We started our day with Argentine Pass, and we had lunch at the top. The sky was clear and the weather was perfect. We saw a lot of people on the trail but everyone was happy to be out, so it was nice to see everyone. We started at the hill above the Waldorf Mine.
That hill is pretty fun when we do it in the downhill direction, but it's much better going uphill. It was loose and steep, and everyone had a good time. No one had any issues.
We knew that the Santiago Mine was closed for restoration, but it was still a bummer to see the fencing when we got there. The trail is closed with big fences, and you can't see the mill from where the trail ends. It was good that they're cleaning things up, and we really hoped it would be open again someday. That was a really cool destination, and it could end up even better. We didn't hang out for long, just long enough to read the signs about it.
Things were uneventful as we enjoyed the trip to the overlook. We skipped the spur up to the top of the mountain, planning on doing it on the way back. The overlook was nice, though it was windy. It was definitely getting chilly up there, and winter was on its way.
We were enjoying the views when Sean realized he had a flat tire. He'd punctured his sidewall somewhere along the way, and the slow leak let all of the air out of it. Luckily, he was parked somewhere flat and wide, so changing it was a pretty quick effort. But he was concerned about not having a spare tire, especially because he couldn't use any of the spares carried by the rest of the group. We wanted to make sure he got off of the trail without issues, and Niko had to get back home, so the two of them left while the rest of us headed to the unnamed mine.
The trip to the weird building with no name was cool, mostly because it doesn't get used nearly as often as the rest of the network of trails up in that area. There were spots that were tippy, and spots that were narrow. No one had any issues, though, and we took our time looking at the old building (still standing!) and peering through the gate over the mine opening.
We started heading back when Niko came on the CB saying Sean had another flat. He could see us from where he was, high above us on the trail. We hurried out to follow him to where Sean was. We'd need to see the top of McClellan Mountain another time. He wasn't down to Argentine Pass yet, and he had a second flat.
The first flat had the smallest hole, so everyone worked on patching it. It looked like it was going to hold, so we carefully made our way down. Sean and Jim took the easiest, less bumpy way out on Argentine Pass while Chad and Matt took McClellan out to map it and see if anything changed (it hadn't). We all met at the wide spot on the pavement near the trail, and Sean's tire was holding air.
We aired up, and Niko followed Sean home to make sure his tire held air -- which it did. Sean has had a few flat tires this season, and he was talking about getting tires with thicker sidewalls. It's always something with a Jeep, and they never stop taking your money. Still, we had a great day on the trails.
Reports from Other Days: 4
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for McClellan Mountain. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.