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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Theres probably a couple of you out there who ride in Auburn on a regular basis. Now that N* is open you're probably not riding there as much, and you may have not heard that there was a fire there about a week ago. Well, after a week of not riding, we had the idea that it would be fun to go hit up and see what the trail condition was like. I'm coming off a broken wrist, so I wasn't riding, and was just loaning my bike out, shuttling, and taking pics.

The night before, George informs me that "according to the news, the smoke is mostly gone and the fire is totally out." I was a bit skeptical, since the fire JUST happened, Auburn is right below the inversion layer, and CA is on fire. I had driven through Auburn a week and a half ago, and you couldn't see more then a mile for the smoke. But I was game, and at 9:30 am the next morning I shoot him a text telling him I'd be down to shuttle if he and David (his roomate) wanted to go.

They'd been drinking the night before (I'm on hiatus because I realized I'm already a total alcoholic and need to cut back), so it wasn't the fastest start ever, but we were in the car heading to Jack in the Box by 10:15.

As we started moving up into the foothills, the smoke was pretty bad. Even in Sac it was pretty noticeable. Doubt began to take over. We got to Auburn and it was pretty gnar, but we were planning on meeting a guy there, and David and George decided they wanted to go for it anyway. We called the guy to let him know we were only doing one run, and that he shouldn't bother coming - it was too smokey for more then that.

It was pretty smokey


I dropped em off near the top, drove down to the half way point and the turnoff for the road down to mammoth bar, and started hiking up the tunnel trail (top half of the confluence trail).

The fire got to it


It was pretty bizarre - the trail was in almost perfect condition, no ash or anything on it, but the sides of the trail were just black and white covered with char and ash. Very weird to see.

I met them at that rocky right hander and snapped some pics there. Unfortunately they came out looking like the trail was about as flat as a pancake, and opted not to post any pics of them because its quite a blow to my ego. I had them wait for me at the top of the little uphill after that straightaway rocky section while I came and caught up to them and passed them to snap some more pics.

David and George


David coming down


George had some mechanicals, his front big chainring was missing a bolt and wobbling so he started walking


I told him to Man up and put it in the granny gear


We took a brief break at the car while I headed down the road to snap some pics at the gap off the road and then the following hip.

Coming into the gap


George


David landing the following hip by doing it to flat instead of hipping.


I headed back up to the car and drove down and met them. We cruised to the river and chilled for awhile. We forgot the beers in the car, but when we checked em out they turned out to be hot, so I guess we didn't miss out on much. The trail looked remarkably good from what I saw. The only damage report I heard was of the two berms right after the double after the tunnel had been cleared out for a fire break and were just 3-4 inches of powdered dirt.

It was a pretty successful ride, good times were had by all, but its still nowhere near clear enough skies to consider shuttling all day. One ride (hell, even hiking up the trail a little bit) was enough to F*** our lungs. Definitely advise as strongly as I can NOT XC riding there for awhile. It will be extremely hazardous to your health.

From the position of the fire, It looked like the only DH trail that had been effected was tunnel - stonewall and murder looked totally fine. The OHV trails weren't in the right position to have been hit at all. We didn't do any climbing obviously, but I'm guessing the trail that wraps around the hill starting at the bridge and ending at the top by Tunnel was probably hit in a couple places (at least). Based on the destruction (or lack there of) on tunnel, I'd guess the trail is probably still in ok condition for the moment.

We'll see what happens when winter rolls around and it starts raining. Probably be a big help if you can spend a day doing maint when the trails get wet, since I have a feeling without all the trees the rains gonna hit pretty hard.

Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
its film, its a canon rebel EOS or something. One of the nicer models before everything started going digital. Stoked about the way they came out. I only altered two of them post shot - f***ed up the color of the "it was smokey out" one and it was all blue, and I upped the saturation of "coming into the gap"

It was the first time I've shot film in probably 4-5 years, so I'm pretty pumped about it. Can't wait to start shooting again! the only thing that worries me is now that I'm looking at all the digital cameras, I'm thinking it might be time to get one....and I can't afford another expensive hobby!
 

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beer is good for u
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heh, sucks that if I don't ride for the next few weeks I will gain pounds and lose fitness but if I do I'll endanger my life.

so I'll be doing 4-5 days a week on the road for now, just like every summer here in sac ^_^
 

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beer is good for u
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Oh yea nice photos Will, and thanks for the report. The tunnel trail you're talking about, is that culvert? We took stonewall on saturday and saw no burnage at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think you'll endanger your life so much as get really really sick and hurt your body alot (assuming your talking about XC)!

I'd suggest checking out granite bay. Went there last sunday for an XC ride and it was pretty manageable. Its got the lake, so you get to chill in that at the end of the ride, it doesn't have quite the same natural beauty but its still pretty cools

edit: and if you're a DH/FR rider such as myself, theres a couple patches around the lake that involve lots of awesome rocky gnar tech sections that you can session.

I guess its culvert? I don't know, I've never seen proper signs for it, and I've heard it refered to as "tunnel" "confluence" and "culvert." Its the one that you do the immediate climb off to the right, go up a ways, short drop, another climb, and then its DH all the way down with some jumps doubles etc.
 
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