Friday, August 16, 2013

august resurrection

Two weeks ago Jon and I had a few days off together and decided to head south. To the south shore of Turnagain Arm where the town of Hope rests on the bank of Resurrection Creek. The old gold-mining town was about to be flooded with mountain bikers ready to tackle the 100-plus mile Soggy Bottom race. But Jon and I just wanted to do a ride together.

It would be my first time biking Resurrection Trail in two years and I was a little apprehensive about tackling the 40-miler. It's one of my favorite rides for the sweet singletrack that threads through the mountain pass, past small ponds and lakes and finally descends from the high country toward the slightly larger town of Cooper Landing. I hoped I could handle it. We left our friends' cabin just before 11 that morning; our friend Art joined us for the ride while Lynn promised to pick us up at around 6 p.m. at the other end. We figured that would give us enough time to enjoy the trail at a comfortable pace and a little time to hang out if the weather was nice.

As we pedaled toward the trailhead, I fell behind and wondered if I was making the right decision. I felt a twinge in my left knee and adjusted my foot. Once on the trail, it was clear Jon and Art would be waiting for me frequently - no surprise when riding with a couple of strong guys - and the idea was a little demoralizing. I didn't want to ride solo on a group ride! I also didn't want to hold them up, leaving them prey to the mosquitoes and biting flies that buzz through the forest seeking warm flesh.

I tried to ramp up my speed and mentally prepare for the miles ahead. Then I had an idea. When we next gathered, I told them that I wasn't going to be able to keep up and that it bugged me that we were so far apart. I asked Jon to carry my camera and to take the photos. After all, if he was going to be up front, he would get better pics than I. All my annoyance dissipated. I rode my pace; knew they would be stopping more frequently. I powered up hills I hadn't seen in so long that I had sometimes wondered if I would ever bike the trail again.

When we arrived at the pass, I knew I'd have no trouble going the full distance. Finally, I had returned to the kind of riding I love in one of my favorite places to bike.
Breathing hard, climbing toward the pass.
Cresting the high point. Hope and Turnagain Arm are nearly 20 miles behind me.

Art descends among the wildflowers.

A little cool at our lunch stop, but we warmed up quickly!

Non-stop wildflowers!

Jon's bike... guess I should have taken his picture!

Art cruises through the fireweed.
Thanks to Jon for taking the photos, and to Art and Lynn for hosting us at their cabin in Hope. It was good to be back!


Katey Schultz said...

I love it that the result of you passing off your camera was not only a better ride, but pics of YOU! Lovely. I'd like to do this ride someday, it looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing, and congrats!

Gus said...

Every time I read about your rides, or see photos, I get a little jealous. We don't have any trails like that close by here. Thanks for sharing it.

bikegirl said...

Katey, come up in the summer next time & we'll do it!

Gus, I hear you. I feel the same when you talk about your canoe adventures.