Sunday I rode a loop from the house to check out the western edge of the American fire on Deadwood Road. Up around 20 miles of pavement to the right turn on dirt on Deadwood. The fire had burned up to the road (or was backburned, hard to tell) at the upper reaches of the road but lower down the fire didn’t come as close. OHV trail 6 is definitely in the burn but I didn’t venture in to see how badly it was affected by the fire. Many of the tallest trees along the road had survived while the smaller brush and trees were toast. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought actually, more patchy overall in effect.
There was a tiny bit of snow at the top but nothing once on the south facing road and it warmed up as I went down to the cemetery. The start of the Western States trail at the cemetery was a bit hard to follow as the fire fighters were using that as an access point to the lower reaches of the fire, or made a wider fuel break. But after the first 200 or so feet the trail went back to normal and there was no indication of the fire from then on. The descent into Eldorado Creek was just awesome. It’s only the 3rd time I’ve done it (because it’s a haul out here) and the climb up to Michigan Bluff is tough even if a great trail. The trail was covered in oak leaves a couple inches thick in places. The oaks just turned their leaves brown this year and dropped, not much color out there on their part compared to last. The other trees are trying their best to make up for that but it’s not as colorful a fall on the Hill probably because it was so dry this year.
The 40 mile loop definitely took it out of me being my first bigger ride since the tour last month. Knees aren’t healed up yet sadly, not sure what to do about tendonitis when it doesn’t go away with a few weeks of rest, ice, and stretching. Only saw two people on the trail, a couple of Brits with their kids on their backs. Amazing how little use this trail gets even on the weekends.