Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bringing the party to Lake Wilson

So in an attempt to salvage some spring break time off, her Al-ness, Brutus, and I took our white-trash road show to Wilson "the Clearest Lake In KS" Lake. Its about 5 miles north of I-70
and is a real jewel of kansas mountain biking. It is in what I consider to be the "gateway" to western KS. Low rainfall and not many trees. What trees there are, are generally relegated to low areas and the occasional cedar, which is more like a large weed.
Anyhow, we got there Friday afternoon and tried to establish our camp in a spot that was out of the wind. We stayed at the Wheatgrass Campground operated by KS state Parks.
Take note!
There are no services offered this time of year so you had better have some strong bushcraft!

Note the sheltered location of our base camp. Most sites at Wilson are extremely open and exposed.

Brutus and I, taking a moment to reflect.

After a few moments of reflection I took the bike and went out to check out the trails. Brutus moped and mourned accordingly. Later that evening I went out and did another loop as a night ride. Was pretty intense.

Then Saturday saw the arrival of John "yeah, I'll huck that" Waller. After cruising around for several hours, we were both in agreement that there really is nothing like this within a days drive. Big technical slickrock sections, moves that require torque and finesse, long climbs, sweeping fast descents, in short, there is something for everyone.
What I think of as the Front two loops (closest to the Wheatgrass trail head) encompass more of the technical "powerful" type of riding.
The back loop (south of the hell creek road) was one of my favorite parts. I liked it best ridden backwards so that you climbed away from the lake first and ended the loop along the lake cliffs.

Waller posing in KS Canyonlands style. I did two laps on Saturday on the rigid SS and I was absolutely destroyed when it was over. 34:18 is not a kind gear to be turning out there.
Upon our return to camp, we saw to the acquisition of appropriate provisions and built a suitable fire upon which foil packs would be cooked.

BAM! is the vernacular that Emeril would use to describe this feat that is the collision of gastronomy and skills honed by years of dirt-baggery and low living.

Big-Al was like, "Good Game" As the sun set upon our campsite, we prepared to once again lay siege to the trails on Sunday.

Al in her natural habitat.

When it was all said and done, and there were no more birds left to chase through the tall grass.

Wilson is the labor of love of the KTC and Central Kansas Mountain Bike Club. They put in a ton of work out there, and it shows. Next weekend they are having a work weekendand adding on another mile of trail. If you have never been out there now is the time to go.

Things to keep in mind:
Sunscreen....There are no trees.
Water......bring lots.
15 miles at wilson is like 25 miles somewhere else
I feel that this area is best enjoyed with suspension......GASP! after a lap I was wishing for some.
IF you take a full suspension bike you will not be sorry, also be prepared to use a wide range of gears.

1 comment:

Shad S. said...

Also keep an eye out for our 2 day stage race out there in May...XC, STXC, and hill climb! The short track is up on tower hill!