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Once the sun is out and the tarp has been converted back to Jeremy’s tent, we walk up the trail to see if it does anything worse than what we’ve ridden, to make our ride plan for the morning. It all looks doable until we get down river and midway up the side of the canyon. There we face a long hillclimb that, based on tracks dug everywhere, has been troublemaker to many.


“I don’t think I can do it,” I offer. I don’t know about Joel and Jeremy but I think it would be a “maybe” for me even without camping gear on the bike. We’re always disappointed to retreat but we’re already low on gas and counting the miles to town. Battling to get up a climb isn’t going to help. Tomorrow we’ll ride back to the road.

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Taken on August 31, 2017