Saturday, January 14, 2012

Exploratory Trail Ride

I've been hearing about the trails west of the Fairwood area for years now. All three of my kids have run these trails while on the Mead cross country team. So what better way to clear the mind after attending a town hall meeting than to go for a bike ride. I only drew the first part of the trail on the map. From there I went exploring.

View Fairwood-Little Spokane Area Trails in a larger map

One of the three switchbacks that take you down to the Little Spokane River area.

After descending the switchbacks, the bottom of the trail was ice covered. I stumbled across a number of babbling brooks that feed into the river. There's one right next to this. I straddled the bike and slid on my feet from the gate downward. It was strictly walkies on the return trip.

After crossing a bridge I headed north until I got to this sign. Not being that familiar with the area I decided to turn around. No sense making a property owner upset.

This photo doesn't really convey how steep this is. I was riding up this trail and when I got to the rock my front tire lifted off the ground. It's to be expected since my Elephant has a short wheel base. Anyway, the part of my brain connected to my left leg desperately trying to regain my balance by hopping backwards on the downward side of the trail was saying, "I got this. I got this." The part of my brain connected to the balance mechanisms in my inner ears laughed, "That's a losing bet." I landed on my back and the Elephant landed on top of me below that log on the left so I was hopping backwards for about eight feet. No bikes or cameras were injured. This trail turned out to be a mostly rideable loop with a couple of short technical parts I had to carry the bike through. But some fat tires and low gears should make short work of it.

One of those babbling brooks that seem to be everywhere.

Since it's a marshy area, there were parts of the trail that were ice covered. The icy parts in the trees were easier since they had pine needles and leaves stuck in them helping with traction.

Obligatory pretty bike photo shoot moment.


Bryan B said...

I thought that was you!

I was the other guy on a bike you saw when you were heading down the switchbacks. I go down there to get my fill of dirt when I can't get too far from the house. I've been all through that FG property. Love it there.

Hank Greer said...

Hello again, Bryan. Do you go north past that wood Private Property sign? My kids say they go past it when they did their "river runs" during cross country season.

These trails also look like a great place to run barefoot.

Bryan B said...

No, I don't usually go out past that sign. Last spring, the whole valley floor was in about a foot of spring runoff, so it was muddy for months afterward. I've also seen a bull moose loitering in that spot!

As for barefoot running, yes! I've done it a couple times before. I'm more of a cyclist, so I don't do that as much as I should. I've also seen people bouldering on those rock faces on the other side of the river. I really like the area, and I think it will be a shame when the Fish and Game Dept eventually uses it to build another fish hatchery.