Really great views from the mountain trails
Got into the Mackay fair grounds and was told what area to park. I had the supplied maps but didn't have them with me. I knew generally where I'd be parking. I figured I'd be one of the first to get in there, but it was already filling up.
I asked several times if "OK" to park on thin strip, next to golf course wired fence, away from the maddening crowd. "Yes, Anywhere is fine, Park wherever you want"... asked and confirmed several times and each time with the same response.
|(Cause that's how I Roll)|
So, I parked, set up camp and about to start exploring when the golf green's keeper came up on the golf side of the fence and suggested that I might want to move. Golfers 'loose their balls' and last year a broken RV window and a fight broke out or something like that. Sigh, so repacked up and moved inward a little... PITA, and not a happy camper.
The place was already filling up and had tracked down a good spolt. When I found one, parked the ACE next to it and ran back to truck. As I was pulling out, another RV Coach was just pulling into the spot I wanted, sigh so move the next one, next to the road.
First scheduled ride was a "Trailered Ride' meaning trailering the buggies to the staging area. By this time, there was no way I was going to off load the camper to onload the buggy to the flatbed, so skipped that ride and just went out on my own as I did last time..
Just exploring the mountain mines.
One caveat on riding alone is that you need to be a little more attentive on where and what you're riding as you need to plan on "Walking Out" if need be and that's a real PITA. I rode some main roads up the old mining operation op there...
same old Cat with the flat tire from 2 years ago, now has another one.
Above the site, I took a smaller trail going up, and as it got narrower and narrower and rockier and rockier, with the "What could go wrong" thought gaining size in my mind, I finally found a place to turn around and did. nice ride though...
Headed back to camp... nice day. Too windy to do any BBQ outside. Wind seems to be following me around. I should rename the rig "Mariaaaa" (Old Gen Kingston Trio Song" They call the Wind Mariaaa")
|(But tried anyway....)|
After following what I thought was the group, up the wrong mountain I was finally able to find the way on the other side of town and semi follow, only one main road that I did the last time, 2yrs ago, thru the canyon.
Lunch was good and in a great location...
fun trip. Very nice area.
Heavy traffic and pointless in trying to let opposite traffic how many are behind you.
for ATV hand signals for traffic)
Came back to camp site aka field, It was a little windy at the time and area not conducive to sitting outside for very long.
That night, did the "Haunted Hill ride" and that was done very nicely.
|(note ghost at 2 O'clock, fun Ouuuewwweeuuu)|
I gotta say, the planning and volunteers involved did one helluva job. Kudos to them all and organizers. The Haunted ride was all a one way trail, with little ghosts hanging from the trees and big scary things along the way.
Ghosts were a nice affect, fun.. It got a little crowded at one stop, mine shaft, and probably should have kept buggies on the main road.. but all the buggie "Light Wands" made it colorful.
Next day's ride was a police escorted as it was a 10 mile ride NW of Mackay, to the "Big Lake" Ride. Eventually found the line up and was good to go. I had 19 miles, from the Haunted Ride night before, off a full gas tank and figured since it wasn't posted as a "Long Ride - bring Gas" I'd be fine... Wrong....
Once starting up the hill, I asked group leader, just how far is this ride... as I have a limited range. Indication was that I would be fine. (sigh)...
Luved the ride, 50" trails, gnarly. Sunny and warm when started, then c-c-cold and rainy, then Hail...
Oh Hail Yeah, and I was totally unprepared for it. Now I'm not a "Newbie" at doing stuff in fast changing weather, nor cold rain/snow. I've done the Seattle, WA BCC Glacier Climbing Classes, peaked Mt Baker, Mt Rainier, WA and Mt Whitney, CA, and many backpacking XC trips in the PNW, i KNOW that cotton Kills in cold weather, hyperthermia, and I, of course, was just wearing , A-hem, cotton levis, t-shirt and just happen to bring along a rain jacket shell, Froggies.
Luckily, I did have googles as the hail when driving stings like hell.
I was now getting short on gas... advise leader and indicated i should be ok... sigh...
Luckily, someone had the foresite to do a campfire. Very nice
Coming back down the two mountain ridges in the hail and rain was a real PITA. I had to keep head down, wipe hail ice from pants to keep from totally soaking them and breath down my jacket neck to heat body.
Several others, ATVs, ran out of gas and or had bad gas, but stalled out two others.. We grouped at the highway, still 10-miles back to town, I ran out about a mile on the road. Cough-Cough-sputter, die.... pulled off and got a ride back to campsite where I had, of course 7.5 gal of gas in the containers.
|(Going into the storm, too c-c-cold to take pics coming back out)|
Since we weren't allowed to "Ride" buggies on the Hwy, the instructions were to "trailer" it back. sigh... Luckily two fellow drivers were able to drive me to the buggy, where I filled it up and ....... heheh, since we're not allowed to drive on the hwy, I won't say exactly how I got home, but did find out the ACE will do apx 60+ MPH and on blacktop was reasonably stable..
(came home to a torn rear awning, I mistakenly thought ok to leave up, sigh, lessons learned, alway fold them up in any area with 'windage' - tree fell on an RV in the Green Campsite)
Time for a beer.
All in all, the Rally was a great one, over 1100+ attendees not including the volunteers and support vendors and reportedly was the biggest "Rally" in the west.. While it had some glitches, for the 3rd time out and dealing with the huge crowds it did very well.
Kudos to Meg and Group of Volunteers who put it all on. I'll probably attend the next one with a few reminders on what to sign up for and where to park.
On to Missoula, MT to meet my Bro, Robin, and catchup.. Haven't seen him in a few years and the years are getting shorter...
Gallery Pics Here.