So off to Round Valley we went. The weather was quite nice, although perhaps not quite as cool as it had been the weekend before. We parked in-town and headed to Quinn's Trailhead, which was surprisingly not as busy as I had expected. As we headed out on the jeep road, I felt some fatigue in my legs (from not having done anything since Tuesday night at the gym) and I definitely wasn't breathing quite as well as usual, but I still felt better than I thought I would.
Just before starting the Sweet Sixteen climb
Despite not being busy at the trailhead, we came across a surprising number of MTBers out on the trails, mostly on the front side (what I deem the first half of our loop, up until the top of the Sweet Sixteen climb), including a high school boys team who were very polite as we let them by. H had a couple of people fail to yield right-of-way to him but I did okay, managing to ride all but two of the Sweet Sixteen switchbacks and even clipping both feet onto my pedals for the second half of the climb. By the time we hit the paved portion on the backside, however, my legs were definitely fatigued, so I sent H on ahead to get the truck while I went back to Quinn's for him to pick me up, thus saving myself a final three mile uphill. It shorted my mileage and I felt a little guilty, but that was all I had in me at that point. Just being out and getting moving again was great.
It was a great day for dogs too: an old white-faced chocolate lab, a golden/basset mix, a poodle named Winnie, a bunch of mutts of all shapes, sizes and ages, two Australian cattle dogs, a fat yellow lab, a Australian shepherd, two border collies and a very old golden retriever who needed help getting back into the car after his short walk. We may not have a dog ourselves right now but we are full of appreciation for the ones we meet!