After some pictures a month ago on the Washington mtbr forum, I felt dumb that I hadn’t noticed that one could connect the 2 trails in the Teanaway: Esmeralda and the Teanaway 5 Drainages, to make a mostly non-motorized recreation experience.
The morning started late, and not many cars were on the Teanaway dirt road. However, some jet fighter pilot almost ran himself and me off the road on a narrow section. Sunday, 11 am: Let’s make some good time driving down this dirt road!
Not much to report on the way up. My legs surely haven’t gotten as much exercise as the the prior 2 years, as the climb felt a bit slower than usual. Probably I just need to upgrade my bike a bit more, rather than ride up grades.
New stem, front wheel and fork are on order! I am confident those will do the trick to my psyche.
At the top, I remembered why I had left Seattle behind.
The descent was too easy with a riser seatpost and 67 deg head-angle, which is 5 degrees slacker than before. Easy and fun.
After the push up the jeep road to Gallagher Head Lake, there was the mandatory photo stop. It had to be done.
The downhill was new to me – the Boulder de Roux trail is certainly a fun trail going down in either direction from here! In the middle, the rear break started to howl like Lee was after me, so I placated it with new break pads.
Very fun trail. Too bad it appears to be closed due to fire danger right now. Seeing the Iron Peak ridge from here made it look like a lot of pushing would be happening soon. I rode it (mostly) up last year, so I had high hopes of repeating that feat. That’s the one in the back:
Alas, it was a 99% push-fest. Slow and steady – I got high-5s from hikers and even a “You’re the second biker I’ve seen in my hiking career” from an older lady. I didn’t see bikes or tire tracks anywhere, except a motorcycle track earlier on ‘de Roux.
Break #3 on the way up. I felt too hot and pooped.
But the views make hiking worthwhile.
The grand finale.
The way down, as the way up, was torn up by horses and had lots of poop, but now there was the smell of urine near the campsite. Let’s keep rolling.
Last year I was contemplating which bike I’d be on next year to ride this trail. Now, I know.
The landscape is outrageous here. Colors. Rocks. Tech.
After pushing up the Bean Creek trail, and filling up with water along the way, the ridge was windy and cold. Not much time to enjoy the Stuart Range – but at least there were no bugs.
I was feeling pretty good on this downhill. But, who wouldn’t?
So, when I came to the intersection with the Standup Creek trail, I thought I’ll try to save some time by going straight down there.
And indeed. I went straight down – lots of it only barely rideable.
And after it wasn’t crazy steep, it was overgrown. And when that wasn’t enough, it was a bit muddy. And when that let up, there were about 5 big trees and countless small ones to go over / under. It pays big dividends in training opportunities to do little / no research on trail conditions. Certainly, it was no shortcut, time-wise.
Doing some more research now, it appears that I did, 100%, the famous 7 drainages loop.