I went for another ride on Big Brown last night. Listened to BD and wore my bike shoes again, but adjusted the tension on the pedals a lot lighter in the parking lot before starting the ride. Went a way that I had gone before and then took a left going up what looked to be a decent hill. As soon as I got around the first bend, the decent little hill got considerably steeper. And the further I rode, the steeper it got. The trail changed from packed dirt with some exposed rocks to nothing but rocks. The rocks varied by where you were on the trail from large gravels to rocks the size of your head and larger, sitting on solid rock ledges. I lost headway three times on the way up and had to start again. Wow it is pretty bad when you are literally scared to stop for fear of dying when you try to start back on the bike again in that stuff. I had to walk one section of about 30 feet where it was absolutely impossible for the likes of me to get back on the bike and get it moving again. But I finally got to the top - it was about a 20 minute or so climb - sweat soaked and pounding heart and ragged lungs and all. At the top was Clark Cemetery, established 1861. I was a good candidate for it at the time. Up on top I thought I was in for a reward of a ridgetop ride for a while. It was a short while. In about a half mile the trail forked three ways.
The Boy Scouts had marked all three trails and there was a sign at the fork showing the layout and a brief description of the three options, how far for each and how difficult the trail was. I took the 3.2 mile option with easy terrain. And it was easy too. For about 100 yards. Then the trail started back down the mountain that I had just climbed. Honestly I was afraid to go back down what I had come up and wanted an easier way down. This was not it. This got steeper and steeper and slicker and slicker and the rocks just got bigger and bigger. There was no dirt at all on this trail, just green wet slick rock ledges and rocks the size of watermelons that were lying everywhere. This was well beyond my current ability on a mountain bike. I had to walk about 100 yards of the worst of it. In one place there was a series of four or five rock ledges that dropped about 20 feet in elevation in maybe 15 or 20 feet of horizontal distance. If I had tried to ride down that trail I would have fallen and I would have broken bones.
I finally got past the insane part and had a very nice rest of the ride back to the parking lot. Had to cross the same creek I fell in the first time out on Big Brown. There was no way to cross it on the bike as there was a washed out pedestrian/bike bridge with the approach still in place on the far side. So I walked it across and scrambled up the bank with it. Creek was about 2 feet deep and did it ever feel good. Perfectly clear cool little Ozarks stream.
It's no wonder I didn't see any bike tracks leaving the main trail heading up to Clark Cemetery. I have no doubt there are people in this world who can ride a trail like that. I don't honestly think it will ever be me. I'm not that insane. Still, it was fun, I'll keep exploring Busiek, but will skip that way since I now know what it is like.