Sunday, January 18, 2015
Hwy 20 - Snake River
After almost two years of an absence and one knee surgery, I decided it was time to get back to work on completing the ICT. So, on 5-31-2014, two friends and I tackled the trail yet again. This trip would be with Bill and Aaron, Aaron was the buddy who made it to our destination on my first segment. We last left off at the Snake River, but decided to do this next segment in reverse. We would start our journey On Hwy 20 and proceed southbound rather than north. So far our ICT journey has brought forth medical evacuations, laughs, tears, and bad trails, so why would this one be any different!? So I will start this story out at my house, in my driveway loading our mountain bikes. My bike rack is a Wal-Mart model, it’s not the best, but it does get the job down with some minor bike configurations. You have to take the seat post out of the bike frame to get all of our bikes onto this rack. This is no big deal, but it would add to our already story filled journey on this trail. We get to our starting point and unload all of our bikes and gear. Aaron and I get our seat post back onto our bikes and are already to go, but Bill is still working on getting his seat post back into his frame. The seat post goes into the frame, but will not slide down into position. On any other occasion, we would have brainstormed this issue and figured out the problem, but no, not on our ICT journey! We had mistakenly thought that due to the elevation and temperature change that his frame had somehow tightened up. So what do we do, but forcefully push this seat post into the frame of his bike. It then occurred to us that we must have mixed up our seat post, and Bill was trying to put Aaron’s seat post into his bike frame. The damage was already done, the seat post wasn’t coming out, and we had no tools to assist us with this issue. Aaron and I suggested for us to go back home and try again some other day, but not Bill! Even though he could barely touch the pedals, he wanted to get today’s segment done. This was supposed to be an easy 5-mile ride uphill then a ton of downhill riding. Four miles into our trip, Bill said enough, and he couldn't ride like this anymore! So we put our heads together, got out all tools that we had, and come up with a plan. Two hours later, and two saw blades completely grounded down to nothing from my multi-tool, we cut through the seat post and lower the seat to a more suitable position. We get off Bennett Mountain road and start headed cross country to Steen road, but not before we get some lunch. This cross country portion is pretty technical, and sketchy, but well marked. Aaron and I are pretty avid bikers and had no problems with this part. Don’t get me wrong, Bill is probably the most athletic/ in-shape out of the three of us, but today wasn’t his day. During this portion, he flipped over his handle bars and somehow broke his foot (revealed by x-ray the next day) The rest of the trail is gravel or paved road, but our/Bill’s bad luck wasn’t over. We had to stop and change two flat tires on Bill’s bike, but the tubes wouldn’t hold air for some reason. So, we had to stop every 15 minutes to add more air to his tire. Then after all of our bad luck, we finally finished at the Snake River, Thank God!