Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre, Red River, and South Boundary Trail 
Monday, July 8, 2013, 07:47 PM - Weekend Fun
Mike and I went north of Questa to find the Questa Dome area. We eventually found ourselves on a rough 4WD road--enough so that we decided to hike the rest of the distance to the trailhead. Just as we were thinking we had been going for a lot longer than 0.2 mi that the directions called for we heard a couple 4 wheelers. A nice old man with a giant axe and a middle-aged woman with a pistol on her hip came up the road. We explained that we were lost and looking for the Questa Dome trail. They said that it was back where we came from, so I asked to bum a ride. I hopped on the back of the old guy's ATV and Mike saddled up with the woman. Great decision! We made it back to the car in no time, and to our shock, the trail was about 100' from the parked vehicle. Somehow we missed the dirt turn.

The Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre was a fantastic climb--or at least the 2nd pitch was fantastic. Mike lead off the deck and made it to a nice big tree. I lead the crux pitch as the thunderstorm started flaring up. I stepped out onto the super airy corner and worked my way up some very nicely positioned chickenheads. I only used 2 cams for the whole pitch because I was slinging so many chickens out there. It was a very fun pitch - perhaps my favorite lead of all time! I got Mike up as the rain started.

On the rap, the ropes got tangled into a total mess and it took me forever to get down. They kept catching on those now-less-than-wonderful chickenheads! Then I got the red rope stuck in a crack and had to spend some time releasing it. Fortunately the rain stopped and we could take our time leaving. 2 raps and we were back on the trail.




We got a margarita at a Mexican place in Red River with Tyler, Allison, Tom, and Brad. Back at the car camp, we decided to make the most of the long daylight hours and head up to a sport area in town. Mike led a surprisingly challenging 5.7 sport route, Alision gave it a shot, Tom climbed it, and I top roped it by headlight. Someone in town must have noticed my up there, because there were a few yells of encouragement from the Texas-infested city.



S'mores by the camp fire. I gave Mike my best chair.


Josiah, Dave, and Kelley joined us for camping that night. In the morning, after a slow start and some confusion, the mountain biking crowd (Josiah, Dave, Tyler, Mike, and myself) were dropped off at Garcia Park on the South Bounday Trail. I led the group east to the top of the standard route. The storm was already gathering on the ridge, so it was a real shame that Dave flatted just as we began descending. As the lightning blasted all around, we swapped tubes... but it leaked. So we changed it to another one... and it worked. We took off just as the rain started. We outpaced the storm and pretty soon we were back out ahead of it. This would continue for the remainder of the trip. We outrun the storm and then break, only to find the sky growing darker again.



Everything was going great--easily some of the best singletrack in the state, if not the nation--but then I had a minor endo. No biggy, I thought, but I broke a spoke. So I tucked it up around the others and kept riding, but I heard a few more 'tings' of a spoke and then slam! The rear wheel locked up completely! I have concluded that the other broken spoke must have pulled the rear derailleur into the rear wheel. Everything was broken. I took off the derailleur and with Josiah's help turned my bike into a single speed for the final 5 miles or so. Luckily it was mostly downhill. The chain wondered around on the rear rings until it finally ratched up to where it shouldn't have been and put the chain under extreme tension: like 100s of lbs of tension! I could barely crank, but kept at it. Eventually the tension bent and broke my middle front chainring in half! At this point I was walking with a backpack full of bike parts. I rolled where I could, but it was a long gravity-fed ride out. Finally, after dozens of rollers, I hit the road. With a push from my friends and a tail wind I hit 38 mph back into town where Tom, Kelley and the cars waited. That'll certainly be a ride to remember.




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