Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bewery Tour, Oregon Trail and Black Hills

New Belgium line-up. Fort Collins, CO.
Another kind of line-up.
For when I get old?
Entering the bottling facility.
Somewhere in Wyoming.
These ruts were carved/cut through rock by the Wagon Trains heading to Oregon. Must have been a ton of traffic to be able to do this.
Registor Cliff was a common campsite along the Platte River in WY where the wagon trains stopped and rested up.
The great scent of Juniper was everywhere.
One of the Black Hills residents below.
Entered from the south (Hot Springs). no mtbing allowed in Wind Cave Park, had to head north and cross into Custer Park (local Ranger was helpful....after pressing him some, on where to get on the trail). My wife dropped me off and I sent her on ahead to meet me at the 2nd or 3rd dirt road that crossed the mtb trail, about 7-10 miles or so.
It was about 2 hrs. before dark when I took off. After repeated backtracking, sometimes 1/4 to 1/2 mile to find trail signs, I realized no way was I going to make it to the agreed upon rendezvous. Good we had cell phones that worked well enough to get in contact with each other to "adjust" the plan.
A great time of day to be in the park, though. My wife saw many of the common buffaloes but also a fox, elk (2 big bulls of which she got to see very up close and personal), numerous prairie dogs she got a kick out of... so all in all it worked out. My advice, at least where I was riding on the south side of the Custer Park on the Centennial Trail, give yourself plenty of time and carry extra water.
If things get tough, get to a motorized cross road and wait for help to get a ride out, IMO. Remember, there are rattlesnakes there....would hate to have to bushwhack if the bike broke down with only mtb shoes on and in shorts.

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