaking of the Sierra Club, I found this video on the Sierra Club You Tube channel advocating urban bike commuting.  Their bike antagonism even seems to seep into this supposedly pro-bike video. I'm not sure after watching it why I would want to sell my Mini.

Looking into the Bear Creek drainage and toward Sky Pilot I could see true wilderness and appreciate the need to protect the area and still realize that there is a difference between designating wilderness and protecting the land.

Something the wet nurse dependent wilderness extremists seems to have forgotten.
We opted to skip the sunset, my niterider being with my water, food, and camera. Thanks for the photos, Dean.

Following the ridge back down we added a extra mile of steep super fast single track to the usual two miles of trail.

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