Day Two of Riding (Monday):

In an attempt to catch what we missed by my misguided directions we went back to the same area. This time we rode further down U.S. 550 and entered the trail system at Corkscrew Gulch. It had rained most of the night and the trip up Corkscrew was more difficult than going up Engineer Pass. This particular stretch highlighted mine and Steve's poor decision on tire selection (OK… my decision). We had purchased Metzler 50-50 rear tires, and they did not perform well in mud. Nevertheless we made it up the Gulch which placed us on Hurricane Pass. Going down Hurricane Pass we rode through sections of snow where the clearing for the trail left 15-foot banks on either side. We had our sights set on Poughkeepsie Gulch once we were on top of Hurricane Pass. Once again we missed our tun off and wound up going across California Gulch. Going down Hurricane Pass Ralph found a patch of snow he tried to traverse; he did not make it. It was this kind of abandon that kept us all amazed at Ralph's vehemence at age 64. California Gulch put us back into the ghost town of Animas Forks. Once there we turned north and headed back over Engineer Pass. As headed back towards Lake City we took a couple of side trips. First up Matterhorn Creek trail where we rode through a fantastic grove of Aspen trees. This was a fairly short trail but had some good water crossings. Next we rode Nellie Creek just east of the Matterhorn Creek trail. This was a really nice trail, lots of whoop-de-dews, and great scenery. We also ran across a couple of great water crossings. We all enjoyed this trail a great deal. As we raced towards Lake City we ran into heavy rain once again. After lunch at a different spot, we headed back towards California Gulch and were determined to hit Poughkeepsie Gulch again. Before we got there we took a little detour across Picayne Gulch and up Placer Gulch. Placer had some open range on it where a herd of sheep was grazing. Turning left on California Gulch we climbed back up Hurricane Pass. But once again we missed Poughkeepsie Gulch, Imagine how we felt missing it again for the second that day. Back down Corkscrew Gulch we were nearing the end of the day. After we went back to camp for awhile we decided to check out the hot springs in town. It was just what the doctor ordered. The 105o F water temperature erased all of the cold accumulated from a day's riding in the rain.