It only happens every 6-7 years that Veteran's Day falls on a Wed. This year of 2015 is one of those lucky years. However, I feel the enthusiasm and excitement of the past event has faded. What, with B out, NoCar on the verge of fatherhood and snow flying in Pollywood as I type - I wonder what will happen tomorrow night.
I had contemplated an early departure tomorrow (5:30 ) and had gathered some momentum but now that even seems in question. If such a departure were to happen, it would ONLY happen if one of two conditions were met. Either, all riders agreed to this early start OR we would loop back for a 6:45 Knot Lot pickup of typical arrivers.
Now, the first question should be who is in, even if for a basic ride.
Who is in for a camp out and late night fun. I'm happy to pick up a camp spot and wedge as many cars as they will allow and also bring fire wood. I'm bailing on an early AM ride wed. however.
Ride Report published Friday 13th, November 2009
Cap'n, NoCar, B, and C-man (shortened from Councilman, requires a quorum-level approval) met at the Mosquito lot at 5:30. We made some calls and found Rock was already en camp, livid over an accident with his CX rig. Turns out it was knocked over and kissed a rock on the way down. OK, it was a violent collision and left a rather large dent on the top tube. We tried to console him, but realized time was of the essence and departed for the lake.
Upon arrival, we found NoHandle setting up and Rock lamenting the fate of his sled. Soon the troops starting rolling in and by 6:30 we were 10 deep. Xterric, VD, Fro, NoHandle, NoCar, Rock, B, C-man, Cap'n and Ghost all readied themselves, popped a few pre-ride beverages, and by 7pm, we were trailworthy. Well, that is, we were kit'd, charged, and quaffed for our requisite rollout photo op (RRPO). B insisted on a slew of group photos, and by the time most of El Dorado Co was tucked into their nightly sitcoms, we hit the trail.
We commenced with a clockwise tour of the lake, and within minutes we had multiple flats. After some recon, Slim Jims (thanks Ghost!) and a regroup, we continued. Just after Hazel creek bridge, we had another flat, and again the group assembled while repairs were made. The details are sketchy, but somewhere on the east side of the lake, VD went OTB. It was a solid impact and he was left shaken for the next few miles. We completed the lake loop and from the 2nd dam we headed up M.E.T. for a sampling of B's latest find.
From the Forest Service road just 4 miles east of the lake we ventured south down some paved, chip-n-sealed, and eventually graded roads in a teardrop, or better yet, sperm-shaped route around Baltic Peak (see B's map for details). The roads were fast, the climbs were steady and somewhat steep, and the 'cross bikes had the advantage. The group was spread out, with no surprises off the front. Ghost, Cap'n, Rock, and a few others led the charge. B, in proper ride leader fashion, kept track of everyone, often sprinting between the front and rear of the pack.
As we descended (and ascended) deeper into the forest, we found the scene reminiscent of pre-battle encampments outside Mordor (Lord of the Rings). Following modern forest management practices, there were small fires strewn as far as the naked eye could see. Upon closer inspection, most were stumps or small piles of brush. Eerie, really, but perfectly sensible when considering the aura surrounding the night's events. After several regroups, food breaks, and more photo ops, we decided against bagging the Baltic Peak. We were pushing the dinner time arrival past 10, and all soldiers were hungry.
As if on queue, C-man threw a chain at the "highest point in the loop", and repairs were warranted. Peter nearly made an appearance at this point, with the assembled members chiding each other and relishing the taste of real food. Calls were made to both the Knott and Denise. Well done, Rock, for keeping her cell # on speed-dial. Once the 4th (or 5th) mechanical was sorted out, the return to the lake was speedy. By 10:30ish, we rolled into the Knott. A weary lot, for sure, but happy to have sampled new trails and anxious to sample the tacos.
The taco portion was eventful, if for no other reason, because FT3 was allowed to mount a sizable tab. That's right, the group had no time to return to camp for our wallets, so we were on the hook for our orders. B started it off with an 8-2-1, Fro went deep for a full dozen tacos, and the Rye flowed like the Nile. C-man came up double Aces on his first 2 PBR's, and Rock was stealing tacos from NoCar. Tableside discussions ranged from NoHandle's chipper to Ceagles (B again provided audible samples of the rare bird's call), and preparations for the 3rd leg of the event were made. These preparations included post-taco doggy bags, I think a first for FT3?! Lila was off-shift but in-house to greet our tired crew. I believe references to shaving were made, and some examples provided, but I can't go into detail.
Once back to Camp VDFT3, the group dispersed, a fire was started and callouts were made for the Pino roundtrip. In the end, the heartiest among us mounted up and rolled to the Loge. B, Cap'n and NoCar all braved the chilly temps and drunken locals en route to downtown PP. In their absence we managed to console ourselves over additional beverages, lofty storytelling, and recounting of the Baltic loop. By 2:30, our mighty trio returned, and regaled us with details of their adventure. The "babysitter" was on duty at the Loge, and even opened back up to serve them. Proper, gents, proper.
Suffice it to say, the rest of the early morning's events were colored by multiple violations, bottles of this and that, and a solid showing for the fireside chat. We lost VD somewhere in the mix, and were questioning whether he had an unauthorized "guest" in his truck. Things wound down by 4:30ish, and with the early light all were sound asleep. This author slept a few hours and awoke to find VD scrambling to break camp. Ghost was the only other camper awake, and we parted ways in near silence.
What else can one say after such a long and eventful night? Can't wait for the 2nd Annual VDFT3!!!