Monday, Februry 17, 2014

Location =  Mars Court  
Distance =  11.05
Time =  1:59:29
Ave. Speed =  5.5
Max. Speed =  18.7
Monthly Dist. =    121.37
Yearly Dist. =  250.61

Sofie and I left from the house and went over to Mars Court to see how trail conditions are out there. We went down the main road and it was almost completely dry. The few muddy spots that were there were easy to ride around. Near the bottom there was a spot that made me ride off of the road to get around but it was no big deal. I really wanted to avoid the worst of the mud because it is very sticky and it makes a huge mess of my tires, bike, and shoes.

We started heading up the road to the ridge but I could see a very large muddy spot that looked like it was going to be difficult to walk around up ahead, so we made a u-turn and headed back down. We went over to the pond and took a water break over there. While we were sitting around I threw a stick at the pond and it went out on the ice. Sofie went charging after it and when she hit the ice her front legs crashed through and she was up to her neck in the water. She quickly backed out and she had a very surprised look about her.

After a few minutes we left the pond and headed down David Canyon towards Turkey Trot. There were lots of muddy spots in David Canyon that I had to negotiate a way around. Most of the time I was able to ride around them, sometimes by going rogue and cutting through the field and sometimes I had to get off and walk.

There are lots of downed trees in the canyon from the forest service's efforts to reduce the fuel load. They started late in the season and people weren't allowed to go in and get it, so it's all just laying on the ground. What was accomplished is that the forest has been opened up to a huge degree. Before the thinning occurred you could only see about fifty feet into the dense forest. After the thinning it is now possible to see for hundreds of yards. This has allowed Sofie more leeway in chasing after critters through the trees. She can get a lot farther away from me and still keep track of where I am. She went tearing through the downed trees and around the rocks like a crazy dog. It really was a thing of beauty. That dog is a terrific athlete.

We continued up the canyon and then turned up turkey trot to head back to the trailhead. The trail went up the hill a short ways and then it disappeared at the intersection of three different roads. This area was thinned earlier last year and people drove all over the place trying to collect the wood. Sofie and I went up one of the roads looking for the trail, but we never did find it. The trail we were on climbed a long ways up the hill and when we started to run into some mud we turned around and went back down. I think the cutting crews used this trail with an atv to access the land behind the private property. I plan on coming back when conditions are drier and I will investigate the trail further. I am very excited about it because it appears to be a quite excellent climb.

On the way back down into David Canyon we were still not able to locate the trail. We looped around and tried again but no luck. I asked Sofie if she knew where it was but she was no help. Finally, we gave up and stopped for another water break. While we were sitting around I noticed something very strange about the forest. There were no birds. The birds are all gone. I think it may have something to do with the fact that about 75% of the trees have been cut down. It was eerily quiet out there.

I noticed another thing that was strange. The air was completely still and had been for a long time. Even high in the sky nothing was moving. The sky was criss-crossed with the contrails of about 20 airplanes that had gone by over the last couple of hours, and although they were slowly expanding, they weren't blowing away. Very strange.

After a few minutes we headed back up David Canyon the way we came. Some of the muddy spots were worse because more snow and ice was melting, and some of the muddy spots were better because they were drying out some more. Another week or so of this warm weather that we have been having and the trails will be ready to go.

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