It was a women's ride I threw together from Michigan Thumper Talk riders, husbands/significant others also came. The guys ran one loop and the girls did another. I just copied and pasted it into this forum so don't be surprised if you're not recognizing some of the people's names. The riding was AWESOME, the people were coool, the campsite and $ spent on the trip sucked ass...
If you want to skip the novel, here is a link to the photo album with descriptions...TT only lets you place 20 photos in a post so make sure you go look at the rest of them!
So we got up about 7am. Packed the coolers, the bikes, loaded up the truck...realized I forgot to print maps the at work the day before...d'oh :bonk: So we stopped by my work and I went in to print out a handful of maps (that I don't think we used anyhow) Then we got back on the road, about 20 miles from home Jonathan (jackdrinker) `goes "Did you pack the tent?" I just fell silent...knowing that if he's asking me this, then he surely didn't pack it. Got off 75 north, back down 75 south to home for the tent...my bad.
...on the road again...it looked like it was starting to get dark out. By the time we got just north of flint this was our view...
And jonathan was bored in the car so he started playing while I drove...
About 175 miles later...we found this...
See...Michigan is made of sand...
About 4+/- hours later we finally arrive in Wolverine. Wolverine is a funny place...its like...the hills have eyes. We stopped at a gas station that actually had a sign out front saying "last gas for 20(something) miles". They had an ATM sign in the window so I was like "cool...lets get some cash for firewood too"...yea there was no ATM and spark plugs were $3.30 for a basic BR8 or BR9es.
After that lovely departure we made it to the campground, drove around to see what spot we wanted...we had the whole campground to choose from! We also saw a bunch of wood around some other empty sites so we decided to hop out and go throw it in the truck. Yea...I've NEVER been swarmed by mosquitos this bad in my entire life, and I'm quite an outdoors person, camped a lot, live with wetlands all around my house. We grabbed the wood as fast as we could jumped in the truck and started smashing as many blood hawks against the windows as possible...REDRUM
So we find our spot...
And the first thing we did was dig out the big spray...it was insane. Well, our spot was mostly under pines and not as much greens so they didn't seem to be TOO bad. We were STARVING so the first thing we wanted to do was start a fire and grill up some tasty campfire fare (including drinks). I bust out the beverages and make us the best healthy drink with vodka ever...Vitamin Water, the orange ESSENTIAL flavor, and vodka...YUMM...no acid reflux of the OJ but all the good orange taste (Disclaimer...we're not drunks, but we do enjoy a few drinks around the campfire...especially since we were technically on vacation) Back to the food, we were starving but...there weren't full grills to lay over the fire, and we didn't bring our little charcoal grill. Soooooooo, Jonathan decided to head off to town. I'm just chilling in our camp, slouched in the chair and next thing I know I wake up to a spider landing in me from the tree above...bastard. So now I wondered where Jonathan was, or how long I had been sleeping. Come to find out its now 5:30, I had been sleeping for like an hour and a half or more...dang...I was tired, but where is Jonathan? Hrmm, I dunno because my phone doesn't work up there. So I start poking at the fire, he finally comes back after a 70mile round trip to the closest WalMart in Gaylord. Disgruntled and hungry he assembled the grill...
Alas, Marinaded steaks, cut french bread and spicy cilantro hommus...we're livin' it large
Finally, we see some bikes pull in and slowly make their way over to us...it was WomanRider with her husband Bruno and daughter Megan. We attempted to warn them about the blood hawks but it was too late...they jumped out and went crazy with the bug spray too. They started setting up their tents while we were grilling and we just started shooting the sh*t...Bruno has some great riding stories as well as stories from around the dirt industry. Ask him about his collar bone sometime hehe. (sorry, no pics here...we were busy eating) But...Bruno does believe that its not a bonfire unless you can see it from space...I think he burned most of not all of this pile of pine branches at once. They were stacked like 3' above the fire pit!
It grew dark, and everyone was tired so I think we were all in our tents by 10:30-11pm...except the redneck hilljacks. These people had the camping spot next to WomanRider's and there were like 4-5 cars there, 3-4 tents, 15 kids. Just as I was falling asleep they decided to go for a midnight swim...next morning I find out Bruno had the same idea as me and were about ready to blow up on them. Oh well...we'll be up early with our dirt scooters...Mmmoooowahahahahaha
6:30 comes and we're all awake. Sausage goes on the grill, bikes are being tweeked...damn, WomanRider isn't meeting up with us till 10...talk about time to spare. More puttsing around with bikes...learning you get what you pay for when buying Troy Lee gear (their helmets weigh nothing!). So we load up and head over to the trail head because none of us are quite sure how to get there without getting a ticket on the main roads. We unload and start putting our gear on...its hot!
Here's Bruno pretending not to look at the camera (sorry its sideways)
NiceUserName and Mark finally make it out and next thing we know, the guys are off doing the B loop and we're onto the C loop. Oh ya...and NUN's KX100 had a flat tire/tube so she was rockin the DRZ the entire way!
Soooo, we're off! I'm doing pretty good and having a lot of fun. After about a mile or two in we encounter our first little log. I know WomanRider isn't a fan of logs and she stopped for a second and finally just wen't right up and over! See...not all logs are evil like the ones on the Rock! Everyone else follows suite and we're all on our way. Only a few miles after that my hell began! I can't even describe all my biff's...but one of them I had to choose to go left or right around some trees with kind of a drop off on the right side. I wanted to go left but my bike wanted to go right so instead we met in the middle...with the tree. NUN helped me pull the bike out from the tree and off I go again. Not to much further I somehow manager to get a little squirrely and go off the trail...but I knew I was going off so I tried to kinda jump off the bike, but that didn't work so well. I think when NUN had caught up to me I was spread eagle on my back in the bushes lol...next time I think she needs to carry the camera. By now I know WomanRider and Megan have to be just waiting for us somewhere...I dunno why I was having such a hard time, other than being able to get a foot touching the ground in a few of those situations might have caused a different outcome. I think I had to pick the bike up about 6 times in those first 10 miles. We finally catch up to the gals and we seemed to pick up 2 more riders. Unfortunately I do not remember their names, but they are from the area and know NUN. They also help maintain the trails, so they know them like the back of their hand. Add another lady on crf230F...that makes 5 of us!
L-R WomanRider, NUN, our new friend on the CRF230F, her husband and Megan
Not long after this picture WomanRider's clutch cable broke at the top of the hill Well, our 2 new friends weren't with us too long, as they went back to a fire road, we met up with them a few minutes later and each lunch with them, then they take Woman Rider down the 2 tracks back to the parking lot while NUN, Megan and I continue on.
Well, I'm glad to report the next 19 miles were mostly accident free. I couldn't believe some of the hills I was charging up...roots, rocks, ruts, you name it! Oh ya...and I didn't have any rear brakes either...so all of my descending was done with engine breaking and the front break only :cry: We stopped at a cool river crossing. It was a nice place to splash some cool clean water on your face...or collect rocks (NUN), or see a big fat guy on a quad take his shirt off and pull a beer out of the cooler to drink
Iroc (me), Megan, NiceUserName
So ya...at that 29th mile of the trip I crashed...hard. I don't even remember what happened. Just before this I was thinking "wow, I'm kind proud of myself! I'm doing good now!" and next thing I know I'm on the ground...my bike is facing the wrong way...I see NUN coming up to me asking if I was OK and all I could say was "thats going to hurt" as my vision was all blurry and for the first time in my life I was seeing stars. Megan, as funny as she is chimes in "sure you're not looking at your jersey" ...thanks megan! All I know is that it was a kind damp sandy downhill with a right turn at the bottom. Well, I started moving towards the left to set up for the turn and then I just slammed down on my left shoulder hard. I immediately felt the snap of my neck and the impact my head took. it wasn't till I tried to start rolling over to take my goggles off that I realized there was something wrong with my left shoulder. The first thing that came to my mind was Bruno's collar bone story. Then I was like "oh no! If I broke something Jonathan won't let me ride my dirtbike again!" Then I try to actually assess my medical situation and try to rotate my shoulder...I didn't know what was wrong...but its not right. Luckily NUN lived only a mile or so away so we rode off to her house so I could try to chill out for a minute, take all my gear off and make sure there wasn't anything visibly wrong with my shoulder/collar bone. Didn't see anything...so from here on we took two tracks back to the parking lot.
When we got back there, Jonathan was sippin on a boat drink, in shorts and a t-shirt but I didn't see any of the other guys! So yea, apparently 1/8 mile into the trail a root on took out his shift lever and turned it into a pretzel in the middle of an uphill climb and he had been sitting in the parking lot ever since
So his Saturday turned into a day of boat drinks, talking with WomanRider, and mingling with people coming in and out of the parking lot. Oh ya...and when I told WomanRider about me seeing stars...she said the same thing as Megan "you looking at your shirt?"
After we parted our ways, WomanRider, Bruno and Megan were headed home, NUN and Mark invited us to use some of their tools to try to fix Jonathan's shift lever. We got the lever fixed and made plans to ride again Sunday morning...and I sat there worried if I'd be able to make it. I really wanted to, I had a great time with NUN, I wanted Jonathan to get to ride too...man this sucks. We invited them back to the camp for food/drinks later and we headed off to clean up in the lake...all I wanted to do was be clean(er). I figured I'd just throw my bathing suit on and head down to the lake. Yea...I couldn't even get my shirt off over my head. It didn't help that I was kneeling on a slightly under inflated air mattress in the back of a truck tent. I was getting so pissed...all I wanted to do was get out of my nasty clothes, take some IB profin and relax. but I was being held hostage by my sports bra...apparently I was whimpering or grunting or something because at one point Jonathan asked what was going on in there and if I was ok. I finally got out of my clothes and into my bathing suit to head to the lake (the bugs weren't bad at this point) I go down to the lake and the redneck hilljacks had like 6-7 cars there now and there are like 30 people in water at the tiny tiny beach area. I ended up going down 20', left my sandals on and just went in up to my knees. At least I'd get my legs/face/arms/hair clean. Who needs a clean torso anyhow
Make it back up to camp, clothed myself (another 25 minute process in the truck tent with only 1 good arm, was sweating and ready for another bath by the time I was done). My lovely Jonathan had started dinner and served up the boat drinks and I was in total chill mode
We feel rain drops...dang it. We threw the EZ-up up and put all our stuff under it. We had no clue how much it might rain. Well, it rained a lot, All night. I think we had to have gotten at least 2" of rain and some crazy lightning and thunder as well. We huddled under our EZ up listening to country music on our radio while drinking boat drinks and having MMA style matches with the mosquitoes...Team Hoodie won!
We finally crawled into the tent when the rain let up (ok, I was slightly buzzed to a euphoric feeling and Jonathan had to wake me up from my chair) and we went to bed. Sometime early I head the rain start up again...but I was actually comfy sleeping on the air mattress and the pitter patter of rain put me to sleep again...until I head a quad pull up and stop by the side we had our bikes (on the trailer) parked. I was all paranoid...what if they just take our whole trailer? Damit, why do we keep putting off getting insurance on our bikes? (NiceUserName, you need to remind me who insures yours!). I tried to keep a listen for sounds but the rain was fairly hard...and put me to sleep again lol. I woke up then instantly thought...I hope our bikes are still there. I finally get out of the tent at like 9:30 and NUN was there, with our fire going and a kettle of hot water on! THANK YOU! That "quaaaaaaad" was NUN on her DRZ coming over to meet us up for riding...just a little on the early side lol. So, we were making a plan for the day and I was really dreading having to chose to ride or not. I didn't want to be a p*ssy, and I had a ton of fun yesterday, but today is going to be even harder...mud, roots, water...all the things I've never had to deal with yet!
The sun started to peek through the clouds. We leave the tent and stuff up to dry...So, I suck it up, throw on the Kawi gear and we're off. NUN promised to not go through the couple of miles that kicked my ass the day before so I felt a little better. Still, it didn't take me long to learn how quickly roots become Ninjas. Totally open part of the trail, I come around a slight uphil turn with a big root cutting across the trail diagonally. I knew it as soon as I saw it...that damn ninja root took me down. Jonathan was right behind me and was cracking up laughing. I think the first thing he said was something to the effect of "your crashes are so crazy, lots of noise, dirt flying everywhere" so I took advantage of my Tuggers (w00t!), pulled it out of the woods and and kept on keepin' on. The rest of the ride went amazingly well, considering I thought I had a broken collar bone 16hrs ago. The amount of washout and ruts on the trail from the rain was crazy...and then we came to the biggest/steepest hill I've even climbed. I had a problem with getting stuck in the middle of a hill and not being able to get going again with out stalling it. Well, I got stuck. tried to lean off to the one side because I knew Jonathan was right behind me. Well...nothing like throwing you in the fire...lots of gas, lean forward, let that clutch go and hang on! Somehow I did it! I was so amazed...wish someone had a picture of that one! We kept moving along trying to keep up with NUN on the DRZ...its amazing how fast you are on that bike in those trails! It started getting really dark and I began actually looking for NUN's tail light. There was another uphill climb where I had to chose left or right around a tree and my body wanted to go one way and my bike wouldn't listen...so I started to run into the trees. The funny thing is...Jonathan followed and ran into the back of me lol. We got out of the woods and stopped at the Sturgeon River bridge again. Took a few more cool pics and realized that it was starting to lightning and thunder and we should probably head back the fast way.
Mystical looking forest...
I think we were almost as far away from the camp as we could be on the loop. It really started POURING...rain drops hurt a 60ish mph! (I have no clue how fast we were really going...but I was cruising in 5th) Of course, since the sun was coming out when we left the camp and it was super muggy so I didn't bother to try to pack my new fox Dakota jacket I just got from Sun (and made her 3-day it so I'd have it in time!) so once I felt the water leaking down between my knee pads and legs, and then all through my crotch/seat I knew there was no staying dry lol. NUN had just bombing down the 2 tracks through huge puddles...and one point in time we just started lifting our legs like we're about to do a heel clicker just so the water doesn't get all our feet and legs. It was so much fun riding in the rain tho...like going back to when you were a kid riding your bicycle up and down the street through the puddles
We made it out to the road our camp is on and we're just hauling to get back...we're in Blood Hawk country again. Then, my plug dies :foul: It had taken a lot of abuse through the weekend and I'm surprised that it hadn't died earlier...but why NOW, why HERE? Only about 1/4 to 1/2 mile to go! But no. I pull the plug out, cant get the new one to thread. Apparently it had gotten cross threaded or something. Jonathan finally got it in there after about 5 minutes of us swatting the squitos off and away from him. We made it back to camp...soaking. Got the fire roaring again, made up some hamburgers and Waved farewell to NUN and she hauled off to try to make it home before it let loose again. So from here on out we strategically packed everything up since it seemed there was no end in sight for the rain. The squitos are soooooo bad now we actually drove to the open trail head to try to dry off and change into clothes for the ride home.
I LOVE what I did with my bars and cutting them down. Its funny being able to just 'ping' trees off the hand guards now.
I love Northern Michigan, always have. But I'll only go to Weber Lake before or after mosquito season!
Riding in Hardwoods is great!
Watch out for the Ninja Roots
NUN and Mark are very gracious, thanks for all of your help with everything (Jonathan's shifter, picking up my bike...a few times, making sure I wasn't too broken)
We need to look at a calendar and figure out when we'll be riding next. Not sure if it will be Evart or Luzerne...I'll leave it up to Jonathan since I drug him alllllll the way up to Tomahawk. We've got some work to do on the bikes and I've got my almost sister-in-laws bridal shower the weekend of the 23rd, and RED BUUUUUUUUUUUUD is the 1st...but we'll definitely let you know when we'll be riding again!