Sweetwater Outing Report: by Chas Moser
As usual, this annual outing was well attended, with 13
rigs showing up along with 27 people. The weather was very mild for the most
part, with daytime temperatures occasionally approaching the low 80’s at the
7,000-foot campsite elevation. The wind was gusty at times, especially in the
afternoons which, along with the, sage exacerbated allergies on some of us.
During the rides the temperatures were much cooler at the higher 9,000 to
11,000+ foot elevations, requiring our windbreakers. Nighttime temperatures were
pretty cool, dropping to below freezing on several nights.
As everybody who has ever ridden here knows, the riding is absolutely outstanding. It’s really a shame that non-riders don’t get to see the extent of the spectacular scenery that abounds in the area (Editor’s Note: Hopefully the photographs provided will enlighten the readers). There were quite a few rides going out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The 45-mile main ride on Friday was probably the best of the year. Eight riders, including Paul, Robin, Dan Kelly, Larry, Chas, Nevin, Ron Steele, and Bill T., started out with the four miles of super single-track on the lower Desert Creek trail, followed by some two-track and more gnarly single-track ending up at our lunch stop at about 10,000 feet, following our traditional steep shaley hill climb. After lunch we worked our way up to Mount Patterson at 11,663 feet. We didn’t dally too long at this elevation as it was very cool with strong gusty winds. From here we took the high-elevation two-track over to historic Belfort (close to Boulder Flat), then worked our way down to the Silverado Ranch on Hwy. 338, then back to camp.
Several rides headed out on Saturday. Larry, Chas, Nevin, and George Smith took a very enjoyable 58-mile ride which included the Jackass Creek two-track followed by the super upper Desert Creek single-track, then lots of “zig-zag” two-track up to the base of Mount Patterson, where we joined many four-wheel Polaris RZR’s at the historic cobblestone cabin for lunch. After lunch we basically did the morning ride in reverse.
Sunday found people starting to pack up. Chas, Nevin, and George decided to take an exploratory 40-mile ride searching primarily for a couple of historical sites, i.e. Monte Cristo and Star City, located between the Silverado Ranch and Belfort. After lots of searching and many dead-ends, we finally came across some old gold or silver tailings, probably near Monte Cristo, but were impeded by two locked gates which entered private property.
As for the eating, on Friday evening a large contingent went into Wellington to the Heyday Inn and enjoyed great dinners. The monumental Saturday evening potluck was certainly enjoyed by all in attendance. It was pointed out by several that “Chas was not the first in line”. This rare occurrence was not the first time in TBSA history but close to it. The quality and diversity of food was exemplary. Thanks to Linda Stewart for barbecuing the club-provided tri-tip. The club also celebrated Jeff Stewart’s 40th birthday!
Sweetwater Outing Photos: by Chas Moser, Bill Heinemann, Nevin Nyswonger, and Vicki Hepler
(Click here for Saturday, Part B)