After enduring some health issues, intense job demands and the purchase of a brand new truck it's time to declare that Hillbilly is back to his previous riding prowess! He may argue that point but after today's ride I believe it to be an accurate assessment! The most obvious sign was that H^B was being quite the chatter-box on the climbs despite the altitude-induced oxygen debt! I can barely grunt when climbing but H^B was cracking me and @LLPoolJ up with his commentary on a wide spectrum of subjects! On the downhills, he left us in the dust! Here's the ride. After waking up at the wee hour of 8:30 a.m. today, I had a King Arthur and the Holy Grail vision of today's ride. So I texted H^B and told him to bring his tailgate pad and I tossed mine into my truck. That's right; it's shuttle time! Got to Jackson Lake and there was JJ with his truck! For the first time in recorded history I fought the urge to plan out the elusive triple truck shuttle since we were starting a bit late. So we loaded up in H^B's truck and headed to Inspiration Point. We pedaled to the top of Blue Ridge Trail and enjoyed that great descent. Only about 6 hikers so we didn't have to stop much. The trail is in great shape but dusty like every trail in SoCal is now! Since the forest service has put a big water pipe in the middle of Faultline Trail, we coasted down Big Pine Hwy to the charming Leprechaun Trail. This is where H^B really took off! We saw him briefly at the limbo log and then not until the junction of the Lion's Camp Trail! He was smokin'! Then up the .5 mile shorter and much shadier climb through the camp back to the lake. We started the climb up the road from the lake when we met up with @scan and his buddy Ron as they were finishing up their early ride. JJ and H^B continued the climb up Ricky Bobby but I took the easier climb on the jeep road. It was then I became concerned about the accumulating smoke hovering over the trees; lots of it! When I left my house in the morning, there was a huge cloud of smoke over the whole valley but it was clear when I started towards the lake off 138. That cloud had engulfed the ridges over the lake when we arrived at the bottom of Boy Scout. I could smell it and when the other dudes showed up we decided to bail on the ride rather than breathe in smoke for the next 3 mile climb. Disappointing but we still bombed down Ricky Bobby to the lake to finish a great but abbreviated ride! Gotta go now but I'll post up some pics later! Thanks for the ride boys! @scottay discovers our brilliant shuttle plan and wishes he would've thought of that! H^B working out a cramp in helper finger! JJ enjoying the shady, paved climb! Some smoky shots. Compare to the 1st pic. The sky was that clear and blue at the lake when we started!