Tuesday, July 12, 2022

be cool

heading out, somewhere new!

this is why I get lost, these are all the trail options!
The Olmstead trailhead in Cool, CA is also part of Auburn State Recreation Area, but on the opposite side of the canyon from the Auburn Staging area (and driving the canyon is not particularity fun). I've ridden there quite a bit…but also manage to get turned around almost every time. I can memorize other trail systems no problem, but this one stymies me.

lovely grassy meadow
So Miles and I headed out and I followed my GPS track from a ride (with C and Friday) almost exactly two years ago. It was unseasonably cool (a high of 80 expected, not like today, it is 104, yuck!) as we followed the creek then turned south to eventually get to the Rim trail. All went well for the first mile and a half, when we got to the large, muddy, creek crossing. It is more just standing water, a creek/pond. Miles was having nothing to do with the deeper crossing, so we went a little farther on where there is a tiny bridge and a shallower crossing. 

the dreaded creek actually not so bad…
The little bridge is a bit sketchy, so I hoped to cross the water. He was having none of it. So I settled in for a lesson. First just stand by the water. Fine. Take a step? Oh no! Ok, try again. And again. Did not like that water. So I got off and walked him across the sketchy bridge. I could have just got on and continued the ride but I wanted to work this water obstacle. This side was more gradual, and Miles put a couple feet in the water. Then he'd rapidly back up. So I got off again and led him in. He was fine with that. Once in the water he looked around and played, really dude?! But he was in without too much drama.

I turned to go back up the embankment and a water monster must have grabbed his foot. He leapt up the bank behind me (not touching me, good boy) and splattered me with mud. It looked like I'd been mountain biking through puddles. Sigh. I scraped off the mud and got back on. We walked back down to the creek, entered nicely, turned around, walked back up and continued on our way. Luckily that was the biggest problem of the day!

first big pond

creekside trail

this is very fun single-track

the view over to the Auburn side!
The rest of the ride was nicely uneventful. I followed the pond/creek trail through the shade to the Rim trail. All these are my favorite single-track, and I didn't see another person out there all day. There is lots of creeks and water out there, which was really refreshing, though none of the other creeks caused even an ear flick from Miles, so maybe he just didn't like the mud in the first one?

Knickerbocker Creek pose

Even drinking, good boy!

The red dirt road back to the staging area

the other side of the pond going home

Even on the hotter hills of red dirt he was pretty cheerful, and seemed to know we were heading back to the trailer. I haven't trailered him a ton of places yet, but am establishing some habits to make sure he likes going out, including an after ride mash (of nothing exciting, just beet pulp, alfalfa pellets and salt). He was quite enthusiastic!

hand-me-down boots worked surprisingly well!

mash face

Now that full summer is here these trails can be too hot unless we get there really early, so we might not explore Olmstead much more until fall. Though I'm tempted to go back and school that muddy crossing another time, but maybe closer to the end of the ride than the beginning!

Wesley had a very hard day and was grateful I was home

P.S. This is Tevis week, and the Auburn endurance community is in a fervor. It is quite exciting, and I'll be crewing for my friend S and Beau, her first Tevis. She and Beau knows these trails, Major and I rode many of them with her, it is bittersweet but I'm so excited for her. Full crew report to come later!