CHAPPIE-SHASTA OUTING REPORT: by Chas Moser
This was a new area for many of us with an abundance (250+ miles) of roads and trails. The camping area here was very nice and clean with individual camp sites within a fairly small area. The turnout was quite good with 9 rigs, 13 riders and a total of 25 people. The weather and trail conditions were perfect with high daytime temperatures in the 60's to low 70's. On Thursday Chas went on a leisurely 24-mile ride by himself checking out some new trails.
The 65-mile ride on Friday turned out to be another one of those infamous 'rides from hell' which will be briefly described here. Nine of us started out and, for the most part, enjoyed the first rather challenging and technical trail sections. This was followed by several miles of dirt road to a long fun steep trail leading up to a 4,000+ foot ridge with spectacular views of Lake Shasta, Mount Lassen, Mount Shasta and the Trinity Alps. We had our lunch break at the top of the ridge. Note that the trail up to this point had basically a southern exposure to the sun. The trail continued downhill on the other side and, since it was cooler and with a northern exposure, there was lots of deep snow. Knowing that there was a road down at the bottom, a collective decision (unwise in hindsight) was made to proceed downhill through the snow to the road. Just getting through all the snow was a major task; however the problem that confronted us was that the road was impassable in either direction due to the massive snow pack!! Ben Lytle made a number of heroic attempts to get over the snow in both directions, to no avail. Realizing that it would be impossible to get back up the hill, as luck would have it, another short parallel trail was found going back up the hill part way, thereby bypassing the lower snow. This brought us to a relatively snow-free single-track trail which dropped us down just west of the snow pack onto a dry road. Sigh of relief! The only problem here is that a lot of pavement travel was necessary in order to get back to camp ... East Fork Road to Trinity Mountain Road ,through French Gulch to Hwy 299, past Whiskeytown Lake to Iron Mountain Road ,to the lower Copley Mountain Staging Area. Here the riders split into two groups. Keith, along with Walt and Ben Lytle, chose to take (again unwisely) a barely passable steep rocky four-wheel drive road ,and Chas took everybody else back to camp on some easier but still challenging trails. Kudos to Kristin Thomas for surviving this ordeal, albeit with a few bruises. Note that Bill lost the coin toss and remained at camp to babysit young Billy.
Most of the six riders enjoyed the 50-mile ride on Saturday. We saw some new trails, however the ride was cut short after Larry Mason's clutch burned completely out on one of the steeper climbs. Luckily a dirt road was nearby and Keith was gracious enough to tow Larry's bike back to within a couple of miles of camp, where they met Robin with his truck to finish the journey. On Sunday three of us put on 45 miles with a new combination of trails. Chas and Jan extend our gratitude to Glenda for her super spaghetti feed Sunday evening for the Heplers and the Mosers, in celebration of Vicki's birthday.
The ladies really enjoyed the dust-free camp area and surroundings, along with the mild weather. The camp is located just above the Sacramento River and as such was very beautiful with abundant wildlife to observe. It is really unfortunate that the snow curtailed access to the majority of the best trails in the area. We were barely able to scratch the surface. Enjoy the photos.
CHAPPIE-SHASTA PHOTOS: by Chas Moser, Ron Cottrell and Vicki Hepler
(Click here to to go Part B)