So it was in the lower 30s when I left the house. Still in the 30s when I headed up into the mountains. In fact, I don't think it got out of the 30s up in the mountains for the duration of my ride.
It was a genuinely spectacular day in regards to sun n' sky... but the two days of rain (stopped last night) had turned many sections of the old clay-based roads into a sort of gummy mess and slick. You know, the kind of clay that cakes on the underside of the bike.
However, I rode stuff I haven't seen in years, and frankly, the years have been kind: Ma Nature is reclaiming! Some of the roads that used to be open enough for pick ups to travel are now covered in pine needles and grown up! I was really finding some neat stuff. To wit:
Hard to believe a log track could get over this road a few years ago!
Though our autumn foliage was mostly sunk by the hot and dry September we had, there was still some nice color to be seen where I was at.
Here I am making a junction with another road (on the right) that used to be wide open and traveled a lot by gas rig trucks and some logging trucks.
In all, I was finding that these mountains I haven't really ridden in several years has roads that are reverting back to being some GOOD STUFF. Here's another example:
Of course, there's always places where a view can be seen, some mores so than others. This particular stop had a great vista, but a marginal viewpoint with nearly maximum obstruction... but you get the idea:
I thought this kind of neat the way the trees were reflecting in this supply pond:
In spite of several stops to warm the gloves and hands via the hot muffler, the combination of the mud, the cold, and the water holes (constant battle to keep the boots dry) helped me decide to cut the day short and head back to the truck.
I got back out of the mountains after lunch time, so I made a beeline to "Mammaw B's Kitchen" and had a bowl of homemade chili, topped with a pile of cheese and chopped red onions.
Chili consumed, I headed for home. Even being down off the mountains and in the full sunlight, it had only made it to 44 degrees, so I'm sure the mountains were well down into the 30s all morning.
As for the XT225: Did great (as always). It's quite confidence inspiring for exploring/etc. Absolutely no biggie to stop at any time, even in rutted conditions, for the low seat height makes footing great. Also, it's light weight means you can literally lift the rear end with one of the grab handles and sling it back around and head out of a dead end. Wise purchase, this XT!
All fer now!