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'06 Slatyfork Shuffle...The Last Dance (pics)

4521 Views 49 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  outdoornut
Another Shuffle has came and went, and as usual, I had a great time. I'd like to thank all who attended, both this year and in the past for coming out to enjoy the singletrack of Pocahontas County. I think this will be the last Shuffle, at least for a while. Time for a new location after four years, so stay tuned for news regarding Douthat, Canaan Valley, or other locales in the future.

This year I headed out to Tea Creek Tuesday afternoon and secured one of two remaining spots along the creek. While I was setting up I spied a young rider on a Scott 24" MTB. I knew from photos posted by his dad that this was Scott, so I introduced myself to him and soon met his father, OutdoorNut. We BS'd the afternoon away waiting for Chili to arrive. Chili had some automotive issues, but was only an hour or so behind his ETA. When he arrived I was overjoyed to see a keg of Mountain State Brewing's Seneca Indian Pale Ale on ice in the bed of his truck. That came out immediately. Chili turned his attention to the overstuffed contents of his truck and wondered aloud, "I wonder what I should unpack next?" My reply was automatic; "Uhm, the tap?!" And so another Shuffle as underway.

Wednesday brought the arrival of LowCel, Crashedandburned, and Hecklerboy. After overcoming some motivational issues, an informal out and back was leaving for Bannock Shoals. After having a completely new drivetrain installed just a week or so prior, I was leary when I had to start making barrel adjustments just as we started up Bannock. As we neared the top and I kept downshifting, the source became apparent, I had bent my last remaining derailleur hanger at the base of the climb. I was not a happy camper. Luckily, LowCel brought his Park Tools Derailleur Hanger Adjustment Guide tool and had everything running smoothly again the next morning. LowCel generously donated Wednesday's night steak dinner and jar after jar of his family's "Duck Brand" sauces, salsas, relishes, and other delicious treats. Thanks again, Low!

Thursday would our first big ride. Starting at Elk River Touring we set out to ride Prop's Run. The four mile climb and miles of fire roads afterwards seemed like a ride in itself, but we were just getting to the trail. For eleven-year-old Scott, this was certainly the biggest challenge of his cycling career, and he was definitely up for it. When we reached the trailhead, several folks decided to get the obligatory "picture of me by the trailhead sign". First in this little section I like to call "Portraits at Prop's" is Scott:

Followed by his dad, OutdoorNut:

Then it was Crashedandburned's turn:

And finally LowCel:

Others simply milled about:

While Hecklerboy decided this looked like a fine place for a nap:

Flying down upper Prop's I snapped these pics of OutdoorNut, Chili, and Scott:

Farther down Prop's the trail starts to find high sidelines to avoid eternally boggy areas, this one with a nasty root drop off::

Chili approaches with a huge grin on his face:

While OutdoorNut impressed us all with his ability to least for a second or two...

We finally arrived back at Elk River and collected LowCel and Crashedandburned from ERTC's bar, then headed back to camp. Chili once again showed why he is always voted "Most Valuable Shuffler" and donned his chef hat and whipped up an amazing trout dinner for all.

Friday morning arrived and we were into the thick of things. Gauley Mt to Bear Pen Ridge to Boundary to Bannock Shoals and a 5 mile brake burner back to camp. Sometime after turning onto Bear Pen we were met with a most pleasant scent and turned a corner to find the Philly contingency awaiting a mechanical to be repaired. Introductions and planning of the next day's ride followed. Once again we set out. Here, Chili screams down the Bear Pen descent approaching Tea Creek:

Later on, I snapped a rare pic of a sober Capt._Phun:

And then, there was Boundary Trail:

I haven't seen this much roots and rock since the Reggae Sunsplash '87, but it was ideal. The oddly nice weather...the beautiful forest...the killer lookouts. Here LowCel and Crashedandburned relax at the junction of Boundary and Saddle Loop:

After a quick bite it was time to set out on the final mile of Boundary towards Bannock Shoals:

That night's planned menu was mexican night, but some forgotten items by yours truly meant a trip into town, so once again Chili saved the day with an incredible meal of spaghetti and meatballs with garlic toast, of course.

That evening, our weather fortunes changed for the worse. Fierce windstorms, lighning and thunder. A large tree between our site and OutdoorNut's came crashing down just as the last shufflers stumbled for thier tents. The next morning while hearing the discussion, LowCel quipped, "I heard it, but I just figured it was davis falling over something in his drunken state. So, I just rolled over and went back to sleep." Thanks, buddy...good to know my friends have my back.

Saturday brought more of the weather so well known in these parts. We were about to take off on the most technically demanding trails in the area, and we were also about to be deluged. I knew it was coming, so the camera stayed in the tent. Gauley to Red Run. Change flat at trailhead. Left onto Red Run. Two or three good crashes got me to Right Fork, where the Philly contingency administered some much needed "trail aid" to me. Slogging along Right Fork in a complete downpour, as usual. Then the speech at the Tea Creek Mt Trail. Several of us bailed while the rest decided to spin up to the boulder field to have a look. They all decided to make the descent, and all lived to tell the tale. Back at camp, the waters were rising. Tents were moved. Other campers were heding the ranger's advice to evacuate before the bridge out of the campground was underwater. Our neighbors, some Prep School kids from Toronto and their chaperones, came over to inquire if we were planning on leaving. Our response? "Hell no! We're having wing night!!" Nothing like boiling peanut oil in a hurricane, but it was all good, and even the Canucks came over and had a few wings with us. Then, we had the plaesure to meet Matilda the Hun. She arrived afterdark with reinforcements of beer and wiskey. Ya just gotta love a girl like that, don't ya?

Jeremy- It was great to meet you and your friends. Hope Josh's ribs are feeling better.

LowCel- I didn't get to laugh at you getting flats (because I got them all) this year, but the view of you hitting that wet wooden bridge was worth the price of admission.

Chili- Once again, thanks buddy. We wouldn't think of doing this without you.

To everyone: Thank you for everything.
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very nice write up davis. Can't wait for the next adventure. Douthat this fall....with cabins :)
Davis, thanks need to go your way as well for putting the Shuffle together. Great write up also. Like the Captain said, can't wait for the next adventure. This one was awesome.
We'll be watching with anticipation for the next location.
(Edit) ( Davis, my dad Outdoornut ) got me a screen name so I can get on here sometimes. He helped me with my avitar to. The story and pitures are very good and some are funny like my dad crashing. :D I really had fun. Thank you for the shuffle. I will be better by next year at another one. Me and my dad have another trip this month but don't know where we are going yet. I want to go to Watoga. Thanks
Cool stuff

Nice passion hit!
looks like a whole lotta fun.
Great write up davis. I had a blast and can't wait until the next one. I hate to hear that this will be the last one at Slatyfork but I'll live. I'm more concerned with who will be there than where it will be. I don't think I could find a better group to spend a weekend with (oriental bonnet girls excluded of course).
God that brings back good memories. Thanks for the pictures.

The Great Leader of this here Shuffle.

Gotta get this back near the top. Much better than that Biker Mauled by bear post that has been around since January. Good stuff here.


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Thanks for that, ON...

Without a doubt the WORST picture ever taken of yours truly. I know it was raining, but what the heck is making that lovely "your mascara is running...all over you" look? Must be that sh!t for brains engineer turned photographer! ;)
Now that's funny, I don't care who you are...........

davis said:
I know it was raining, but what the heck is making that lovely "your mascara is running...all over you" look? Must be that sh!t for brains engineer turned photographer! ;)
LOL :D , hysterically, knee slapping.................. :D :D :D :D :cryin: :cryin: :D

Davis, I'm not sure what that was either. But I like the chain drinker look :thumbsup:
Next time I'll take the picture. LOL.

Whoops, now everyone at work is wondering what the heck I'm laughing at.... I better get outta here. Thanks, the day is all better now....
Actually, now that I see the horrible "Biker Mauled by Bear" thread is back, I would have posted that one all by itself and named the thread, "Biker Mauled by Beer". Now, that's funny. Give my regards to Scotty!
davis, I better see you in Davis in a couple of weeks. Don't give me no cow poop that it is hay cutting time, or milking time, or corn cob stroking time.
You know what time it's time to get ill as the Beastie Boys would say.


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Seeing davis in Davis in a couple of weeks is a pretty good bet, oddswise. I may be up there as early as Wednesday, but will be staying at a friend's house (with hot tub, thank you) until its time to do the "camping with riff-raff" thing. I hope I can remember where that trail is that runs from Davis to Thomas, because I plan on spending most of my off-saddle time on a bar stool at Mountain State Brewing Company. For the record, I plan on eating EVERY meal at Sirianni's. Not that Chili isn't the ultimate camp cook, but hey, he needs a break too.
SOunds good. Since I am a poor boy i'll be eating all of chili's cooking. This time I will remember to bring food. Maybe some grilled lobster tail??!!
I may try to get to there Thursday night, all depending on weather and work.

Isn't it time to start discussing Douthat??? YES, I'm STILL bringing that up! :D
crashedandburned said:
Isn't it time to start discussing Douthat??? YES, I'm STILL bringing that up! :D
What about Douthat? I was just there last Friday with mrs. davis. Had to take the XTerra to Covington for service, so we spent some time on the skinnies riding from I-64 north through the park to #39, then back. Least strenuous trip to Douthat ever. Still, I did feel like a bit of adulterer passing those trailheads on a roadie.

Chili: We found a ton of King Boletes and some huge Chicken of the Woods that day.
davis said:
What about Douthat?
I thought we were all talking about a mini gathering there sometime this fall.
We are talking about a mini gathering this fall but you're not invited :p
Douthat in September/October when the leaves change color. Not really for the scenery or cooler air, but more in the sense that we get wasted and "oohhh & aahh" at the pretty colors.
crashedandburned said:
I thought we were all talking about a mini gathering there sometime this fall.
Sometimes the windows of opportunity in life are small.
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