Sunday, August 24, 2014

Martin Rd Bikexpedition

Now that it's cooled down out here, I did some bikexploring with the Fargo on Saturday from the Columbia Plateau Martin Rd Trailhead. After studying my DeLorme Atlas, the plan was to head a few hundred yards north to Cree Rd and take it down to Dewey Rd, to Cordell Rd, then to Mullinix. Then I would follow Belsby down to Hole-in-the Ground to Rock Creek, Pine Creek and the John Wayne Pioneer Trail like I did last year (Martin Rd Trailhead to John Wayne [gps]). I wanted to make a loop, trying to add a few more miles than last year, but ended up with an out and back with slight variation on the way back.

the patent-pending wileydogmapcap. the trailhead and
Cree Rd are in the upper left-hand
Well that was the plan.  There's a funny thing about the atlas, gps and actual on the ground road signs - they don't always agree. And it's awful hard to read tiny gps map screens in the bright sunlight with old eyes. I missed the first intersection on the Lincoln-Whitman County line, neither road sign had Cree on it and I went east instead of west. Link to the actual gps of the ride. The map and gps call the road I took Stoner Rd, but I it was signed in a couple spots as Swift Rd. I'll have to go back and check at this intersection as not sure if I have it straight now.

This worked out pretty good as Stoner Rd becomes a rough dirt and rock road akin to the gated off Dunn Rd/Summer Road of the Midnight Century. A little too rough for most vehicles in spots, but perfect for 2.2" mountain bike tires.

Back to the start:

Cree Rd
There must have been a hole in the barbed wire fence as I came across a calf on the road that took a little run at me, and then a group of 10 or so cattle loose on the road. Thought I was going to have to turn around. They panicked and tried to jump back over the fence, and then ran up the road ahead of me.
felt like a bicycle cowboy 
they finally found an opening near where the Columbia Plateau Trail
crosses Cree
the intersection where I turned right instead of left. the gps names
the road to the left as Elliot which becomes Cree again. i forget what
the sign said now.
Stoner/Swift Rd. 

The road is just a stone's throw away from the Columbia Plateau Trail in spots, and I remember we stopped for a rest by this road on our trip last May. I was tempted to stay on Stoner to see where it goes, but turned left on Dewey instead. I saw afterward Stoner/Swift will take you into Lamont.
back on gravel on Dewey
what's that up ahead? a dirt summer road?
 Munson Rd. It wasn't in the plan, and I wasn't sure where it went, but I had to take it.

It finally popped out on Rock Creek Rd and after I got my bearings, determined I was way further east than I wanted to be. Rode northwest on the paved Rock Creek Rd before backtracking on Munson Rd back to Dewey. Rock Creek Rd wasn't the type of ride I was looking for. Also, may not have had my helmet and felt a bit vulnerable. Hardly any traffic, though.

Back on Dewey, passed Cree Road after awhile and so was back on plan, looking for Cordell.
think this is off Cordell 
probably Cordell again. really need to find some way to sync the
camera with the gps.
I had been out for over a couple hours and didn't feel like making this an all day trip, even though I wanted to ride down Belsby, so instead took Mullinix to Martin Rd (Williams Lake Rd) back to the trailhead. Martin is a narrow paved road without a shoulder - think a more roundabout way back down Spuller to Dewey to Cree looks promising.

Think will head back out in a couple weeks, getting an earlier start and follow the same way down Cree to Stoner to Dewey, skip Munson and head down Belsby.  I like exploring these gravel and dirt roads in this area - the only problem it's an almost hour long drive to the trail head.

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