Monday, December 21, 2009


A classic Nor'easter formed and delivered a lot of the fluffy white stuff.  Friday the stores were packed with people trying to beat the storm.  Parking lots were full at the grocery stores, the department stores and home improvement centers.  One would have thought Armageddon was upon us.  Me, I was exchanging emails with the guys trying to see who going to ride in the morning.

9 pm and the snow starts to fall.  Nothing heavy, but, earlier than predicted. By 11 pm the ground has a nice blanket of whiteness and I start to wonder if it'll be too deep to ride at 9am. 6:30am and the early morning haze reveals 5+ inches of snow and steadily rising. A quick call to DKEG and he's out. Thumb hurts too much from a crash on Friday. Frank bails to ride locally and do some sledding with Grace. The Outlaw is on the fence then opts out to do a townie ride.  I call the Dutch. He's still interested and DCTony is on his way with two other guys. I have to ride.

I load the car with all the usual stuff for a ride.  Chainsaw, avalanche shovel, come-along and a tow rope. I'm pretty sure I packed a bike as well, but, I needed to have the essentials covered.  The drive up 270 was amusing as I saw no less than 6 accidents involving a lot of cars that had no business being on the road.  Downtown Frederick was covered in 6+ inches of snow and I can only assume the extra inch fell on the drive up.  The Mark boys got an early start and were already outside playing when I arrived. Their father could learn a few things about punctuality from them. Even after the DC/VA contingent arrived,  Dutchie kept us waiting while he brewed an espresso, re-faced his bottom bracket and cobbled a pair of Italian hiking boots.  The snow was getting deeper by the minute.

We opted for the back door and Mountaindale road.  The thought was to minimize steep, paved roads in favor for some traction on the gravel.  A few cars had been down the road and we didn't have any serious problems getting to the trail-head.  Iceberg, that's were we parked and what we attempted.  I won't even call it a "ride" anymore. It was hiking with brief sections where we sat on our bikes and tried to turn the cranks. The "Tip" was our goal and that was all we would see of Iceberg on the "ride".  We did clear off a section of trail leading up to the Tip and sessioned that tiny section of trail until our media cards were full of bloopers and out-takes. Our party of 5 trudged back to the cars were we cracked open some brews and watched our cars fill with the driven snow.  The toughest part of the entire day was dealing with fogged up windows as we made our way off the mountain.  That one will go down in the books for sure.


brett said...

darius has the pics, you have the rest of the story--nice combo!

Todd said...

Where are all stories from Michaux? You all must have some tales to tell.

brett said...

I was disallowed from going drunken snow wheeling in the Toyota, for some reason. Hence, no tales of high drama.

Todd said...

Damn, that's just un-American.