We had completed Red Elephant Hill and Mill Creek, and now it was time to finish up our day with Bill Moore Lake. Chad had been there the weekend before and said that there was a lot of snow on the steep downhill section before the old mud pit, so he had turned around. We hoped to make it through there and to the lake, so we started up the whoopdeedoo hill and up the mountain.
We didn't see any snow on the trail for awhile. The rocky hill with two optional routes was a blast as it was very loose and steep. We went up the middle and came down the outside on our way back.
When we got to the more exposed area at the top, we noticed older snow in big drifts. It must have been from the snow we had about a month ago. There was still a lot of it to the sides of the trail, and it looked very wind-blown. So did the trees, like always. We wondered how anything could survive up there in that wind.
We could see the basin that we knew was behind the lake, and it looked like it was snowing there. We had sunshine at times, and our weather wasn't too bad. It looked like it might get bad, though.
When we got to the first downhill section we noticed it was covered in snow. We also found two people trying to push a dirtbike up the hill. They couldn't get enough traction to ride it up, and with the snow and the steep hill they were having a hard time pushing it. Don got out to help and together they all managed to push that dirtbike and an additional dirtbike up the hill and to the dirt trail.
Don went down first and found that the first section wasn't slick at all. Chad said that he did the first section the week before, but didn't do the second section with the bigger, steeper hill. It definitely had snow on it, but we had winches and we could get out if we got into any trouble.
Don went down the second hill and though the snow was a little deep in places he didn't slide toward the edge. He was soon down and he radioed for the others to come down, too. We all made it down just fine.
The snow was a few inches deep on the trail in spots, but nothing too difficult. When we got to the old mud pit we noticed that lots of ATV and dirt bike tracks went through the trees and off of the actual trail. It's possible that they just didn't know where the true trail was, but the true trail was covered in fairly deep snow.
Don had to work at it for a bit in order to break through the deep snow on the trail next to the mud pit. It didn't take long for him to get through, though, and then everyone else came through. That would be the deepest area of snow, by far. We wouldn't have any more snow bashing to do.
We were soon at the lake, and no one felt like hiking over to it. It was very cold, but it wasn't snowing. It was windy, of course.
Michael, Chad and Don all took turns getting up on the poser rock. Bill and Mike had been on it before and chose to skip it this time. It's always so much fun to get up on that rock, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Still, it was freezing so we soon headed out.
The trip down was fun, and we didn't see any snow after we passed the open area that we had already been through. The whole way down was nice and easy. We saw a couple of vehicles working their way up.
The very last part of the trail right before the trailhead is very mellow, but there are some nice cracks in the road. We all drove through an especially deep crack to get some flexy shots, and we realized that it would be months before we were flexed again. The end of the season is always such a bittersweet time.
We aired up at the trailhead and almost all of us went to Beau Jo's for dinner. We looked forward to the Georgetown Ice Races coming up, but it wasn't quite the same as wheeling. It was going to be a long winter!
Reports from Other Days: 8
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