Six points Five choices Two Destinies One Magic Night
Right after reading the severe weather alert for Friday and Saturday, I received
an email from Hunter with the subject of Tammo Ammo and he said lets do a
tamarancho loop tonight. Russell and Dana were already in. Somehow I
twisted everyones arm to change the ride to an ancient path called Liberty
Gulch. We decided on a dirt route through 5-corners and on to the meadow club.
We met at Russells house at 7pm no rain. We did it on Tuesday and were
gonna do it again. Beat the devil, baby. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
We ride up to 5-corners and everyones feeling good. The usually daunting climb
doesnt feel too bad. Fuzzy even had a bit of speed. We did 5-corners twice on
Tuesday, why not do it again?
Then on past Elliot and up towards the gate.
I hear my buddies yelling. Flash of amber lights.
Ranger! Lights off!
Hes lying in wait for us at sky oaks. He sees us and starts to turn his truck
around. Thats it for Liberty Gulch. Thats not going to happen. Destiny has
something else in store for us.
We turn around and head back on Shaver to 5-corners. Lights are off, cant see,
must turn lights back on while descending at 15 mph, why do they make you do a
double click? With winter gloves on? Cant find button. Looking over our
shoulders no ranger yet. At 5-corners, we head straight up the brutal short
climb that Mo calls thingo (the name does it no justice), and on to the safety of
the singletrack called Bald Hill. We will ride to 6-points, which as it turns out is
an intersection of 5 singletracks (5-corners is an intersection of 6 trails, if you
count Elliot go figure). My three companions sprint out ahead and Im alone on
Bald Hill trail. Whats that I see out of the corner of my right eye? Amber lights!
The ranger is on Concrete Pipe across the canyon and he can see exactly where
were riding! When I finally catch up to the crew at 6-points, I say Dudes, he
totally knows where we are hes been watching us.
What do we do? I ask.
Were totally safe here, Russell says calmly. He cant drive his truck here, and
if he hikes it we have 4 escape options.
So of course we had a party! The longer we stay here, the better. They have no
way of knowing if we tried to exit or not. The rangers would have to cover three
different exits of the park, or play roulette and guess which exit we would take.
Theres no rush, mate! Have some Fuzzys elixir or some Makers Mark. Kick
back and snicker about the lack of rain. When it does sprinkle, pretend its just
the wind blowing drops from the leaves. Its warm around the little fire-starter
brick, a technique pioneered by the Tuesday night firemans ride and carried forth
by Russell and Hunter. Were happy. If it wasnt so cold, I woulda taken a nap.
Russell, Hunter, and Dana at six points
We ate, we drank, we drank in the night and got warm. We were not supposed
to be there. We were supposed to be on Liberty Gulch. But destiny and magic
of the night intervened. Russell saw it, but didnt know what it meant. Hunter
walked up to the signpost that said Bald Mountain. The arrow on the sign
pointed straight up to an object and Hunter grabbed it. Fuzzy and and Dana
Stir it up
Finally time to bolt. No decision as to which of the 5 trails to take. Even if the
ranger could read our minds, he wouldnt know which trail were gonna take. If
the ranger is Matt Circle, he knows that hes screwed and he gave up. If its John
McConneloug, that braggart brother of the #1 female mountain biker in the US (I
know every single trail on this mountain, yada, yada, yada), he will stupidly try to
guess which trail were taking.
Yolanda to Phoenix lake is rejected. Must ride right by the ranger station, maybe
hell call it in. Hell, lets do just what we did on Tuesday, Yolanda towards Worn
Springs road and then Deer Park singletrack.
Joy of singletrack. No real mud, just some standing water. Spray all over the
place. Slimy rounded waterbars. Do not look to your left down the exposure.
Thats all bad. Focus on the trail. Let it roll. Ride the stairs this trail is like
magic, it will save you if you let it save you. Something has happened to Hunter.
The magic has hit him hard.
Now on to Deer Park singletrack. Switchback city. All look hard, but not actually
hard. Fuzzy tries to cross a creek around a switchback and has a minor crash,
or maybe it was just a major dab. Picking himself up, he notices the fabulous
waterfall just up the creek. Must take photo!
This is why we ride!
What a beautiful creek to fall into!
Were down to the schoolyard, and no ranger. Sorry, Matt and John, better luck
next time. You were a part of our destiny. We needed you.
Fuzzy made spaghetti for everyone at Russells house. Hunter left to have
dinner with his sweetheart. I didnt bother to look at the time when I got home.
Next day, I received the following note from Hunter:
Gents - That was such a great ride that I proposed to Leeta after.
I found a ring on the ride on top of the sign post that read BALD
MOUNTAIN with an arrow pointing up to a nice gleaming ring that was lit
from my head lamp. No shit. I have been wanting to propose to her for
a long time however I was stuck on what kind of ring to get being that
she is a designer/artist. Last night was truly magical.
Sopping wet, muddy, and smiling I offered her the magic of the night and
proposed for the future.
Congratulations Leeta !! Congratulations Hunter !!