Rails To Snow Trails

Thursday turned to Friday at Stub Stewart State Park. The snow was still on the ground. We had an expansive view of the Coast Range from the cabin. April and I decided to take a little hike around the park waiting for everyone else to arrive. The trails were either snowy or iced over, and the ponds even had a thin sheet of ice. Winter! We wondered how long all this would last up here.

The Crüe started to roll in around 3. The usual revelry was had, as the spirits flowed and bad 80’s movies got dragged out (American Flyer AND BMX Bandits, starring a VERY young Nicole Kidman). At midnight April and I went outside to look at the stars as 2011 rolled in.

New Years Day and the plan was hatched by eight of us to roll into Vernonia, 10 miles down the Banks-Vernonia trail. We took the back way, going down steep foot trails to avoid the main road. The Banks-Vernonia was covered with about an inch of snow for the first half of the way in. At first I was a bit worried about how the Long Haul Trucker would handle in the snow. The Trucker had on its “street” tires, though they were 32mm tires, wider than the standard road width. I shouldn’t have worried, as the Trucker handled beautifully. There was a little fish-tailing on some rougher spots, but that was it. In fact, everyone did well, though some of the clipless crowd wished they brought regular shoes.

Of course, we were ALL jealous of the guy who was riding a Pugsley. That bike was pure magic in the snow!

The major tragedy of the trip was that the Chinese restaurant was closed. Actually every restaurant in town was closed except for one bar. I had my share of greasy food, including a grilled cheese, my standard fare in places where veggie options are scant. We rode back to camp, guts laden with greasiness, and returned right at dark.

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