Forecast wasn’t great, but after having spent a good few hours wrenching on Alex’s bike so he could ride Sunday, it would have been stupid to stay home. He wanted to see snow, so off we went…

Weather was a real mix. I thought it was going to drizzle on the way to Sooke, but instead it was very light snow… which is fine, it just blows off instead of getting you wet.

No Tyler at the “Stick”, so off we went for Clark. I wanted to actually run through the new bypass, and grab a still of that removed bridge… (lots more to write, have stills, might edit the video)

Lousy shot of the decommissioned bridge in east tugwell
This is the end of the new bypass. From the missing bridge, turn around and stay left. We stopped here and “ajusted” the subframe bolts that I’d forgotten to tighten when working Alex’s bike on Friday
Noon found us well up on the backside of the ridge “above” Butler Main where it follows Bear Creek reservoir. This was as bad as the snow got

Somewhere around here, my thinking started to shift from “I’m not sure this was a good idea”, to “this is awesome” :)

Seven minutes later! Sun is out and suddenly it was gorgeous.
Another 7 minute interval. You can see that the cloud cover was still quite mixed. The picture doesn’t show it, but the trees across the valley were backlit… very pretty.
Pano. I think this is the Tripp creek crossing/valley. If so, it’s the only place where the road wasn’t “quite smooth”. (pano stitched in Hugin.)

So that ride along the ridge took us back down to Butler at the end. If I get through the video, there is a nice view showing Diversion reservoir, Walker main going up the hill, West Jordan running south along the river. (There should also be one of those “oh shoot” moments when you come down the road to find a big tree across your path. I’d guess some ATV riders had a jack, as the tree is propped up on a round and is easy enough to get underneath.) The descent back to Butler was “careful” as it is steep and we still had a couple inches of snow.

After that it was down East Main to the connection to the north end of Muir Main. At the Alligator lake turn off, we paused, looked at the time and said “what the heck”. The snow here was probably the worst we rode on as it had been packed by 4x4s, and might have been melting on the surface in places. More than once, I found myself with the back-end a good two feet off the line my front tire had travelled.

“Alligator” Lake. (Lake and roads have no name, but there is an Alligator Creek in the area, so everything becomes “Alligator ….”
I was looking at the scene, thinking what would Chris shoot? This came out better than the reflections of the sky on the water which blown out.
Sasquatch sighting. Definitely balaclava weather for most of the day… that and keeping the jacket liner on. But with those changes, I was quite comfortable all day… just a few moments of cold fingers. (by Alex)

We still had a little time to kill, and I had a little more energy to burn, so we tried to re-ride the M3000 to Kirby connection that we found a short while back. Well, I missed the first turn (should have stayed right a hundred meters into the trees), and it was a bit rough. I’m not sure what to think here, Alex was exhausted by this, but IMHO he was doing some of the best riding I’ve seen him do on baby-head washed out tracks. It turned out that where my erronous left turn merged back into the right hand track, was a steep climb… that was not going to be navigable in the winter, and probably would require some work even in the summer. (The “Down Only” waypoint in the GPS track.)

After that it was straight out Muir, swap back to full insulation, and home.