backyard bikepacking

an adventure in Henry Coe State Park

We're pretty spoiled in California. It rarely rains, and when it does, it usually only lasts for a spell - and then it's back to virtually endless sunshine. When the forecast calls for a rainy weekend, all you have to do is postpone plans for a week to avoid fussing with inclement weather... But where's the fun in that? Whatever the forecast, a true adventure must go on.

So, despite the imminent storm, I loaded up my rig with the essentials: shelter, sleeping bag, snacks and water, tools to handle potential mechanicals. And a rain jacket. Let the adventure begin.

The cows tried to warn me to take a different route...

But of course I didn't listen.

Word of caution: never put a foot down in peanut-butter-mud.

There were good times.

And there were obstacles.

The weather was rolling in as I was topping off my water supply, when I heard someone call out "Rita Jett!". Eric and Rachel were out hiking, hustling back toward their vehicle, hoping to beat the rain.

I put up my shelter in the rain. I fell asleep to the sound of rain. When I woke up in the morning... More rain.

I did my best to dodge the dozens of California newts that were out celebrating the rain, and had a moment of silence for the few that I must have hit.

Nearing the bottom of a long, steep descent from the ridgeline, I rounded a bend to the sound of a raging river. The trail ahead, my way out, curved up the hillside on the opposite side.

I searched upstream and downstream for a way across, to no avail.

Time to consult the map. I settled on an alternate route, fingers crossed that the water crossings along the way would be manageable. I was fortunate.

All day long.

Eventually, providentially, I made it out. This photo sums up the latter half of the adventure. It's not always pretty, but it's always worth it.

Adventure is out there.

Get out there and find it.

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