Douthat in December 2013

On the first weekend of December, MS, JB, and I embarked on our Third Annual DID (Douthat in December). Things have rarely gone as hoped or as planned during DID, but we are always presented with new, wonderful, and memorable experiences that we wouldn’t trade for the world.

Ho, ho, ho, off to the mountains we go

Ho, ho, ho, off to the mountains we go

This year, we procrastinated on procuring a cabin inside the State Park, so we went with plan B, which as I have documented before, can be A-OK. We stayed at the Cowpasture River Cabin, and short of not being able to conveniently ride our bikes to the trails, it was an awesome and highly recommended location.

morning view - day 1

morning view – day 1

DID breakfast never disappoints

DID breakfast never disappoints

We awoke for day one of riding with rain in the forecast and, for once, the forecast was correct. If you are going to ride in the rain, the mountain trails of Douthat are a good choice. With their rocky consistency and good drainage, it’s amazing how well the trails hold up to rain. With rainjackets and smiles, we set out.

the start of something good

the start of something good

We climbed Beard’s Gap and upon reaching the intersection of Mountain Top & Brushy Ridge, we found MS with a slight mechanical problem, so we set up shop for a bit. And then the skies opened up. Mechanicals in the rain in the mountains are a rare treat. You should try it some time.

a mechanical, in the mountains, in the rain...priceless

a mechanical, in the mountains, in the rain…priceless

After a couple of starts and stops, MS finally got things into working order and we had no more mechanicals for the remainder of the day, unless you count the rapid pace at which MS was blowing spokes out of his rims. Of course, spokes are highly overrated and everyone knows you don’t really need them. Ride on!

cool trailside tree

cool trailside tree

The ride experience was surreal. It rained off and on the entire time with a few heavy downpours just for fun. At times the clouds rolled in and swallowed us whole reducing visibility of the trail ahead. It was wet. It was slippery. It was cold. It was dark. It was fantastic!

park boundary

park boundary

hey, I'm up here!

hey, I’m up here!

After climbing Mountain Top and circling back around Mountain Side, we ascended Brushy Ridge. At the overlook, we were treated to another wonderful view of the clouds below us covering the valley floor. While we ate our lunch, the clouds closed in on us blocking out everything around us. We were suspended in a sea of clouds.

sea of clouds

sea of clouds

The descent of Brushy Ridge was fast, furious, slippery, eye-watering, and an all ’round rollicking good time. Easily the best descent inside the park, I cannot believe it was only the 2nd time I had experienced it. We used the suspension bridge to cross the creek, and then rode south on Flat Run and then backtracked north to the truck for a nice long cool down, which added a few more miles.

drying out

drying out

Back at the cabin, hot showers were just the ticket. Wet clothes were hung to dry, while shoes and gloves were piled on and around the wood stove. Day 1 was in the books, and we couldn’t wait for what was in store for Day 2…

Now, sit back with a warm cup of coffee and enjoy the video.

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4 Responses to Douthat in December 2013

  1. Bikewright says:

    Great shot of the sea of clouds! Love it!

  2. whedrick says:

    Wow, you guys set a nice table! Great video too!

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