Saturday, July 29, 2006
Back Country Time Travellin'
Thank you very much, Forest Service. I closed the shop a tad early today to sneak in a ride in the backwoods not far from Lyons. Lion Gulch and Homestead Meadows was the destination. It's a great ride. It opens with an absolutely punishing 1100' climb up Lion Gulch to get to the Meadows. Once in Homestead Meadows, though, a combination of rolling jeep road and singletrack interconnects several 1920s era homesteads. On bike or foot, it must be seen. Visiting the homesteads gives hard evidence of the fortitude of generations of folks that have forged the way before us.
The Lion Gulch trail starts off smooth enough.
It doesn't take long, though, before the going gets tough. It starts out innocent enough. Just a little steeper and just a little rockier.
But before you know it, the riding is even more arduos. This is definitely a hike up.
The hiking is brief and worthwhile. After ascending the gulch, you top out in the Homestead Meadows area. After another short grunt, sweet singletrack awaits.
The smooth ribbon doesn't last long. Another short grunt on doubletrack and it's back into the trees for more rocks and roots.
All of the homesteads have informational kiosks. The Brown Homestead shows a picture of Harry and his sister on the front porch of the homestead.
Here is the Brown homestead as it exists today. I could see why Harry would want to spend some time on that porch. What a beautiful vista.
Next on the tour was a quick out and back to the old sawmill. This is a grand structure and it's still in fantastic condition. The outbuildings are a little bit more weathered, though.
Back onto the double track and one more historic preserve
There's not much left to the Griffith Homestead except a foundation and a little history. Life was hard.
Heck, life still is hard, just a little bit different. I'm glad that I can access this area via mtb. Tonight was a gorgeous night. I only saw 4 or 5 other people out on the trail, but I felt that I was among more than that.
Tough times and hard living are relative, though. I wonder what they'll be saying about us in another 100 years.