Sunday, September 23, 2007

North Umpqua River Trail

Continuing my streak of hanging with the bodacious (yup, used bodacious) couple Chris and Tiff, or "skeevo's" as I refer to them I ended up traveling down to the North Umpqua River which drains down from the Crater Lake area. It is an amazing river with scattered waterfalls and hot springs down the length of it, along with what calls the most EPIC single track bike trail of the entire Pacific Northwest! So, of course the three mountain bikers in COAS had to check it out. We drove down Saturday night in two vehicles and stayed overnight at a trailhead when Tiffany began to fall asleep on a twisty road (yeah, wierd right!?). Those two spent a steamy (no shit, the car was all fogged) night in the back of Dirty's car while I slept in the freezing back of Tiff's truck where once again I wasn't warm in my sleeping bag and got little sleep (need to get a new one). Instead of waking up at the ass-crack of dawn we slept in until 9am or so and didn't finished shuttling the cars until 11:30am when we started off on the ride.
The single track was really amazing! For the most part (until the grueling end) the trail was pretty much downhill and fast for us. Tiff was sick and Chris was on a hard-tail so for once I felt like we might all actually be pretty even on the trail with my non-biking legs and heavy freeride bike. The trail was amazing, especially with 6 inches of travel that made for a fantastic ride for me. Chris had trouble on the hard tail he wasn't used to and Tiff was just weak from her flu or whatever the hell she had. We quickly made our way down the 26 mile section of the 80 mile trail we were doing. When we got to the Umpqua hotsprings where the trail crosses the river we found the bridge to be washed out so we had to forge the river ourselves with our bikes over our backs. Then we had to forge our way around and through a bunch of naked hippies around the hotsprings as well before re-joining the trail on the North side of the river. From there the trail went uphill nearly a thousand feet and our tired legs certainly felt it as I began popping down GU packets. It was the first time that I'm sure we all were equally as tired which made me feel good about efforts. About a quarter mile from the end I snapped my chain in half... said, "the hell with this", tore it off and thankfully was able to bomb downhill the whole way back to car, only pushing myself a few times to get going (what luck right?). We got out of the woods at about 6 pm right before dark. We stopped at a pizza place in Roseberg on the way home and wolfed down a Giant Hawaiian pizza. Tiffany ended up taking off at 80mph to get home wearing sunglasses... don't ask, long story. I can't wait to go back and finish off the sections of trail we weren't able to get to this time, but definitely will shuttle it again as biking up the trail would have been crazy! For a slideshow click the title of this entry.

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