The month of September is a pretty special time in the South Chilcotins. The wildflowers are long gone and replaced by the golden colours of fall. Sept 14,15 Mike and I had the privilege of signing up for the Tyax Adventures 2nd annual back-country invitational week-end. During these days Tyax Adventures takes groups of riders of all levels and abilities on fully guided and catered classic loops. We signed up for one that would take us into one of my favourite corners of the park. Over the two days I only recall dismounting twice for some short hike-a-bikes. If you've ever gone out with me this type of ride is far from the norm where actual pedalling is less of a priority. It felt really good to get in some big distances with some big cadence!
Saturday am we met our other companions on the van ride to the Relay Creek FSR. I was stoked to hear our guide would be Adrian who I'd only ever ridden in Moab with almost a year ago. The others were Peter, who at the fresh age of 73 is responsible for some of the best trails on Vancouver's North Shore as well as Jamie, Matt and Mick.
We blasted off the line in the shadow of the yellowing aspen trees on Relay Creek.
After a little while we had a food and water break at the Relay Cabin.
The day was a cooker with temps up to 28degC. The area around twin lakes as you approach Graveyard is truly spectacular.
Peter suffered a few battle wounds on the head as he tried to tame the trail!
We came upon a very strange scene a short while later. To be honest I had trouble taking these photos. This bobcat is a beautiful and elusive animal that we rarely get the chance to see. It was difficult to imagine what happened to this strong predator.
Mid day we emerged into the endless Graveyard CreekValley. It was lit up in all it's glory!
Peter pushed hard in the shadow of Elbow Mountain....
At the pass we only had one more BIG descent to bring us to our nights camp.
We arrived at Bear Paw where beer with chips and salsa were waiting on the table for us to dig into!
After a tasty Chili dinner we sat around the campfire and got to know our new friends. Stories of big adventures were shared and future missions began to take shape.
The next morning we woke to a partially cloudy sky and headed towards Deer Pass. It had been almost exactly 2 years ago when I last went over Deer in the opposite direction.
At 11:00am we crested the pass and celebrated the ride with a few confidence pops. Matt decided the traditional method of consuming his first beer was too slow so he deployed the effective SHOTGUN method.
Line it up....
Gently but swiftly puncture....
Crack the top and it's gone!
After a great ride out Gun Creek we arrived at Tyax Lodge where the Hair Farmers were playing live and we all enjoyed a world class dinner courtesy of Tyax Adventures. These guys know how to show you their back-yard. Do yourself a favour and book a trip in the best single-track corner on the planet.