Chesterfield Cycle Camp 2014

The trail to Chesterfield

The trail to Chesterfield

I’m writing about an event that happened like a year and a half ago (May 3, 2014 to be exact).  Because I’m that lazy about updating my blog sometimes.  Dan and Jeff, feel free to correct me about some of these statements since your memory might be better than mine.  :-)

So, Spring had sprung, and my cycling buddies and I began planning for some cycle camping.  We wanted to do something a little more adventurous than our past cycle camps, and we identified Chesterfield, Idaho as fairly close enough to Pocatello to be our next logical step in our ascendance to becoming Real Cycle Campers[tm].  Chesterfield features a large reservoir popular with local fishing enthusiasts, and it also has bathrooms which is nice.  But no nearby running water that we knew of.

For this adventure, we would need some extra things that we don’t normally bring:  dehydrated meals, camp stoves for boiling water, extra tools and repair supplies, mosquito / tick repellent, bear spray, a small bottle of vodka (can’t haul beer that far, you know), and a pump-style water filter supplied by Dan.

I overheated.

I overheated. :-/

The route we planned on taking would require mountain bikes since half of it would be on trails.  We cycled to Inkom, and then took Inman Road, cycled over Inman Pass, and then down the long, long trail to Chesterfield Reservoir.  By the time I got to the top of Inman Pass, I was hot, exhausted, and laid down in a large patch of snow I found at the top, which felt spectacularly good.  On the other side of the mountain range, we had to cross a few large patches of ice and snow, but the trails were very ride-able for the most part.  The ride between the pass and the reservoir is only 15 miles, but seemed endless to me.

After about 5 or 6 hours total riding time, we finally arrived, sat down for a bit, relaxed, and tried calling / texting family and friends to let them know we made it.  I remember my companions wondering who’s bike + equipment was the heaviest.  I won that contest.  I later weighed it and found that it came out to around 65 lbs, hehe.  Yeah, I need to swap a few things out for lighter alternatives.

The campsite

The campsite

We found a nice, grassy spot to set up camp, and we began pitching tents and looking for a good place to find water to filter.  We found a nearby stream that flowed into the reservoir and took turns filtering that into Platypus water bags.  This work pretty well after we got the hang of it.  I drank most of the vodka, which improved my mood a lot (I was feeling tired and crabby).  We fired up Dan’s little propane stove, boiled water and added it to our dehydrated dinners which taste absolutely fantastic when you’re starving after a long ride.

*Queue spooky music*

*Queue spooky music*

We decided to take a walk around that evening to explore a little.  We found a old, spooky, abandoned house that appeared to have built by settlers over a hundred years ago, at least.  According to Wikipedia, Chesterfield, Idaho is a ghost town founded in 1881.   Nice.

In the morning, we felt pretty rested, and dreaded the long ascent back up Inman Pass with our sore legs and knees.  But the journey back was pretty nice and enjoyable, especially since the east side of the range is a lot more gradual than the steep west side.  And, of course, the descent down the other side was a lot of fun.  We visited a friend of Jeff’s on the way back through Inkom, and then made our way back to Pocatello.  It was a very successful cycle camp, I think.  Except I think I will invest in a gravity-style water filter for our next no-running-water camp site.  Pumping Dan’s water filter was rather time consuming.  But we would have died without it, though.  So thanks, Dan.  ;-)

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>