Jeff, Fergus and I left SE portland at 8:30 headed to Syncline for some quality mountain bike time. The rain and gray skies were not too encouraging out 84, but my hope for blue skies came through by the time we reached Hood River. We pulled into the parking area to glorious spring weather.
Embrocation was applied, clothing adjusted, tire pressure dialed in, food packed, and we were off. Fergus worked the hardest on the lengthy climb due to his single speed 29er. Jeff flew up the hill looking good. We crossed creeks, then started feeling the first traces of rain.
After some more uphill, we reached the top of Little Moab and cautiously approached the edge of the Syncline cliff. Pretty scary, so we got back on the bikes and proceeded up the jeep trail. We finally saw another rider, a woman climbing up towards where we thought we wanted to go. We followed, but never caught up to her. She finally turned back down from a gate and approached us. She explained that there are new signs (no trespassing) being posted on gates that never were signed before. This is part of the trail conflict and upcoming changes that will happen. I explained where we were trying to go (Coyote, although I didn't know the name). She gave us rough directions, we followed her up a short steep trail climb, then she disappeared.
We proceeded up and up, into gale force winds, horizontal hail, and eventually light snow. After a little while I was convinced we were on the right track to get to the Coyote trail I went on 3 years prior with C. Sautter.
The next step was finding the sweet ribbon of singletrack that headed downhill. Once we found it, we celebrated with another photo.
Now it was time for a bomber fun downhill. Fergus called it the "best downhill I've ever ridden". It's alternately fast, rock gardeny, twisty, swoopy, rolling. Minor mishaps included a rather dramatic Fergus crash that sent him a little ways down a steep hillside, and a comical low speed crash in which I somehow landed on top of my bike.
We got back the car; tired, hungry, and very satisfied from an awesome day on the trails. Ride them before they are gone!