Our boondocking spot is incredibly quiet nestled in a little clearing among towering ponderosa, spruce, cedar, and gamble oak. We had a pretty good blast of rain yesterday evening that magnified the fragrance of the forest. Wet, warm pine needles and sweet smelling trees greeted us this morning.
Riding new trails every day is a challenge! We never really know what we’re in for. La Cueva Canyon Loop wasn’t very long at only 14 miles but the 2103′ of climbing was tough and the downhill was rugged and rowdy. The description on our app called it a, “roots and rocks festival” so we were excited to see what it was like.
We started on La Cueva Canyon Trail that runs basically through the backyard between a cluster of cute cabins. From the get go it is steep and incredible rocky and we had to hop off and hike a couple times. This doesn’t last for very long, though the climb the entire way up is steep. This 5 mile trail climbed 1877’! Crossing several luscious green grassy meadows allowed us to catch our breath and take some pictures. This is true singletrack where your pedals scrap the side because it’s so narrow.
At the junction with Ojitos Maes Trail we turned right and rolled along through incredibly dark forest for a couple more miles before a steep chute-like descent to the junction with the next section of La Cueva Canyon Trail. THIS was the downhill we’d worked for the whole ride so far. The trail is very rocky and rooty with fun berms, drops, and challenges to negotiate. It’s was a hoot! As difficult as the first climb is, I really enjoyed this loop. We didn’t see anyone else on any of these trails either!
Tonight is homemade pizza night, which is difficult in a trailer but worth it. I finished reading The Vapors – a true story of America’s original capital of vice in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I’d never heard of Hot Springs before and was intrigued when I saw a blurb about the book in The New York Times. I enjoyed it, even when it got a little long in parts. What a fascinating era!