Atonement at Buck Mountain

In Ride Report by Hawkens

In July of 2008 for Erik’s Annual Mountain Bike trip. Rather than head out of state for a week, we made our way to Winthrop for a week of riding….where my favorite ride is. Cutthroat Pass.

One of the rides we did back then was Buck Mountain we rode it the way most guide books tell you to ride it. Perhaps our expectations were a bit high as the locals all spoke highly of the trail system. After getting done with the ride after a great deal of road before and after the trails we gave the system a thumbs down.

Fast forward to 2014 and riding with a group from Winthrop and told them our experience with Buck Mountain. Their comment you must have rode it wrong, you need to come back and give it another go…so with I canceled my plans for a Bend trip and made plans to head to Winthrop for a return trip and give this trail another review.

Late Friday afternoon hooked up the trailer, bikes and pointed the truck east and then north.  Arriving at our campground a little after 9PM then like a NASCAR crew Milt, Dave and I had the trailer setup and rushed back into town to get some food before they closed.

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After filling up on food we headed back to camp.

Leading up to this trip and thinking about previous stays at this campground. I recalled how dark it is and lack of light pollution, got me excited about the opportunities for some night sky photography. Once back at camp we grabbed camera gear and made our way in the dark to the lake nearby to capture the stars.

Captured this one around 11:30PM on Friday. After capturing many great images we really needed to get some sleep, as we needed to get up early to ride.

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Morning arrived quickly, loaded up our gear and drove back into town for Breakfast at the Rocking Horse Bakery. They make a great breakfast sandwich, we went twice this trip.

From there we met up with some friends, Kristen, Brian and Steve.

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Starting out we started from a different area then we did last time. Allowing us to experience all the trail available at Buck Mountain. The trail begins with a grunt of a climb then becomes rolling for a while.

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A little stop to take in the view

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Then we are off again for more great riding

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A little grunt of a hike then more great riding

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Lots of rolling trail, great section that would eventually take us around a like.

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After coming around the lake it was time to ride a bit of road. It is not that bad of a road climb looking back on it now, at the time my butt did not appreciate sitting on nails and spikes. I don’t recall the seat being so uncomfortable when I parked in the fall.

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The road ends with a couple steep sections then levels out again. We then arrived at a section I recognized if we had come from the way we rode the trail last time. From here there are a few steep pitches and then becomes rolling and the flow begins.

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Then we arrived a great spot to have a snack. Popular hill with many riders stopped or pushing on

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What a great day of riding!

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Then we were off again to enjoy the views and trail

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The next section of trail was a blast no time to take photos there. There was a grunt of climb then back to rolling and shifting up into higher gears then finally figured I should grab a few more photos.

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Eventually we arrived to the point we came up earlier in the day all downhill from here to the cars. Unlike last time I really enjoyed the ride and trails.

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Once back to the cars we drove back into town and had lunch at the Old School House Brewery. Good Food and conversation as always.

Hung out at the trailer until dinner where we grabbed a pizza in town and brought it back to the trailer. Once it got dark enough Milt and I went back out to capture night sky photos. Milt was shooting film and can’t wait to see how they came out.

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Here is one of my photos from Saturday night.  Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are the large bright spots in the sky. Hoping to make it back to Winthrop in the Fall, we will for sure ride Buck Mountain again with my favorite trail Cutthroat Pass.

It was getting late and need to get some sleep we ride Sun Mountain tomorrow.

Photo Credit: Kristen S and Erik A.