Author Topic: Spending the night with a Princess  (Read 368 times)

Wacked

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Spending the night with a Princess
« on: July 21, 2018, 11:41:24 PM »

So, last Sunday I had to clear the cob-webs out of my head.  Planned to ride that morning but it was wet.  Worked on and off all day, and by 6:30pm just had to get out.  Was on the trail by 7 for a quick 1-1.5 hour solo ride.  Threw on the pack, armor, and coat - debated the coat.  Let the wife know I'd head out to Victoria lake area and got the raised eyebrows.  Took the BETA Princess

Did some easy 2-track I hadn't been on for a few years.  Kinda boring since they were logging this area and running the trails with equipment.  Popped out and decided to do a single track I'd never been on.  Said to myself I'd only do this until it got gnarly since I was riding solo.  Found out this track is quite easy - kinda boring.  Other people must think so also because the trail is not defined or cut in.  Had to go back and forth many times and consult the GPS to figure out where the trail went.  It was easy to lose....  then I'd pop out Avenza and search.  The trail eventually popped out on that plainsy/grassy area on top of Taylor Ranch road.  I followed the trail northward, almost to the end and then bumped into a gate.  Whatever.  It was getting late and the last 1/3 of the trail was a little boring, so I turned around to get out of there.  It was getting dusk.

It doesn't take long to realize the headlight on my bike is just for show - I couldn't see crap and had to ride by braille.  Changed strategies and decided to stay on the faintly worn ranch road because I could kind of see it and because all roads lead somewhere - right.  Yea, this one led up to a locked gate. 

Now, the pucker factor is kicking in.  At 9:11, I text the wife and say all is well but bumped into a locked gait scenario. 

A quick check of Avenza, and see the road is just a little bit to the east of me.  Now I'm really riding by Braille so I creep my way east-ward, nervous that I could get strained by a barbed wire fence at any given time.  Crap, right into some sort of dammed up stock pond and it doesn't appear to be a way around it.  Back to the gate.

Avenza comes out again.  If we (me and the Princess) go the the West, I should bisect the single track I had just come up.  No other choice.  I made it over to the trail without too much trauma. 

I start riding the trail but can't follow it.  Gotta stop every 30-40 yards and consult the GPS - just cannot see the track.  Eventually, I get to the top of a wooded ridge and still cannot find my old track from an hour previous.  There's dead-fall everywhere from some type of wind-shear that happened maybe 10 years ago.  How come I don't remember this part of the trail?  How do I get off this ridge?  Somehow I think the GPS is leading me down the steep slope to the left.  I get off and walk/bull-dog the bike down the slope.  Half-way down I get smart.  I tip the bike over against the slope and walk out the rest.  Good move.  This is not the trail.  It is not ridable - at least in the dark.  You are in the middle of a butt-load of dead-fall.  Every 30 feet I fall flat on my face because I can't see and slippery dead-fall trip me up with these clunky boots.

I climb up to the bike and hyper-ventilate.  Pissed off that I'm old and that I did not bring any water.  Guess I am staying the night out here with the Princess.  I strip off most my sweaty clothes and contemplate my next move.  I type out a text to my wife but it doesn't send.

After catching my breath, I move higher up the slope - trip, fall on my face, try the texting thing again.  Nope.  Hmmm.....  guess I did throw in the SPOT so I activate the "OK" button and hunker down for the night.  Not bad.  I hear coyotes in the next valley over.  Different rocks keep poking my hips.  I use my EVS jacket as a bug screen over my head.  It works pretty good.  I told the wife what trail I'd be on, did she activate a rescue committee?

Maybe about 1am; no rescue committee.  I note a change in weather patterns.  Wind and wet fog is rolling in and there's lightning in the distance.  Screw this, I pull out my mylar emergency blanket  - get up, trip, fall on my face and head for a less exposed area in the trees.  Hey, the ground is softer.  It's easier to get comfortable.  A light rain starts. 

3:30, I get up to work out a leg cramp and pee.  Walking around, I notice that I'm sleeping about 25' from the trail.  Sweet.  I lay down again and cover up. 

5:30, I get up and contemplate if there is enough light to make a move.  It's still raining, so I spread out the mylar blanket to catch rain water and walk down to check out the bike.  It's pointing the wrong direction so I gently try to spin it around flat on the slope.  It takes some wrestling but I get it done.  But now it wont start.  How good is this battery?  Maybe it's flooded.  I undo the choke and hold the throttle.  It eventually pops.  After a couple of goes, I make it back up to the trail.  I suck 3 decent swallows of rain-water off the blanket and pack up.

It's fairly light out by now and I still can't find the trail.  Really.  I get off and walk it out because I'm tired of this adventure.  The GPS says I should be standing right over it.  I look back and forth can don't see it.  Fine.  I'll look for another way down.  I go to the next ridge over and then head straight down.........   Finally I'm on the trail.  5 minutes later I'm to a gravel road.  15 minutes later I am home.

That's my night with the Italian Princess (BETA)

Next ride will have some accessories in my back-pack!

Wacked












Abercrombie

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2018, 12:55:58 AM »
Mental note to myself. Brad's great group leader but find someone else to follow late in the afternoon.   :)

ADV Piglet

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2018, 10:55:36 AM »
What a story! Glad you found your way home. You are like Bear Grylles, but with a Beta.

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« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 06:28:28 PM by ADV Piglet »

Osnabrock

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2018, 06:23:46 PM »
Sounds like one of of those nights you’ll remember for a while.  It sounds like you kept your wits about you and did everything right.  Nicely done!
"Don't be scared, it's fun.  I'll cheer you on."

Hank

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2018, 08:51:46 AM »
 :o

Oh yeah, that's a good adventure you won't forget about any time soon!

You're lucky the princess didn't sneak off back to Watertown after doing that to her.

Fletch

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2018, 08:01:48 AM »
that's awesome!
stupid is my middle name, but my first name is Mike

greatbuffalo

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 10:28:34 PM »
 :) :)
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Wacked

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 08:09:15 AM »

Went back to the scene of the crime to find my lost glove.

This weekend Jeff and I did some riding through Victoria Lake and over NE of Pactola into Rochford.  Besides the lost glove, I wanted to see where I spent the night and try to sort through where the trail actually went.  How come I couldn't find it in the morning light??  I was kind of surprised to see the trail about 100yards to the east of where I had camped.  It was in a valley - not on a ridge! 

Hmmm....  What does this mean?  1) I was so flustered and tired that night that I was reading the screen cross-eyed and ended up 100yds to the west.  2) my trusty companion Avenza was leading me astray ............       

I'm not ruling either of these options out. 

BUT how come in the morning when I went looking for the trail i thought I was standing right over it/near it but could not see it?  I had to boondock over to the west and down another ridge to get into the valley because I never could find the trail. 

Heres my theory.  The Iphone and Avenza need time to calibrate when they are turned on - I know Garmin has a little fiquire-8 dance they want you to do when you turn on the device.   I would take the phone out of my pocket each time I used it, bring up the app, and check my position.  Maybe Im grasping at straws but I'm baffled how me and the cheap "GPS" could miss trail by that much.

Any thoughts?

Lonesome Dave

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 10:21:17 PM »
It looks like to me the phone/gps did a 180 on you.  In the dark you weren't moving fast enough to keep north at the top or in it's normal position you have set.  Therefore when moving slow or stopping and looking it probably switched around.  If the valley or trail was showing on your right but with the screen switched around it was actually on your left.  My 2 cents.

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Bogus Jim

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2018, 10:14:55 AM »
If you had tree cover or were in a valley, could've been experiencing poor reception. The GPS chips need at least 4 satellites but they're usually not very accurate unless they have locked onto 9 or 10. Errors of 100+ yards are possible.

There's also differences in chips/power/antenna, my SPOT won't lock on at all inside the house but the garmin will.

Leo FishBear

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Re: Spending the night with a Princess
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2018, 10:39:44 PM »
so the next time? Bolt Cutters?
I've No idea where I'm going, That's no reason to be late.