Tuesday, September 16, 2008

27 miles of pure fun

Well, okay it wasn't necessarily all fun but most of it was. Two buddies and I left the Rattlesnake trailhead at 10am on Saturday morning. Oh yeah, this was after I got a flat without even leaving the parking lot. How you might wonder? I'm not really sure but I think I might have reefed on the valve stem too hard while trying to pump up my rear tire.

The first section of this trail can be an ass kicker (for my candyass legs anyway). There are a feww really steep sections that just don't agree with my legs yet, so I ended up walking a bit. Finally, we gained the ridge and I caught up with K and J. The trail follows the ridge all the way up towards our destination. With many steep and rough sections, only a true animal could ride. We defintely had to push quite a few sections, but that was okay because it gave us time to stop and browse on the huckleberries.

Once you get to this point (at about 7 miles) you've gained about 3500 vertical feet. We took a long lunch, lounging in the bear grass and soaking up the rays. From there on, the grunt is lessened a bit and you have about 4 miles left to the top.

The views up top were unbelievable. We could see the Missions, the Bob, the Bitterroots and a lot in between. I would say you could easily see could easily see 50 miles in any direction, spectacular. After a few pics we dropped in on what would be a 16 mile downhill or 2.5 hours of fun. The trail off the top is very rough but totally rideable for 2-3 miles. The turn that takes you back down towards the Rattlesnake is one that you'll have to keep your eye out for, there's no sign so bring your map and good map skillz yo. This downhill is great, busting down though a jungle like rain forest (for Montana anyway), some buffed out section and some very rooty/rocky sections. And finally getting to the Rattlesnake dirt road, you have 8 miles of fast-get-back-to-the-car-to-have-a-beer-riding. Man that beer never tasted so good. A total of 8.5 hours and 27 miles later we kicked off our shoes and called it fun.