PMBAR Scrubs 3

Here we are with the last installment of PMBAR 2017.  I really stretched this one out.




Back to the action... or lack thereof.

It's a little after 3PM and we have only one mandatory checkpoint left.  We are thinking no problem at all.  Sandy noticed one odd thing and that odd thing had her worried.  Every time someone asked what checkpoint we had left, they gave us a "shit, bummer dude" look.  

I will note at this point forward, we have no idea where the time went.

We work our way from Bear Branch back down to Yellow Gap Road.  Our route to the South Mills River checkpoint essentially forced us to SEARCH for the Bradley Creek trail.  I have heard horror stories about Bradley Creek. 

I capitalized "search" above.  Thanks for noticing.  We lost maybe a half hour trying to find the trailhead off Yellow Gap.  After a few choice words with each other we stumbled on it.

We rode maybe 40 yards and there it was.  Our first creek (river) crossing.  Bradley Creek my ass.  It was waste deep and flowing.


Sketch of Sandy and I crossing Bradley Creek...
  
I cross with my bike while trying not to slip on the rocks under the water.  I reach the other side and turn to see Sandy still in same spot.  She waded in a few feet and the current started pulling her bike.  She froze up.  

I leaned my bike on the nearest tree and crossed over to her.  Grabbed her bike and took it across.  I turned around again and she had only made it another few feet.  She froze up again.

I crossed back over again and helped her over.  We reach the other side and stop for a moment.  I did not realize Sandy just faced one of her fears.

We gather ourselves and peddle off.  What seemed like seconds later we came to our second crossing.  We applied the same method and made it to the other side.

I am not going to go through each one because of well… time.  

Bradley Creek drove us to zig-zag across the creek more times than I can count.  Maybe eight crossings in all.  Don’t know and can't remember.  We got better at the crossings.  Sandy got better.  She got bold.  She got the f’it attitude.  Really happy and proud of her.  I am actually shedding a tear of joy right now, but you can’t see.

We finally reached our turn at Laurel Creek.  We also made the choice to head on back and skip the last mandatory checkpoint.  We were cool with it.  I mean we could have went for it, but would have missed the cutoff time to finish.  We just went for a mountain bike ride on in. 

The ride back was actually nice.  Laurel Creek to Squirrel Gap.  Squirrel Gap to South Mills and onto Buckhorn.  

Light was fading fast and went dark when we got close to Buckhorn.  Fired up the lights and enjoyed a night ride back home.

Even though we did not officially finish, it was simply one of the best times ever.  Wrapped up with about 70 miles and 12,300 feet of elevation gain.  Nice day in the woods.  

Before you ask… Yes, we will do it again.

Apologies for lack of photos on this one.  We were busy and it got dark.

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