Bigger group, six riders, 3 hardcore and 3 newer. The big story was that we crossed Muir creek.
The lesser story was “How to mix the newer riders in?” I’m not at all sure we got it right. They kept saying they were doing fine, but I’m still inclined to think we overdid it.
If there was a loose plan for this ride, it was mostly to redo some of the tracks we have been riding recently. I hadn’t see the “Yellow Brick Road” track, and I/we found a little by-pass for the hard to enter section of the powerlines. That’s actually a neat trail… hard to find as the ATVs aren’t using it. At points you pretty much have to stop and try to figure out where the old road goes… as the gaps in the (low) broom (bushes) are fairly small. That took us to the East edge of the Tugwell East riding area. We stopped and looked at the lean-to at the reservoir, and then headed NE to look at old-young-lake road (or two lakes). Unfortunately the Logging co has blocked that.
So we basically doubled back via the power-lines, dog-legged N a few hundred meters to get to the Tugwell campsite/crossing. Crossed there and continued down the power-lines until we had to go North to hit a bridge over the next creek. Ahh, no we didn’t. I missed a turn, and consequently we went exploring down some quite nice very old logging roads… they didn’t take us very far. I had been down both on the KLR, but hadn’t pushed the longer one to the end, as there was a chunk I wasn’t sure I could get back up (solo). At the end of that little detour, Colin decided he wanted to cut the day short, and head home via Anderson Road.
We continue N to the bridge, W over it (and beyond a bit) and then S to the Muir Creek campsite, via a route including some more optional single track (this time with small trees across it).
There was no plan to try the Muir crossing… that was pretty much spontaneous, somewhat triggered by Bob’s repeatedly muttering that his phone showed a crossing here :) … and perhaps by the knowledge that getting back up out of the campsite wasn’t going to be trivial.
Luke and Josh (?) already had wet boots, so they waded through the first section and had a look. The section we could see looked simple enough (and is). The question was how much farther did we have to go to connect to the path on the other side. We knew it was upstream “a bit”. Turns out there is an island in the middle, and the second crossing can be a bit harder. There are two approaches to the second crossing, and the lower one seemed to be the best. We got the two DRZs across on the upper section, but it wasn’t easy, and the KLR… well it took three guys to get it through and they all got pretty wet. Luke and Bob took the lower line and seemed to do just fine. (edit: See 2017/02/02 for a 60 second video showing the right line.)
There were some nasty roots on the path from the crossing to the main track.One tripped Josh up and he lowered the KLR onto a stump beside the trail… and cracked the upper left fairing on the KLR (same as I did a while back)… the crash bars just don’t go that high.
Upon climbing out of the creek valley on the other side, we found that the nameless rider had a flat. That may have actually been a good thing, as I know I was more tired than I realized, and editing the video … I don’t think I was the only one. Anyhow, we basically headed back to the pub after fixing the flat… so straight S to the highway… via single track where available, and then back to Sooke.
It was a pretty good ride… at least for the senior riders. It probably was a bit much for the newer riders :( We’ll have to see if they come back for another ride :) :(