Load the van, again, and head on down 94
Known for driving well, having long conversations with people that have called the wrong number, and giving advice to people in stores who don't know what they are doing. I've actually done that as well. I was in Sears tool department one day killing a little time before meeting my brother and some guy was pacing the circular saw blades like he had no clue so I say, "I've used many of these blades, if you tell me what you're cutting I can tell you what kinds will work." This leads into a long conversation that draws in several others and before long I'm giving a grand oration on gullet design and rake angles... one employee thought I was the new manager they were expecting...I wonder how that worked out for the new guy and if they told him I almost got his job?
Ok, so Blake and I are in Sconie for the weekend. We planned on riding River Falls Whitetail Ridge Friday then drive to Wausau for Nine Mile. After Nine Mile we would go south to Standing Rocks than over to Levis Trow.
I pick Blake up around 5pm and head to Wisco. He tells me he only has Saturday so we cut Standing Rock out of the plan.
Whitetail is fun. I didn't think much of it at the time. It was good but not awesome. I expect Nine Mile or Levis is be mind numbing awesome.
After a good two hours of riding we Beat Antiques to Wausau. We arrive about 10pm but the park is closed and we can't find camping. The sign says we can camp with permit and we don't have one. The bugs are horrible so a bivi would be a blood bath. We start searching the net with our phones and find Rib Mountain about 15 minutes away. We roll heavy footed following the SatNav voice but get stopped by a sign, "Camping Not Available!". There is talk of a hotel, mostly from me. We are downtown Wausau and a rural bivi with the mosquito would be almost fatal. About then Blake finds camping at the county fair grounds. I figure 'no way!' but having no options I figure we may be able to bend the law and use it if we can gain legal access. The first gate is closed but the second is open. We drive into something that looks like central park NY in that it's a large plat of trees in a city. The sign reads 'Campgrounds ->' and a few seconds later I see a small RV and a light... more campers...A TENT! This place is open! Wha Hoo Wisco!
Two slow rolls around the lots and we get a nice spot in the corner. Set up, cook some dinner and it's lights out all for $13. I can see a stop light changing color from my tent. That's new.
It rains a lot over night. We wake up to light rain and bail to the shelter for a big breakfast of oats, pears, peanut butter and bagels.
Pack up and hit the trails by 9am. The park building is closed but it's pay to ride and the information says nothing about closed when wet. We have 20 miles of CX trails and 10 miles of single track so we ride the CX trails because we don't want to ride wet trails and the ski trails are grass or gravel. We find a runner and he tells us, "The trails never closes, go ride" so we go back out and cover most of the 10 miles but the wet rocks are just too hard and we are crashing too much so we load up and head to Levis.
Levis is open but YellowJacket is closed. We pick some trails and get going. The trail is wet and called Goat Hike or something. It's a mess and they just finished logging or chuncking to kill the pine beatle so it's ugly and wet. We still manage over 2 hours. Have a snack and head out on Toad Road but by now it's raining and the rocks are grease, it's slow and miserable. You stop and the bugs eat you. The wood bridges are so greasy they are unridable. At one point, I stall out yet I'm still peddling as my back wheel spins. I fall over and crash off the bridge.
Above: Recent logging on the left and a muddy trail on the right.
Above: Nice trail in front but I just passed the largest Ant colony that had to be 6 feet across. Below is a rugged looking turtle intent on making his/her way to a low swampy area about 50 feet away.
Below: Munch time.
Below: Toad Road is good if it wasn't raining.
Load the van, again, and head on up 94.
The heavy rain started just as we end a loop and head back to the van. It's over. It's raining hard so the trails are going to be swamps.
We get back to town about 8pm.
- Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Al's Lodge. It's a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something they know.
- Wet trails are still rideable but not enjoyable.
- Mosquitoes are huge so if you are riding and inhale one, chew three times and spit out the bones.
On that protein choice, good bye.