Horseshoe Canyon | South Fork | Shadow Mountain

Last week I hung out with the Habitat crew for their weekly group ride, The Man Show. This is probably the most fun you could have on a group ride. Most everyone is just getting off of work and aren’t taking things too serious. It’s usually a ride at your own pace, see you when you/I get there type of thing. In some cases the rides have been at locations where multiple options make an easy/difficult choice, sort of ride what you want and see you back at the car for a beer. Oh yeah, there are always frosty cold beverages!

On this afternoon we headed out to Horseshoe Canyon South Fork. It was soooo hot and the flies/mosquitoes were vicious but man the trail was in great shape after a rainstorm or two earlier in the week.

This week I did not make it to the group ride as I had some errands to run in Jackson that afternoon. I brought my bike thinking I would probably ride something on that side but by the time I had finished running around it was stupid hot. I decided to take a drive up to the park instead and ended up hanging out at String Lake for a while. On my way back out I stopped by the Spur Bar at Dornan’s for a beer, seems like not much has changed there. After that I thought about driving home but the temps were just about perfect then and I was only a few minutes from Shadow Mountain so I hurried across Antelope Flats to the base of the hill and pedaled up the road to the summit. A half hour later I reached the top just as the sun was setting.

A very nice camper offered to take a photo of Clark and I at the top of the ride:

Shadow Mountain Clark & Dana

This was one of the quickest and easiest rides I’ve done all season and still it was one of my favorites. I have a lot of great memories biking here. This may have been the first trail I ever rode in the area. After several years of living in Moose and Kelly it still may be the trail I’ve ridden the most.

After several days of heavy thunderstorms and a solid day of sunshine afterwards, this was in prime condition. There was a perfect amount of moisture in the trail, just enough to firm up some of those sandy curves but still soft enough to dig into the turns and the peaty sections were super tacky. It’s awesome how after you’ve ridden a trail enough times it’s like you’ve subconsciously memorized it. When you feel like you could ride it with your eyes closed. When you know every turn well enough to nail the perfect speed through it. When you’ve realized that without even thinking about it, you’ve lined up perfectly for every one of the drops, hits and tech lines.