Boggs Mtn. ~ Oat Hill Mine Trail, Calistoga -- October 2002

A couple of months ago, AZ & Iwent to Boggs Mtn. for a weekend of kick-ass riding. On Saturday we did Boggs Mtn. and the next day, went to Calistoga for the Oat Hill Mine Road. We camped at Boggs Friday and Saturday nights. I took my camera but didn't take nearly as many pix as I did at Tahoe. In fact, I took zero pix on Saturday, even though I lugged the camera around all day. We covered the entirety of Boggs Mt and I biffed twice - once on the Houghton Creek descent (right outta camp) and later on the Grizzley Trail. It was a beautiful day and the way we were plagued by insects, I think they should rename the place "Buggs Mtn."

As we were leaving for Calistoga on Sunday, we were on hand for a helicopter launch on the CDF's heliport. We said goodbye to our campground neighbor Tim and headed south. We finally found the trailhead for the Oat Hill Mine Road and started around 11am. It was a hot Indian summer day and there was little relief the entire way up. The trail winds in nearly every direction as it snakes toward the Pallisades up one of their lateral spurs. The trail got increasingly rocky and uneven. The local rock was rugged basalt. VERY rugged basalt. Soon, it was solidly technical requiring expert trials moves or just walk it. AZ biffed twice trying to climb the rugged, exposed trail. I was more conservative - so far.

Finally, we topped out on the ridge, surrounded by towering basalt pinnacles. To the east was a basin with another ridge to the east. The climb was tough and we decided to kick back at that point to rest for what we knew would be a challenging descent. It was just about as much of a fight getting down as it had been getting up. There were so many totally committed spots - it was real technical. Despite my best efforts to stay upright, I ended up biffing twice (!) and getting 2 (yeah, two!) blowouts. Suspension really helps on this trail.


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