Fouts Springs Outing Report: by Chas Moser
Although only four rigs showed up, we all had a great time. Bill H. bunked with Robin, Bill T. brought his whole family, Robert DiMattia came with his three sons, and Chas came by himself. Note that this was Chas' first outing since his mishap in October at Chappie-Shasta. Chas was informed that he currently is the oldest TBSA member still riding motorcycles. He, of course, believes that couldn't be true. This is the first ride at Fouts Springs for Chas since the big fire several years ago. The weather for the most part was pretty good but cool with daytime highs in the 50's and nighttime lows in the 30's. The rain started late Thursday evening, raining until 10am Friday, resulting in few rides going out on Friday. Bill T. brought plenty of firewood for some enjoyable evening campfires. The young folk had a great time playing video games in Bill's RV.
Larry came up Thursday for a day ride. Larry and Chas did a fun 42-mile ride, starting the loop riding over towards Auk Auk Ridge then working around towards Goat Mountain. The trail conditions were to die for with very little dust and perfect traction.
On Saturday Bill T., Bill H., Robin and Chas did a 45-mile ride starting out with Letts Ridge. The trail conditions had really deteriorated since Thursday. Letts Ridge was fun but very slimy, slippery and muddy. We all made it but found out that mud and trials tires are not the perfect match. Bill T. led the riders on some super single-track plus many mud puddles. Chas unfortunately half submerged himself falling into a particularly large, deep mud puddle. By the time the group got to the back side of Goat Mountain, Chas was getting a little pooped out after slipping and sliding and picking his bike up 3-4 times. Chas separated from the group to ride M5 and M10 roads back to camp. Figuring that he would beat the others back to camp, Chas kind of lollygagged on his way back to camp, stopping often for pictures and conversation with others. The other riders got back to camp before Chas and were worried when he didn't show up, so Robin and Bill T. backtracked M5 looking for him. They rode all the way to the point where they had separated. What had happened is that Chas, following the signs to Fouts Springs, was directed to M10 and therefore missed the rescuers on M5.
There were two rides going out on Sunday: Bill T. led Kristin, young Billy, and Robert, Nick, Andy and Chris DiMattia on a great ride. Chas rode a great adventure of a 102-mile primarily road ride by himself, searching out new areas. Riding north out of Stonyford, he checked out Black Diamond Road and several miles further north found a new-to-us OHV area called Elk Creek OHV. Chas rode up a twisty dirt road for several miles, several thousand feet higher. While riding into the clouds, the visibility diminished drastically and was very cold. Chas ran across a couple of quad riders trailer-camping with a warm fire and stopped to chat and warm up. After warming up he left for camp as it was not possible to explore further due to the lack of visibility.
Chas was especially impressed with the young guys: young Bill (10), Andy and Chris (13), and Nick (16). They are all growing up to be fine young men and good riders. They were disappointed that Chas didn't ride with them on Sunday. Chas promised to ride with them during the February outing. Chas also apologizes for the scarcity of people photos and will make it up next time.
(Click here for Part B)