Finally, Mt. Umunhum is open to the public … no longer do I have to do this partial hill climb … no more “No Trespassing” signs … and we can climb all the way to the top. The road was officially opened to the public Monday. I was itching to get up to the top, but unfortunately, a co-worker already has Monday off for PTO. So I went ahead and schedule to take Tuesday off.
Plan was all set, but then I caught some cold/flu bug at work, and that put me under the covers, in bed, from Saturday all the way through the weekend. Ugh … this is putting my plans for climbing Umunhum on Tuesday in jeopardy. If I didn’t go Tuesday, I would have to wait two further weekends, as I’m on call this coming weekend.
I woke up on Tuesday, and just decided to tough it out. See how far I can make it, and if I can only do partial, well at least I tried. I definitely am not climbing in the best shape (being off the bike for the past 4 days). Getting to Hicks is a good 10-15 miles, so at least I could get a nice warmup.
I was probably going at 80%, and surprisingly, I was making good time, and legs strength is still in good shape. One thing I noticed is there is a lot more traffic on Hicks, than I’m used to. I guess this is expected, if people are going up to the top of Umunhum. In the past, I’d be lucky to see 3 cars on my Hicks climb, but there have probably been about 20 cars in my stretch.
Whoa, that is one smooth road. This is going to be fun! No potholes? No cracks in the road? This is awesome. And that box on the top of that hill … that is my destination!
There were several people who had the same idea that I had. About 5 other people decided to ride up, on a Tuesday morning … although a couple of them may be retired, but at least it’s good to have some company.
Well, whaddayaknow … no gate here. And the road continues to be smooth. One thing I noticed I didn’t run into … cattle grates! Wow, it’s worth doing this, knowing you won’t even have any cow grates.
I remember the no trespassing point, and as I climbed further, it just seemed to level off a little bit, so it turns out the toughest part of the climb was before the white line of death, something I already climbed on LKHC before anyways. The rest of the climb was nice … it flattened, with some descents, before kicking up again at the end.
And here’s the final push
A finally, getting to the final destination … all I could say is wow!
Oh and probably the biggest reason to climb this, is to see the views. Tremendous views up here.
Now descending down the mountain … this is going to be fun. In the past, the road was full of crater sized potholes, tons of cracks in the road. This time though, with smoothly paved road, it’ll be a pleasure. No more stress on the wrist trying to reduce your speed. Now if we could only get Hicks Rd to be repaved this smooth … but that’s asking for a lot!