We finished our marathon day of wheeling with Yoder Gulch. By the end, we wished we had run it in the other direction but it was still fun. There's always next time!
We ran No Name Gulch first, and then at the end of that trail we ran up to the top of Yoder Gulch. We parked for a little bit. Don had called and said that he was in Leadville, so he was going to start Yoder Gulch on the other end and meet us in the middle. We hung out for a bit at the trail's end, but the mosquitoes were thick so we soon headed down the trail.
The top of the trail was much like No Name Gulch, bumpy and muddy. There was a bit of snow on the trail near the end, but nothing that gave us any trouble.
The scenery was good when the trail would come out of the trees. Everything was very green from all of the snow we'd had over the winter. There was still a lot of snow on the mountain tops.
We soon got to the third mud crossing and it was very slick with very deep ruts. Monica fell into the ruts but luckily she had enough clearance to not bottom out. Mike made it through, too. But then it was Julie's turn.
She just didn't have the clearance she needed, and once she fell into the ruts she was stuck. She tried to get out under her own power but it wasn't going to work. Mike went back to pull her forward, but that was a muddy mess. Julie had taken her front tow hooks off for better clearance, but that meant the tow strap could only go around her axle. Everyone got pretty muddy, but she got out.
Walt took it a bit faster and stayed out of the ruts, so he ended up powering through it. We had been talking to Don on the CB, and he showed up just down the meadow from us so we were finally all together.
We passed the end of the Wurts Ditch trail, where we'd be again on Sunday. Don said that the rest of the trail was pretty challenging and he'd had a great time. We were all looking forward to it and hoping we'd all get through.
The rocky sections were fun, and there was mud and water everywhere. The second mud crossing didn't give anyone any trouble because it was fairly hard at the bottom and it was mostly just muddy water.
We all looked at the first mud crossing and a few people were concerned. The tippy turn just before the descent into the mud was a little weird, but no one hit their vehicles on the tree. On the way up the hill, Don had tried the left side but got denied because it was too steep. He took the right line on the way up, so he took the left line on the way down. The rest of us took the right, inside line on the way down. It was very steep but not a problem. The mud at the bottom was slick but fine.
It was rocky the rest of the way down, but it was a good time. We all commented that it would really be a fun trail on the way up. Even the final hill before getting to the railroad tracks was fun.
We all aired up just a bit and said goodbye to Julie who was only there for the one day. It was a fantastic end to a great day, and the rest of us headed in to Leadville to check in to hotels. It looked like it was going to be a great weekend!