“I forgot my helmet.”
“Well … be safe”
We pulled up to a old weathered building and I whipped out my camera. The adventure must roll on.Today’s plan was to explore the dirt roads on the West side of the Tobacco Roots. Expanding upon what we already discovered last year. I was still nervous about not having a helmet. I was only going to be on old dirt roads. I mean … if I got hit by a speeding farm truck would a helmet really save me anyway? I think not.
Photo by Mo Mislivets
Soon I found myself way out front on a sunny day heading towards snow capped peaks. I totally forgot I was not wearing a helmet and my anxiety dissipated. At one point I decided to wait up for my partner and was caught napping.
Awakened I bolted to my bike and up the climb I went. Didn’t even think about that helmet the rest of the day. In all I put in 30+ miles on my fat bike. And eventually had to turn around because of the snow. Yea, even though I was on a fat bike.
Photo by Mo Mislivets
Photo by Mo Mislivets
Numerous times I climbed and re-climbed the hills to point the fatty downhill and let it fly. The fat bike makes it all so comfy and safe feeling. And boy does it scream down a hill. I was “told” that maybe I should be careful. Because I was not wearing a helmet. Oops!
Just goes to show that it is good to not worry the small details in life as long as you don’t forget your sometimes creaming down a hill at 45 without a helmet.
Hump-day, As we are all aware of means we made it through half the week. Now that is a accomplishment. So far the usual … kind of behind and trying to get caught up. Thankfully we are half way there.
Today I become a bachelor as my partner is on the road outta Montana. Going to spend time in the desert looking for faces and what not. We spent the better part of the last couple days spending time with each other. I call it “last supper”. For me, now, it is laying on the couch getting caught up with all the You Tube / Red Bull TV mountain biking videos. Laying here wishing I was out there. Realizing I could be out there. But too lazy to do it. I know I will set a mileage goal.
Starting tomorrow I will commit to riding a certain amount of miles. I need the motivation. I am one day closer to death and I better get in the miles before I cant. Plus now I have all the alone time in the world. Bike pouting season as you will.
After a day of frolicking up Hyalite it was time to vacate the cabin and head back down to the “normals”. Society waiting for us to come and pay the dues. To work and pay our masters. So that we can return on another day. We vowed to make it soon.
The snow started to warm as we got back to the cabin. It seems like it was a mad rush to get out of there before we would be forced to push out. It would be much easier to ride the crust.
Funny thing, ice. When frozen we can skate on it, play hockey on it, and even ice fish. When it melts I fall into water. Eeek … Freaking horrible. I hate water. So I guess in a way I have a fragile relationship with winter. And as spring hits its a mad scramble to get off the ice.
All packed up we started to to “bomb down the hill”, a 10 mile journey of mostly downhill. But the first 3 miles would be snow, the first 1/4 on a compacted 4 feet of snow. I mean, pushing a quarter mile is not that bad. But after a morning of riding crust we wanted to milk that feeling.
That feeling of gliding effortlessly along. The feeling one gets on a super flowie single-track in the summer. Ah yes summer. Lets ride down to summer.
Leaving winter, leaving Hyalite.
Coming soon to a theater near you. Their legendary story about adventure and triumph. Against a lynch mob of blogger bounty hunters the two adventurers found and survived in a hideout located among the towering cliffs of Hyalite Canyon. Everyday was a new adventure. The new flick is about a day in the life. And what a day it was.
Bill Martin and his partner are a couple steeped in eccentricity and irregularity but are very much into adventure. So when they both are finally awake on a cold and frosty morning they seem to be taking it in stride.
Mo is enjoying her coffee, Bill is already practicing skill that he believes a good adventurer should have, and they both riding fat bikes, Abba and Ruby, so that their prospective day can have possibilities.
However, things are shaken up when Bill and Mo go outside at Window Rock, as snow conditions reveal a surprising piece of news.
The snow has crusted and could support the fat biking couple, scuppering Bill and Mo’s plans to hang out in the cabin all day.
Because Mo lost her outside motivation when they had to “walk in” due to warmer soft conditions, she finds this news very exciting, and so the resilient couple quickly find a way to turn it in to a day.
It becomes obvious that this is what the pair needed, as they embarked on a search for the right place for them to ride, which became the trail to Hyalite Lake.
They go to every place they can think of, meeting open meadows and creek-banks along the way, with laughter and abandon, this is a ride the couple will never forget.
I recently got a headlamp that has a red light so as to not bother others at night. It actually helps me sleep as well because it is void of the blue light that is harmful for sleep. This morning I had it on so as to not wake my partner. I was gathering supplies to make coffee. As a side job I was trying to get the fire going in the stove. I went outside to gather more wood.
On the way back to the cabin I accidentally stepped out of the little snow trail we had to the firewood shed. And I almost twisted my ankle. My god, the top layer of snow was hard as cement. Then a light went on and I dropped the wood and ran to the cabin.
I scrambled around and got my riding gear together and headed out the door. I jumped on my fat bike and tested the nearest un trampled section of snow. Which, I might add, is like 3 to 6 feet deep in places. Spring has not arrived up here just yet.
It held firm and I was gliding across the surface as if it were sandstone. I rode a couple laps around the cabin and stopped to pick up the firewood. I went inside and stocked the fire and left. My partner still asleep. I was on a mission.
The first step in the mission was to see where I could ride. Turns out everywhere except next to trees. The trees must keep the ten feet around them a little more warmer. My existence out here was dependent on the temperature. I looked at my GPS … 23 degrees. Perfect.
Next I wanted to see where I could ride. At first I was tentative but found myself testing new things like riding down near the stream. To see how close I could get to the edge. As close as I wanted. Such cool terrain. I even just crossed the creek. And tried new snow bridges across the creek.
Another mission was to see what I could climb. Turns out everything. I was climbing up a slope and doing turns down it like a skier. Excited I bolted back to the cabin. I had to wake my partner. She had to experience this.
We have been to Window Rock Cabin twice now. The first time was last year when we biked up with our mountain bikes. And the second with my friend Paul. This time we left a month early and took our fat bikes. And it was a good thing because we encountered what we had hoped for … snow.
After a fabulous ride to the familiar cabin I leaned my bike against the porch rail and went inside. I immediately smelled smoke and thought, “good, someone was just here and there are coals in the stove.” I couldn’t of been more wrong. And later I would realize that the previous “evacuation” was the reason for the strong smoke smell. But that never dawned on my right away and I started a fire.
Smoke billowed out of the wood door and I closed it and opened the ash tray. Usually this works with the signature sound of a blow torch as the oxygen fuels the fire above. No sounds and the smoke continued to billow out of the door around the seems. I held the door in to no avail. Finally we bailed and took the burning wood outside then went back in to access the problem.
My partner discovered that the horizontal portion of the stove pipe was full of ash so we dis-assembled it and emptied it outside into a pail. Excited that we solved the problem I started a new “test” fire. Still the stove smoked and it seemed as though there was no air flow to the outside. Investigating why I discovered that someone had broken the flu in the stove top. I quickly repaired it and tried again. Nothing, the stove smoked excessively. So then we figured there was a air leak and discovered that the fiberglass rope that is usually cemented into place on the door was gone.
After re-using a piece from the oven door we were able to seal the door and the fire started again and that seemed to help. But after returning to the cabin from chopping wood my partner was inside busily trying to put out the fire. Smoke billowed out of the cabin. I went in and opened the windows and almost succumb to smoke inhalation.
It seemed like a good time to just give up and do what the previous cabin renters have done and bolted for home. But I wanted to see one last time what could be wrong. I used my hand and ran it up near where the smoke was supposed to go and felt no draft. Then I went and did the same thing above where the pipe exited the stove and felt a significant breeze. That is when I noticed a second flu that controlled the amount of air flow between the stove and the main wood compartment. Someone, when discovering the main flu being broke, tried to burn a fire in the stove and had switched it over to that side. I switched it to the main log compartment and the breeze returned. We started a new fire and wholla … it worked.
Playing crosswords at Window Rock Cabin
Later while we were doing crosswords reaping the benefits of our new heat source I felt very good that we stuck it out and figured a way to make the stove work. Sure, it was broken due to neglect and the Forest Service needs to go up there and fix it. But we stuck it out and devised a fix. My partner with the resourcefulness to go out and harvest tree sap and stick in the make shift seals and my curiosity to find all the tiny things that in the end added up to a very smoky situation. It is going to be a good weekend.
Yea, OK! It is Friday and I have to get to work to finish off the work week. This weeks journey has been interesting. We have been trying to confirm that we will not get screwed by our old rental company and can move one. Why is it so hard to deal with rental companies these days? But it is Friday and I am thankful for that.
by Mo Mislivets
by Mo Mislivets
by Mo Mislivets
I just realized that I work from home today so yea for me. Gives me a bit more time to blog. But nothing to blog about really. Monday the journey started and now it ends. Along the way I encountered some great stuff like all the great bikes after work. I also encountered some weather like the performance reviews at work. Another great ride. See you down the trail.