Jeny, Doom, Greg and I were feeling froggy after a few days off of work and full of food.
Time to get out and see some country.
Fatbikes? Check. Studs? Check. Puffy jackets, pants, and bags? Check, check, check.
Trouble was, our initial objective assumed normal December temps would have frozen a certain creek up tight. Not so much--or so we learned as departure drew closer.
Our second idea ended up falling through as well--too much water, not enough ice.
Plan C could have worked out on some level, had I remembered to bring the maps...
Thus did we end up setting out for a from-the-hip tour of a certain valley and wash system a few hours south.
Conditions varied from scud-covered morning skies to comfy cozy windless bluebird afternoons to crisp, sharp, bivy-under-the-light-of-the-moon overnights.
Our route included a few miles of gravel ("We've got fatbikes, we can handle this..."), a similar amount of rough 4wd track, a couple miles of bovine singletrack, and an inestimable (because I was focused on more important things) distance of trail-less creekbottom riding.
Surfaces ranged from gravel to sand to rock islands amidst a shallow sea of brashy slush, plus every variety of ice imaginable. Except for "thick".
The riding was chunky, messy, chaotic, constantly changing and completely engaging. Couldn't have asked for much more.
Nights are long this time of year. We filled them with wood collecting, campfire building, sharing of sweet snacks and stiff libations, bad jokes and good stories.
I'm typically a Plan-A-or-bust kinda guy, largely because I spend lots of time plotting exactly where I want to be, and when. Having Ma Nature's fickleness remove that option from the hopper forced me to open myself to a much-less-planned alternative.
This time, that worked out just fine.
Thanks for checkin' in.