So instead I decided to keep it closer to home and have a little “staycation” in Northern California and enjoy everything amazing that is right in the backyard! First on the list…. I made the trek to Truckee, and got the opportunity to see whats really going on with the snow up there….
I was most surprised when I first got to town by the lack of snow on the ground and the gorgeously bronzed local chicks sporting sexy sun dresses and hot tank tops from Dressed, a sweet little downtown boutique for women. Um hello, when I left Aptos I was bundled in jeans and a hoody! Venturing up into the hills, it looks like Northstar-at-Tahoe still has some snow down at the level of the mid-mountain lodge but when walking down Mineshaft it seems pretty much melted out. The dirtjumps are almost completely dried up, which made my heart light up like an over-decorated christmas tree. So despite my skepticism, the mountain should definitely be opening June 10th…..
And just because Northstar is not open doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of riding to be had up there, shuttlable and xc! The trails in the Martis area (just across the street from the *) are melting, drying out and looking like some crafty little gnomes have been having at it with shovels and rakes, primping the sweet jumps and berms…..
The Commemorative Overland Emigrant Trail is clear and there were lots of ladies getting their xc on in the sunshine. There are definitely some icy cold puddles to soak your backside, but totally worth it anyway. This is a tasty little trail that you can take all the way from Prosser to Stampede (you could start at Tahoe-Donner too). It is about a 12 mile out-and-back of rolling wide single track. Perfect for all abilities with pretty much any kind of bike. Bring snacks so you don’t feel compelled to eat your friends :).
And of course being the nerdy environmentalist that I am, please read this memorandum from the USDA Forest Service about safety and conservation of recreational trails with lingering snowpack…..
On my way home I wanted to slay some red dirt in Auburn, but a shuttle situation just wasn’t coming together. So I opted for a little solo all-mountain adventure instead, originating from the American River Confluence parking lot. I pedaled up Old Clementine Road Trail and then descended Fire Break to Culvert to Confluence. While you are climbing you can hear the roar of the dam and enjoy the pretty lupines and other wild flowers on the side of the trail. On the way down there are plenty of breathtaking views and tons of features to test your radness on. I like riding Auburn because I can enjoy a combo of all the things that scare me most: pointy rocks, heights and dark scary tunnels. Sweet!
Here’s a recent vid I found on youtube. Pretty sure this is Culvert and the Confluence trail starts after you cross the road shown at the end, but hey I ain’t no loc :).