Greetings Jorks. Unlike your typical watered-down "Christian Music," teh Middlefork Trail is fucking awesome. And since I wasn't able to make the Team Seagal AZ tryouts with Norc-ward, the next best option on a beautiful thursday off was to be deployed south of Potosi for some Middlefork recon. With Mashor back from "vaca" with the "fam," we joined forces like a couple of modern day Conquistadors and laid down the law all through the OT.
Now I feel as though I've put in a respectable number of miles this year, although most of them have been on the road since I've regretted almost every mountain bike ride that I've been on so far. The only ones that have not been regrettable in fact have been the days with lots of snow. The rest of left me and my bike covered in shit. Regardless, the mileage has started to accumulate and I figured that would help see me through a day chasing down the 2009 Burnin' 12-Hr Solo Champion and fellow belt-buckle-owner. Not so much.
Waking up to the sound of Nickelback on the radio is like the best way to wake up, as the the instant sensation of pure hate is like drinking 3 pots of scalding hot coffee - it wakes you up and get the blood pumping so you're ready to tackle the day. Saddling up my shit, I meet Mashor, where our forces combined into a 2-man-train which choo-choo'd down to 32/DD:
The sun was shining, the hate was spewing forth, and the gravely texture of the first descent from the trailhead let me know that the rest of the day will take work that will pay off in dividends. An excellent pace was established, Mashor never getting out of the big ring on his 2x9 and I trying to not get too far into the red zone up some of the steeper sections. Not having to race against the clock affords a person some time to check out some of the side features off the trail:
The climbs didn't get any flatter from the last assault on this trail, but there were a few more trees down - maybe 6 or 7 that required a dismount. There were also plenty of sections where you can see all the work that had been done removing fallen trees, and it kinda felt like a hallway at times:
We also happened to come across the elusive Iron County Jenkem Farm, which Nico and the Doctor had encountered last year in the form of lots of white buckets throughout the woods. Creepy. No photos were taken for fear that it would make the times past a little too real later on.
As we made progress down the trail, our conversation brought us to the topic of Dwayne, and his nuclear-powered motor. Mashor informed me that in the last two weeks that jerk has done 2 Double-Berrymans, and gone "long" on the road several more times. And when Dwayne sez "long," it usually is the type of ride that starts and ends using a headlight. Thoughts of this swirled through my head as we came to Strother Creek which comes off of the tailings pond, and managed to cross it only to find ourselves on a section of trail that was so horsed-up, we were thinking that we stumbled into the Swamp of Sadness from "The Never Ending Story:"
The last few miles between Strother Creek and Hwy J are in my opinion rather forgettable due do the horse traffic, but still totally worth doing. We checked out the trailhead that enters the Karkagne Section of the OT, and then blazed a path homeward on the gravel roads. Mashor had never been back that way, and so I was somewhat anxious to show him this:
(Those of you that have done it know what that is the beginning of. - over 370 feet in just over a mile!)
We plodded back to the car, settling into a (for me) good pace up the final climb to 32. My t'aint was happy to be back in dry clothing and sitting on a nice set in the Mashor Mobile, as I thought how much more form I need to acquire before I'm read to board the man-train down to Syllamo's. If not 100% ready, then Syllamo's might destroy me like this:
-Casey F. Ryback