Chaney Traiil to Sam Merrill. . .

  • Surveying the steepiesIt wasn't like we did anything different today.  Like normal, I had breakfast first thing.  Like normal, I double checked my gear to make sure it was good for the ride.  The ride from the house to the 'trail head' was nice and easy a middle chain-ring affair.  'Great', I was thinking, 'I am feeling string.'

    That quickly went away, once we turned on to Chaney Trail.  It wasn't like it was any steeper but I melted into my granny gear and pedelled my little heart out until the 'Echo Mountain' cut-off some 70 minutes later.  It was a slow climb but Matt wasn't in too much of a hurry.  When I rounded the corner at Cape of Good Hope, he was off his bike investigating the landscape. . .

    What can you do - eh?

    The ride across the transition trail was fast and easy.  It can be a little intimidating.  Off to the right is a 50-60' vertical fall into some rocks.  It wouldn't be an issue except the trail gets narrow and the left side of the mountain often justs out.  If you miss calculate that, it will throw you to the right and over the side :-)

    Tripper still is remembering that the trail was once a railway right of way.  Not that long ago, one could drive a vehicle to the Echo Mountain monument.  Trail and forest service budget erosion allowed the trail to deterioriate into what it is - single track heaven.

    Sam Merrill always has a bunch of hikers.  We took the conservative lines, always wished everyone a good morning and had a blast making our way down the sinuous stuff.  While the climb was slow, I am pleased to say I nailed every corner except the right hand, stair steppy, gotta go big mountain side followed by a quick rebound to the left.  It is doable, Matt did it just fine. Maybe next time for me.  All in all a fantastic morning.

    Thursday, we have decided to do either mid-Merrills or Idlehour.  If you have a flexible morning come on out and join us!

    If you haven't seen the ride profile click hereChantry Flats Wednesday and Adventure Screenings and BBQ that night too.