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Priest Lake Mountain Bike Weekend 2006

Trip date: 10/13/2006
Reported by: Lisa Giegel

Twenty of us stayed in two rented cabins at Hill’s Resort on Priest Lake the weekend of Oct. 13-15. Cabin dwellers included Terry Hergert, Meg Bouchard, Teresa Watson, Paul Z, Brad Blegen, Chris Roberts, Carl and Jan Wheatley, Diana Roberts, Dianne Murray, Connie Connelly, Kathy McGary, Jane Schelly, Randy Spotts, Randy Labeff, Lisa Helmbrecht, Joe and Lisa Giegel, Tom Antles and Stephen Johnson (Friday night), and Maryanne Gaddy and Lloyd Hixon (Saturday night). Mars Gemar and Rick Vance joined us for the Saturday ride.
Fabulous trails, food and friends are the recipe for an unforgettable mountain bike weekend.
The trails: Though a bit cool when we all headed out from the Beaver Creek campground, the trails were dry(!) and in superb condition this year. The weather warmed to a spectacular, sunny day—the best ever for our annual weekend on the lake. Most of the several groups jumped on to the Navigation Trail north of Beaver Creek grinning ear-to-ear as we swooped along some of the best rolling single-track in the area. The largest group of riders decided to pedal around the north end of the lake to the Trapper Creek trail on the east side meeting some Mountaineer hikers along the way. Upon returning to Beaver Creek, some of the group decided to go south on the Lakeshore Trail. Three of the heartiest riders--Rick, Paul and Lloyd--ended the day with 47 miles on the odometer. That’s the equivalent of a road ride century or more! The other groups went as far as the Navigation campground before turning around, lunching at the beach and riding all or part of the Lakeshore trail. Many of us wish these trails were closer to Spokane. What fun!

The food: Joe and I always jump start the weekend with a visit to the Chimney Rock Café on Friday evening. Brad and Connie joined us for a tasty dinner at this culinary gem. Other Mountaineer mountain bikers and hikers had the same idea as we filled a few tables in the eatery. We headed back to the cabins for further indulgence featuring chocolate cake and pumpkin cheesecake. After Saturday’s adventures and a few homemade trail cookies, we enjoyed the traditional potluck dinner followed by Sunday morning’s breakfast of french toast, ham, eggs, fruit and more.

The friends: Another Friday evening tradition for me and Joe is a short hike along the lakeshore before dinner. This year Brad and Connie joined us. As we walked, Diana Roberts sat by the lake and painted a beautiful watercolor of the water and mountains in the waning daylight. After dinner, we enjoyed sitting around the cabins, swapping stories and listening to the very talented Randy Spotts play his guitar. A warm fire and abundant laughter filled the rooms.

The only thing better than single-track is riding single-track with a fun group of people. Top that off with another evening spent talking and laughing, and everyone went to bed pleasantly tired (some a little bruised) and filled with the sense of a day well spent.

Participants went in many directions on Sunday following Saturday night’s rain. The adventurous rode Trail 308 to the American Falls, aptly named, as the wet conditions resulted in quite a few scrapes and bruises. Others went back to the Lakeshore trail. Some paddled. The rest headed home savoring memories of the previous day.

Fabulous trails, food and friends. Thanks to all for a grand birthday weekend!