CLEAR CREEK REPORT: by Chas Moser
Season's Greetings. I wish that it could be said that this outing went without a hitch, however........ We (Jan, Chas & Penny) arrived at our campsite, so graciously provided to us courtesy of the Salinas Ramblers motorcycle club, late Wednesday afternoon. We were almost the last rig to show up!! There were a total of eight RV's with nine riders looking forward to having fun and spending four days riding the bountiful network of trails offered in the Clear Creek riding area. Thursday had nine riders heading out trail-searching using five-year-old maps of the area. During the past 5 years, many new trails have been added to the trail inventory. We looked for new maps at several of the staging points, to no avail -- all the maps were gone. At one of the camp spots, Chas fortunately managed to sweet talk a spare map from one of the campers. With new map in hand, our 40-mile trail quest ensued. The trails were great. The highlight of the day was when Ron Columbo was unable to start his 'trusty' KTM. The details of said event will be spared at least until the next Harley Half Miler nomination. Suffice to say, it is basically impossible to start an electric start, auto clutch-equipped bike with a dead battery that lacks a kick start lever!! Jumper cables anyone? For our Friday ride, plans were made to explore some of the more remote regions of the Clear Creek range. We rode a number of excellent trails, a few of which were extremely challenging. Most of the trails at Clear Creek are numbered, however the 'degree of difficulty' is usually not indicated. We ended up going down two 'double black diamond' trails without realizing it until we were past the point of no return! After some work and a set of burned up XR650 clutch plates, all bikes were eventually extricated. Near the conclusion of our epic 70-mile ride, with the sun going down, eleven miles from camp on the return road, Keith had his accident. Apparently what happened was that the front tire lost traction on a slippery flat concrete creek crossing, throwing bike and Keith into some large rocks in the creek bed at the edge of the culvert. Robin rode back to camp for his truck to carry Keith out. It was after eight pm by the time they made it out. Note that the mid-day temperatures were in the mid 60's, but after the sun went down it cooled down dramatically, reaching the mid 20's at night!! Everybody remaining in camp decided to leave on Saturday. Hopefully you have been following Vicki's email updates regarding Keith's progress.
Photographs from the Clear Creek Outing: by Vicki Hepler