Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Elkhorn Hot Springs - Fall 2013

We arrived the empty Grasshopper CG at midnight, it was about a four hour drive from Victor, ID to Polaris, MT.  We briefly scoped out the hot springs which was 1/4 mile up the road from the CG, then headed to find a camp spot. Our selection was slim, 24 out of 24 spots were available.  We rolled out the mattress, sleepin' bags, down comforter and watched the stars. It was chilly, so our 70 and 90 lb squiggly furboyz decided to snuggle in between us in the early a.m. hours, we were warm and AWAKE!  

The next morning we checked out the other camp sites, looking for sun since we would be camping here again. While the water was boiling for coffee and oatmeal, the furboyz totally ripped around, chasing chiselers, squirrels, checking out every sound, movement, nook and cranny of the wide open empty CG. Although it was uninhabited by humans, it was filled with gorgeous Ponderosa pine trees, huge rocks, tons of firewood, streams, birds and at times, silence. 

We had b-fast and headed to the hot springs. There was a lot of work going on from a recent wind storm which had blown down and damaged thousands of trees. When we got to the pool, there were 4 people there, 2 were leaving, within minutes, we had the place to ourselves. After soaking, it was time to ride! The plan was to ride from Elkhorn to Wise River and back, 66 mile (empty road) ride. We were both looking forward to riding and reminiscing about this section of the Tour Divide.  We had a nice tail wind on our 2 hr ride to The Wise River Club, where we had lunch and reminisced some more, JayP shure has some good stories! The wind was not our friend on the 2.5 hr return trip to Elkhorn, thankfully JayP is used to pullin' me around.  After grabbin' a recovery drink A.K.A. beer, we went for our 2nd soak of the day, then headed back to camp. Jay made a nice big fire while I made diner. Not long after that, it was back to watching the stars and the fire. 

The next day we pretty much repeated our previous day, except we headed towards Jackson, MT for an out-n-back dirt road ride. We saw some hunters, but the road was still quite.  There were great views of the valley and open fields.  At times the forest got really thick and smelled so fresh. We went back for one last soak, then it was homeward bound. The furboys were so tired, they slept the whole way home. 

There is a lot of exploring to do in this big and quite area, so I am shure we'll be heading back.  Hopefully my camera will be working. 

Til' next time!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I was very excited about Moosecross this year. Being part of the Victor Velo board, I know how much planning and organizing went into this race, great job team!!  JayP is the course director, and fer shure has it figured out.  Some more steps and a dirt pile were added this year only adding to the fun of this already super sweet course. I ride it often with my boys, Rippin' and Chillin', they know it like the back of their paw.  

I was a little intimidated showin' up to the start line with my MTB, while most of the other ladies had their fast looking, skinny tire bikes, but Magic Wanda assured me, at the very least, we'd have a good time! My heart was racin' and I couldn't wait to here the words GO!

With 24 women starting, I didn't want to get caught up in a crash off the start line, so I eased into the mid pack pace line over the whoop-de-doos. There were definitely a few VERY fast ladies off the front who I knew it would be hard to catch, but it ain't over til it's over! After swooshing through the chicanes, climbing the 12 step run up, the course sweeps back to the new dirt hill climb, with a short, super fast n' steep downhill which leads into the grass. The grass zig-zags back n' forth over a small hill allowing you to see where everyone is, it includes a small barrier, which could have been ridden, I didn't figure that out until after the race was over, then it shoots out to the bike path for a short bit, back into single track up and around a couple dirt benches which leads into the barriers. Being vertically challenged, the barriers seemed a bit high and I was glad to hear some other ladies thought the same, back to the pavement, through some rough dirt, sharp turn, through the start finish area, beer shot optional-REPEAT!!  There were so many spectators and cowbells were goin' off!

This course is soooo fun!! I settled in and started to relax, trying to figure out where I could make up time. It was the grass! I was able to catch the others from the steep DH through the grass. So I tried to take advantage of this and really push through the grass, eventually passing 3 riders.  I also like to talk to racers while I'm around them, just for fun.  My 7 lap average time was 6:40, with a shockingly fast 4th lap of 6:19.  I felt great, had fun, no mechanicals, no crashes, and finished in 5th place overall.  Good job Magic Wanda! 

Til' next time!