Monday, September 28, 2009

Fifty-Fifty One

I got out for a fun ride yesterday with a group of six. As we started up 1206 with Laurel Mtn. on the mind Zach asked me if I had ever climbed 5051 and then bushwhacked over to Laurel. I said that I had and it was decided that was what we were going to do. I warned him that the road was going to be overgrown and the bushwhack tough but on we went. Most people only get to this point on 5051:


We kept going up the road and the further up we go the more overgrown it became. It is a good climb with great unique views and vantage points and I was glad to be showing friends some new stuff. We stopped to regroup and then pushed on through the bushes and briers that have overtaken the trail. Riding was impossible and I started hearing rumbles of discontent about the route but whenever I looked back smiles were abundant so on we went:


The road ended at a clearing and we started the very steep bushwhack up to the top of Black Mountain (not the one in Old Fort, not the one down by the Ranger Station, the one just above Laurel Mtn. trail). It was steep and if everyone wasn't wondering what they had gotten into earlier they were now:


I knew where we were going and when the woods spit us out at the meeting log at Rich Gap there were more than few surprised smiles in the group.

From there it was on up Laurel, down Pilot, over to Squirrel, etc... I had only brought a few things to eat and by the time we started climbing 5015 I was bonking. Jonathon was right on my wheel and I told him I was going to have to get off and walk to the top hoping that he would take the hint and walk with me but instead he looked determined and fast so I sucked it up and rode my bike back up to Yellow Gap.

Our route:
1206 > 5050 > 5051 > Bushwhack! > Laurel Mtn. > Pilot Rock > 1206 > 476 > 5018 > 5015 > Horse Cove Gap > Squirrel Gap > Laurel Creek > 5015 > 1206


Just over 25 miles with 7500' elevation gain. It took us 6 hours and hurt. Imagine what 100 miles would feel like and how long it would take!

Nick, on the trail?:


1 comment:

  1. Imagining how long 100 miles would take depends on how many miles I am bushwhacking. . .