Sunday, March 27, 2016

Binegar Butte

Exploring an unknown trail is always a treat. It’s that uneasy, where am I feeling of the unknown. Are we trespassing? Do the neighboring hound dogs run loose in these here woods? The cougars? And bears? More importantly, does this road eventually loop back the way we came? I sure hope so, cuz it’s a long way to retrace our steps and there is a big hill in between. 
Which way?
Let's go left
Woodsy carpet and an intriguing trail
Little world at my feet
Approaching storm
Someday I really need to learn the local wildflowers.
Wild Iris 

Yours truly 
Bike sign 
I really hope this goes back to the car!
This was a fun hike. From ugly clear cuts to mossy woods, high power lines and pretty flowers. The rain threatened, but never made good on a soaking. Ended up with blue skies and sunshine. I’m excited to go back again. We saw more roads to explore. Might take the bikes next time. 
Probably about 3.5 miles. Forgot the garmin and started the phone late in the walk, so it's my best guess.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sweet Home to Whitcomb Creek Park.

Today started with a spectacular sunrise and I was even up to snap the pic. Sorry that it's just my ugly backyard. We don't have good views for sunrise or sunset for that matter.
Lovely start to the day.
Quartzville Road is such a pretty route, though winter is not the prettiest time of year. The bonus is light traffic. We had a few log trucks, but all were courteous. Nothing to complain about, except maybe that the 60 degree weather really didn’t show up today. 

This route has a bit of climbing, but the grades are tolerable.
37.2 miles

1800 ft of climbing

Foster Reservoir
Crossing Foster Dam
Requisite bike porn shot
Green Peter Reservoir
Whitcomb Creek

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mountain Home

Time to Climb! 
Rumor had it that Sweet Home had sunshine. Lebanon was sitting like a sunken rock in pea soup fog. The plan was Mtn. Home, Liberty, Pleasant Valley (another one of the deceptive names - it's a hill), and if there was still anything left in the tank, Berlin Hill.
Pea soup fog. Not very inviting
Near the top of Mtn Home I got the beauty shot. Sun and mist coming through the trees, lighting the road ahead. Al added a little cycling ambiance to the scene. Good stuff. I can't do it justice.
The beauty shot.
A little cycling ambiance
A little more climbing and it was all blue skies and sunshine. The valley was hidden in a blanket of fog. 
Where is the valley? 
On top of Mountain Home
A quick descent and a rolling ride to Art's place to regroup. Tom, Ron and I headed back to Lebanon at this point, having plans for the afternoon - hello Superbowl. 
28 miles, 

1200-1300 ft of climbing - my best guess.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Macdonald Forest Gravel Grinder

…and she lay dying in the gravel, rasping out her last breath…

Who’s ideas was it to go ride up in McDonald Forest? Oh yeah, both of us! Road rides were cancelled today. All our roadie friends bailed due to bad weather that never showed up. Ron and I decided to take a little ride in the forest, to glory in it’s gentle beauty, to meditate in the peaceful solitude. Guess all that climbing nonsense just slipped my mind. 
It'll be fun they said...
Left or right? Oh, lets' go left!
Started at the Oak Creek entrance, up the 600, the 680, and return down the 770. We didn’t climb to the peak today. Too much fog to enjoy the view, and theres’s that steep bit - no point in climbing that with the fog and all. A little chilly on the decent, but we kept the speed down, so it was alright. My new gloves are working impressively well considering they’re not heavyweight. 
Don't look back...
Saw a few other riders today
The road to nowhere?
Lunch was at Eats and Treats - a gluten free restaurant in Philomath that was dangerously good. One quick stop at Peak Sports to dispose of some disposable income - or maybe the mortgage. Priorities don't ya know.

When it was all said and done, and we were back in the car warm, still alive, and breathing it was easy to say that it was good and we’ll do it again soon. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Anacortes and Home

July 27
We’re home! We arrived home late Sunday evening after a short ride to finish then a mega-drive to get back home to Oregon. Here’s the recap: 

July 25 - Marblemount to Burlington
56 miles today. Mostly downhill. Don and Pat, friends and previous tour mates to Roger and May invited us to stay in their home this evening. They also fed us a wonderful dinner and breakfast promised for tomorrow. They rode out to meet us along the route and show us the way through town. Very pretty, typical PNW scenery today, with mist in the mountains and wet roads. 

Ken and Gail drove down to Burlington and bought us lunch, then drove us up to their home in Lyndon. It was fun too see their new home town, and really great to spend some time with them. 

July 26 - To Anacortes and the end.

A short day today, about 15 miles to the pacific ocean and the end of our ride. Once again, Pat and Don would be our guide to Anacortes. We spent some time on local roads, a short jaunt along highway 20, a tall bridge crossing, and then a nice bike path to our finish near the marina. We took the requisite ending pics, and then had a celebratory lunch/breakfast at a local restaurant in Anacortes before we all went our separate ways. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Washington and Rainy Passes

July 24
Today was the last big climb. We are officially on the west side of the Cascades. We started in Mazama with cool, but dry weather, and the climbing began shortly after leaving town. We had a headwind all day today and the air was considerably colder. Mayhap I’m feeling that pacific marine air? Eighteen miles to the top of Washington Pass. The scenery made it worth the work. 

 Rainy Pass lived up to its name, it was raining. Ah yes, definitely feeling that PNW weather. Feels like home. 

The headwind was still with us and made us work on all but the steepest grades. It was a long way down. There were three more “bumps” before our destination. I was getting seriously tired of climbing, really want lunch, really need to get to our stop!! It was 60 miles from Mazama to Newhalem where we finally stopped for some lunch. After we got our soup, sandwiches and what have you, someone asked why didn’t we go to the restaurant next door? There’s a restaurant next door? We didn’t know, so settled for convenience store fare. Thirteen more miles to Marblemount, our stay for the night. The wind had let up a little and it really was all down hill from there. Yay!  
76 miles

East side of Washington Pass

You can see the road up there
Ron on the switchback
Road below and above 

Made it! Last big climb of the tour!

... And then there's Rainy Pass. :)
Hmmm, this looks familiar ... 
Diablo Lake. Beautiful blue color.
Photo doesn't do it justice.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Twisp to Mazama

July 23
Very easy ride today. 26 miles to Mazama, our launch point for our last big climb - Washington Pass in the Northern Cascades. The weather was cooler today. It feels like “something” blowing in from the west. We had a rugged headwind, but once off the highway and onto backroads it didn’t seem so vigorous. Just a few rolling hills and generally gaining some elevation today. We stopped for second breakfast in Winthrop. 

We arrived in Mazama early, but the lodge had our rooms mostly ready. We walked to the local store, a rather fine example with healthy food, organics and gluten-free stuff, some cute teeshirts, outdoor goodies and some housewares. Back at the lodge Tim and Ron tried out the hammock with mixed success, then played a few rounds of horse shoes. Me? I took pictures. :)
Funky mailbox 
and signage
Hut overhanging the ridgeline.
Kind of like the infamous hanging chads
and nearly as controversial.
Tim and Marlene 
Tim and Ron take on the hammock ... 
... with mixed success 
View from our room
Our wing of the lodgings
Horse shoes with Tim and Ron 

And now for the artsy-phartsy stuff ...