The FT3 Independence Day Long Ride and Campout went off like a fireworks display.
While snacking at the lot we received send off blessings from Lars and RG. Bambi was stuck on the short bus and couldn't make the early departure.
After a warning to never get in front of the Rideleader, we made short time to Alder Ridge.
The route descending from Alder Ridge through Morrison is tricky. When B and I noticed that the crew had all gotten ahead of us, we decided to see if they would stop at the next intersection, which hooked a sharp left onto a less-traveled road. They didn't. So, we hollered them back, and repeated our warnings. Five minutes and four turns later, B slowed to check his GPS and I dropped a chain. At the next turn, only NoHandle showed a whit of common sense and remained with the rideleaders. The rest blew through the major intersection and raced into the wilderness. Once again, B and I extended our shepherd's crooks and retrieved our clueless flock.
From there we climbed out of the Alder drainage. On a deeply rutted descent, I got a little overheated and had to make a high speed dismount. My new rear wheel got torqued in the rut. The rim was wrenched so far out of true that the wheel couldn't spin through the frame. World famous trailside mechanic NoHandle inspected the wheel, braced it, then mightily leveraged it back into a circle.
Much to everyone's amusement, B rolled through a whopper fresh cow pie. Then we encountered the cow. It started doggedly running ahead of us. Soon, his family joined up, and before long we were stuck behind a herd that kicked up dust and plopped paddies all the way. They finally turned off our route at Mill Creek.
After the excellent Cache descent, Cappy cleanly climbed the steep pitch above the right lip, we dropped the left lip, buzzed around the lake and stopped for a much needed swim. A banquet was spread before us at the Knott: trays of chickenbake, fresh chips, bowls of guacamole, nachos piled with meat, and a special onion-free nacho platter for the Taco Bitty's favorite, Xteric. Returning from the bar with two fistfuls of beer, I gasped to see the FT3 feeding frenzy well under way without a single sauce on the table. This error was dutifully corrected.
When the staff was ready to shut down we sent Golden Boy in to buy a load of firewood. This solved the how do we ask if we can have a campfire question. Mother Rye presented us with an offering from the retired Bitty - an 18 pack of PBRs. So, we moved into the parking lot, shoved the old doors shut and settled in to our camp.
The next morning we were graced with a rise and shine coffee offering from Our Dear Rideleader. He nodded sagely as B and I complained about disobedient riders. Slowly our members dispersed. B and I decided it was only proper for us to finish the few remaining beers. After a fatty Knott lunch we drove back to the shuttle car.