Well the 8th annual death march is in the books and it was bigger and better than ever. This year I turned 40 the day after the march so I decided to make it one for the books.
We camped out at Hartman Rocks again but instead of trailering up to the start we left from camp and snuck through town at 7 am. We started with Mick, Ian, Jeff, Brian, Kain and myself. The Prossers were supposed to meet us at the trailhead but were running late so we took off up Fossil Ridge. After getting to first stopping point it was clear that Mick, Ian, Kain and I were holding a brisk pace and Jeff and Brian decided to hang back together and enjoy their day at a slower speed.
We finished Fossil and Gold Creek in really good time and hit Taylor Park ahead of schedule. At the trading post Ian decided that he would head home to be with his daughter so Kain, Mick and I headed for Timberline to knock out the hardest trail of the day.
With just the 3 of us we made pretty short work of Timberline and all came out the other side ready for more. We rode up to the start of Star Trail where I had stashed gas and met the Prossers there. They had skipped Timberline to catch us so now we were up to a crew of 6. We took off up Star towards Italian Creek Rd. No real problems on Star but I did have my one crash of the day on a switch back but came out unscathed.
After we hit Italian Creek rd we headed to the italian connector down to spring creek reservoir. We headed up Flag trail to Bear Creek trail and down to Spring Creek rd for a gas and food stop. While were were filling up Kain and all of the Prossers decided that they were done and didn't want to follow Mick and I up Deadman's.
We said our goodby's and Mick and I launched into uncharted terrain for the death march. We rode up Deadman's to Reno Ridge. We raged the ridge to Reno Divide and headed down to Cement Creek and up to the Mount Tilton trail. After reaching the saddle we rode down Secret trail to the Taylor divide road and up to Star Pass. Mick and I stood on top of Star Pass and decided to try and do all of Double Top to Walrod Gulch before putting lights on. We charged hard and made to Cement Creek Rd with enough daylight to ride up and over deadmans and back to our gas just as it was getting dark.
We installed our lights and headed down the Spring Creek Rd to the Taylor River Rd and up to One Mile Campground. From there we took Rd 586 back to Lost Canyon Rd and back to town then Hartman's where Jeff and Brian were waiting with food and beer and pie for my birthday.
All told we put in over 170 miles in 14.5 hours of riding. It was exactly what I wanted to do for my 40th birthday!