Early morning ride

Sun rose at 5:36 am today (we've lost five minutes in the morning already). This trail wasn't a bad place to be when it happened. The air warms quick once the sun rises, but there was a nice coolness during the entire thousand foot climb.

The low light and wildflowers were superb in this mountain meadow. I used to ride this route almost every day. It was good to come back. This photo is a good example of the glacial nature of these valleys…must have been wild here during the last ice age.

Johnny Rotten on his old stomping ground. This bike is 12 years old and rides as well as ever. The trails are in many ways the same, albeit a bit more eroded than I remember.

Ancient remnants of the old Blair Witch bridge, from a by-gone intergalactic era. Those were fun, energized times that I'm glad I was a part of. That said, the thought of going for a 50 person group ride sort of nauseates me. Going for a dawn ride with nobody but my dog and wife is fine by me.

One thing that was sad was the amount of trash up here. Near the end of my ride, I passed a torn open garbage bag that ravens were scavaging. I'll have to get back up here and clean that crap up. I don't know why, but for some reason this segment of our woods seems to be the least respected in many ways. I suspect it's overuse – it's become a mountain bike mecca, motos use it a lot and campers are everywhere. It is, in some ways, the sacrifice zone. People criticize designated Wilderness, but I must say, having spent a lot of times in both areas…it just seems people think more about the land when they are in Wilderness. The Leave No Trace ethic at West Magnolia seems to be not taken too seriously by many.

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