For the first time since the closure of the forest, I finally took the opportunity to ride my old friend El Prieto. The Station Fire of 2009 destroyed the Angles Forest, closing thousands, tens of thousands, of acres of forest and mountain bike trails. While many ventured on to the closed trails, I have restrained myself until now. The trails are unofficially open, and the number of tire tracks was astounding. It felt so good to pedal up Brown Mountain, a climb I enjoyed one to two times per week in the past. El Prieto has always been my favorite piece of singletrack, and now I would have an opportunity to see how she fared after the fires, the rains, a tiny earthquake or two, and some trailwork done by the local advocates. Please enjoy the photos of the beautiful and rare flowers, many of which I have never seen before. My ride was beautiful, happy, at once therapeutic. I passed one rider going up and one rider going down, otherwise, it was simply me and my mountain.
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