Bored in San Rafael I took a day to check out the area just south of the city. Not more than an hour away is Valle Grande and Cañon del Atuel. Riding alongside the Rio Atuel the road twists and turns then starts to climb in a few switchbacks until you ride through a tunnel and alongside the reservoir. After 600 miles of mostly straight flat roads up from San Martin de Los Andes, I was enjoying the curves of this canyon road.
The joy quickly fled in an instant as I rounded a shaded corner and felt my front wheel lose traction in a patch of sand. My heart stopped and my stomach dropped. I thought for sure I was going down in this corner. It happened so fast and before I knew it I was riding out of the corner upright. That’s the closest I’ve come to going down on pavement and I didn’t like the feeling. Luckily after that point there were no more dark shaded corners.
After crossing the dam the road continues south but is unpaved. It’s a rough road that winds along the side of the lake and climbs higher and higher. Only a few miles in the views are beautiful.
The road goes on for a few hours and you can do a giant loop around the area but it looked like this was the best views I was going to get. I road a bit further before turning around. I had enough adventure for the day and road back down the canyon. The twisty road was just as fun going back and thankfully there were no shaded corners.