Did a quick ride this morning in Riverside State Park. I was hoping it would snow while I was out there but I guess that’s not due till later here in Spokane..sigh. Love riding while it’s snowing (or running while it’s snowing..that’s the BEST!).
Parked up above the Bowl and Picture on Aubrey White Park drive and headed down the rather steep hill. Well, it seems steep when there’s snow on it and your brakes don’t work as well as they should and you have to drag your feet to slow your decent. Yeah…need to tighten those brakes!
There was fresh snow on top of old crusty snow on the Centennial Trail (CT) so that made for some challenging riding. You’d be riding along on a track and all of a sudden it would hop you over to a new unseen rut, fun. I found the left side to be the best and went carefully down the steep part of the hill and there in front of me was the 38 ? marker…not sure what that’s for. Certainly not the mileage as the CT trial is only 37 miles and the end is up North and 9 mile. But whatever it is, it marks the entrance to “my” trail and I take it and soon find out how deep the snow is.
It’s actually not too bad. At some point a cross country skier or two has taken this trail and as long as I attempt to stay in their old tracks I’m able to ride, however, it doesn’t take long and I have to stop as it’s too steep.
Here’s what it looks like at his point:
Just before I was able to get my phone out to take these pictures either an eagle or osprey was flying just below the cliff. Sometimes I wish God had given us the ability to zoom in with our eyes. Once I walked my bike up the hill and onto the flats and was riding again the bird flew very close to me and I saw clearly it was an Osprey. Not sure why it was eyeballing me?? Although I might have reminding him of a rabbit as I had to hop on and off my bike to stay on the trail.
I know this trail well and it didn’t take long to get to my 1st destination…My Tamarack Trees.
In the fall these turn a beautiful yellow!
From here I continued riding underneath the cliff until I came to Trail 10 which took me down towards the CT trail at a rather FAST pace! It was pretty scary and I had to ride side saddle and drag my rear foot. I REALLY need to tighten my brakes!
I made my way down all the switchbacks and to the valley floor and meandered through some single and double track trails while tree limbs dumped snow on me as I passed. At one point I saw fresh boot prints which was unexpected as I hadn’t seen nor heard anyone else the entire ride. The only tracks were of a medium sized coyote which I had followed right after leaving the Tamarack tree area. Don’t know why, it sort of spooked me. But just a few minutes later I saw someone off to my right cutting some small limbs down and on the back of his jacket he had a big red cross and the words Search and Rescue. I didn’t want to stop as it would have been hard to get going again but I presumed he was out practicing. He did ask if I was having fun and of course I gave up a WOOHOO! You BET!
I finally found the CT trail and as I made my way South back to my car I saw the coyote running along the ridge right next to the river! So cool! He wasn’t on an all out sprint but he was making good time! You could hear the guns from the range across the river and I would imagine it was spooking him a bit. Again I wish I had a built in zoom. So cool.
Of course I stopped as quick as I could to see if I could get a picture of him but I never saw it again. But what was interesting was the noise from the guns. It was almost like thunder as it rolled across the valley. I’ve been at this same area many times before and never heard this kind of sound. It was like crunching snow or ice but it rumbled all across the area in front of me. At one point I tried to capture the sound by recording a video. Here’s a link to the video/audio: (Here)
All in all, it was a great way to spend Sunday morning, and I was able to get home in time to go out with everyone for breakfast. Now THAT’s TIMING!
Here’s how we started the new year… A brief swim in the VERY cold waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Normally you keep all your clothes on until the last minute then strip down to your swimming suit and run like crazy into the water, screaming the entire time. You have to run faster than everyone else or you’ll not find enough room to dive into the water, and if you don’t dive in or you have to hesitate, then you just might talk your self out of doing it, because once your feet hit the water your mind quickly wants to say woh, stop! But we had made up our minds and in we went…. TWO TIMES! Yup, twice. But not for Rachael, she went THREE TIMES! What a bunch of crazy kids!