SWEETWATER OUTING REPORT: by Chas Moser
Chas counted 13 rigs and 27 people (which includes four kids) and five dogs, so a pretty good turnout. The weather at the 7,000-foot camp elevation was mild for the most part, with daytime highs between 80-85 and 38-42 at night. Fairly heavy but sporadic wind gusts were typical in the afternoons and evenings. In contrast, the temperature up at the almost 12,000-foot elevation at Patterson Peak dropped down to 58 degrees during midday, along with very strong winds.
No attempt will be made to describe all the numerous rides going out each day other than the ones that Chas took part in, except the ride Bill T. and Keith took on Thursday, which included the infamous rocky "goat trail" up to Little Smith Valley leading to Patterson Peak followed by the beautiful Desert Creek trails then back to camp.
Mike Stewart, Bob H. and John Gade did a long 80-mile ride on Friday which included riding up to Corey Peak. Also on Friday, Bill T. led a group of seven riders (including Robin, Paul, Keith, Dan Kelly, Chas and Ron Steele) on a rigorous, challenging 63-mile ride from Nye Canyon to the microwave towers for lunch; then down the back side of the towers and beyond.
On Saturday, Chas led a group of six riders (including Robin, Keith, Dan, Larry and Nevin) on a very nice 50-mile ride, starting from Risue Road then up the Desert Creek trail for perhaps six miles. Unfortunately, Robin didn't show up at the last regrouping spot so Keith went back to check on him and suggested that the remaining four keep going and that they would catch up. It turned out that Robin suffered a flat tire near the beginning of the Desert Creek trail. Anyway, Dan found the trailhead of a "new" goat trail which turned back from Desert Creek then meandered hither and yon for miles, crossing several small streams, finally ending up over the mountains east of Desert Creek at Little Smith Valley. The group then proceeded south and had lunch at our normal lunch spot at the top of a fun shaley hillclimb, followed by the climb to Patterson Peak. To add to the adventure, the group searched for a new way to traverse the back (west) side of Mount Patterson to the bottom. With some trepidation, Nevin and Dan dropped over the edge first, followed by Chas and Larry. Keep in mind that there were no trails to follow as such, but visibly we could see that it was relatively smooth going but quite steep most of the way down. Eventually we ran across a beautiful single-track leading down to the two-track going to Lobdell Lake. (During the first two days of riding, Chas was at the top of his game most of the time with the exception of several front wheel wash-outs, some of which were unfortunately recorded on Nevin's helmet-cam.)
On Sunday Chas, John and Mike took a long 80-mile dirt-road ride which included Jackass Creek, Risue Canyon Road, Arrowhead Mine, the town of Walker for lunch at a beautiful park, Lobdell Lake, Jackass Creek, then back to camp.
The Saturday potluck was really super, with Chas reluctantly agreeing to be first in line yet again, but only after the prodding of others to do so. The Sunday champagne and hors d'oeuvres social was another success (thanks to John Gade for adding a bottle of Cecelia Beretta prosecco). The Hamptons, Heplers, Stewarts and Chas got together for an enjoyable communal dinner on Sunday. Last, but not least, everyone was impressed with how well Sara (Chas' Brittany) behaved throughout the weekend.
The Baumgarts left for home on Sunday and most of the other rigs left early Monday, while the Hamptons and Chas left on Tuesday. As a footnote, it was decided to abort the Mammoth trip.
SWEETWATER OUTING PHOTOS: by Chas Moser, Nevin Nyswonger, Linda Stewart and Vicki Hepler
Friday, 8/29/14 -
Click here for Part B (Saturday)