Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Ride

...Just because I need some riding to tide me through the holidays...

We haven't been down Dan's trail since last summer. With time constraints for the day we decide a familiar ride would be best and Dan's fits the bill. Besides, this will give us a chance to explore a few of the road and trail offshoots we usually pass by.

A new (to me) trail has appeared shortly up Patterson Road,  Ridge Trail. The lower trail head is graveled. The upper trail head, muddy. Ron and I rode a portion of the upper trail, but decided not to slog it out through the mud. Save it for another day. The trail is marked as year-round, all users. 
Ridge Trail
We also followed the 620 to Alpha trail head, just for kicks. We didn't explore farther down Alpha. Back to the main route, we've always gone to the top of Dimple Hill via Dan's Trail, but decided to continue along the road and see if it wound around to the top. Indeed it does, with some pretty scenery thrown in.
Road up to Dimple Hill
 The view from the top is spectacular. The air is crisp and clear, and mountains in the far background stand out sharply against the sky. No fog mucking up the views today.
Dimple Hill
Dans trail is fantastic today! This is the time of year to ride this trail. All the loose gravel is packed into the damp ground making the trail nice and sticky. Very smooth and fast! Just wish it was longer. Too soon we're at the bottom and have to head back to the car.
Dan's Trail
A side note, my fork gave up the ghost sometime this fall. I may as well be on a rigid, so we will be putting the original steel fork back on once we gather all the parts. Steel fork should encourage good rock dodging skills, and that twitchy little RH excels at that sort of thing.
Connector Road

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dunn Forest Road 400

This is not looking promising...
 This weekend we went in search of new roads and trails unexplored (by us). I had been reading about the 400 road in Dunn Forest.
I was surprised to find the climb quite pleasant. Just enough to be a work out, but not so steep I couldn't enjoy the ride.
There were steep spots.
I walked a few sections, and rested after a few others, but over all the route was rideable.
We passed many roads begging to be explored on another day. We passed a quarry, and a working logging operation. For a short way we had packed gravel, but once we turned on to the 420 we were back to forested roads.
Some areas looked like a natural forest with undergrowth and a variety of trees not usually found in planted sections
Cool old tree
We didn't see another person until we returned to the car at the end. Perfect!
Walking again
Lunch at Togos. Toasted club sanwiches and hot coffee, then off to pester the guys at Peak Sports.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunday in the Trees

Sunday started with the traditional search for the sacrificial Christmas tree. A quick trip to North Albany and we bagged our tree. With the tree hauled to the house, we dumped a bunch of water into it's stand, ate a quick lunch, and loaded the bikes on the car.
Merry Christmas!
We opted to start at the Lewisburg saddle and ride the Davies/Nettleton Loop, 6.35 miles and only 800 feet of climbing. It's an easy loop with a few views if the fog cooperates.
McDonald Forest. Look familiar?
I think I take the same pictures at the same locations. I simply can't resist.
Oh wait...Ron took this one.
One of my favorite viewpoints
I had read online that there was a small pond along the route. All the times we've ridden this ride and I never knew it was there. Tucked into a quarry, and sheltered from sunshine there was a light scum of ice on top. Not particularly scenic, but fun to discover. Apparently it's a happening place in summer for dogs cooling off after the hike.
We had a little bit of daylight left and decided to explore some new routes. We drove past several trail heads but at the 100 Road in Dunn Forest we had to stop.
There is just a little light left, and the trail, unlike most others, is relatively flat to start. It seems a worthwhile effort to get the bikes down from the car and go on a little explore before sunset.
Great light
At an intersection, a road up to a small ridge seemed appealing. It's steep enough that my tire eventually spins out. We leave the bikes and hike up the rest of the way. I don't like fast descents, so why bother to walk them up. At the top of the ridge the road levels out and there is a nice view to the north east.
The view from the top
 Later research will tell me that there is some single track at the end of this road. We will definitely be back to explore more!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm a curmudgeon

Went for a little run tonight and there was too many people out. People out smoking, people out putting up Christmas light. Leave the lights on, but humans go away. I don't want to share my run.

2+ mile run. Not sure of the exact mileage. Ran out to 10th, Mazama, 8th and back. Despite all the above silliness, I had a nice run. Calves were a little fatigued, but feel fine now. The Merrills are coming along nicely

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Mark Twain

Happy Birthday Mark Twain
November 30th as you already know if you google (and who doesn't?).
Mark Twain is one of my favorite writers, not that I've read that many of his books. More than his stories it was his biography and his essays that I really enjoyed.

I don't want to give you the idea that I'm some sort of literary type. I also love cheesy horror stories from the likes of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, and I grew up on a steady diet of MAD magazines. 
For reference my favorite author is JRR Tolkien.

Enough of books, I have eeked out a puny little post thanks to a lovely commute home this evening. The view off my right shoulder:
Ugly freeway, lovely sky
I'm picky about where I stop when riding solo, so the settings are less than ideal - wherever there was a good shoulder to pull off. This was a few minutes after leaving work. Ugly freeway but the sky looks promising.
A few miles later: busy roads and fabulous color.
One more before turning east towards home. Mary's Peak in the coast range. Troubadour and Trobairitz can fill you in on the great road to the top of the peak. Color is fading and so is the light.
Mary's Peak at Sunset
I managed to catch a little of Sam in the second photo. Okay just the bug smeared windscreen. I'm too toasty in the heated jacket to get off the bike for a Sam-glam shot. Some photographers risk dangerous situations,  horrendous weather, and cold for the perfect photo. I'm not one of those photographers! :)


Monday, November 28, 2011

Catching up

20 miles on Saturday. A quick, easy ride with the club around Peterson's Butte. Came home early for Civil War.

2 mile hike at McDowell Creek

2.3 mile run in Merrills pace gloves. Calves didn't start to bother me until a couple blocks from home. Things are looking up. Used the new headphones with the MP3. I like them, they do the job well enough. That's all I ask.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Corner Cafe - Brownsville Oregon

A couple weeks ago I read a story in the newspaper that there had been a fire at one of my favorite cafes. This past weekend we happened to be driving through Brownsville and saw the devastation for ourselves.
We stopped to read some of the notes left on the plywood covering the windows and doors. Very nearly made me cry reading all the little notes of support.
Our bicycle club often rides to Brownsville to have lunch at the the Corner Cafe. Our last visit was on Oct 22. This is a photo from that day.
October 22, 2011
 Article and photos of the fire in our local paper if you want more of the details.You can see the room above in some of the photos.

A few more images from past rides.
Smaller room off of the courtyard that appears to have the most damage. 12-29-2007.
Dec. 29 2007
Jan. 27, 2010
 I hope they will be able to rebuild.
Thoughts and prayers to the family.

If interested and your in the area, there is a benefit for the family on Dec 9.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Meanwhile Back to the Commute

Rain at the start of the day.
Rain at the end. 
And in between?

More rain...
and wind...
and debris.
I think there was about 5 minutes of nice weather tucked in there somewhere.

Wednesday was the big storm day and I took the cage. Thursday was a little tamer, but still wet and windy. I hadn't ridden in stormy weather for a while. Guess it was about time to crawl back on that particular horse. Was it fun? Sometimes, but it was also a little scary, and that's why I ride in bad weather. It keeps that edge off the fear, just a little. The next stormy ride will be a little easier. Eventually it will be exhilarating, the buffeting wind, the crisp air, the patter of raindrops, the crunch of riding over hail... Kidding! I draw the line at frozen crunchy stuff...or frozen stuff of any type.
One from the ride. It was darker than it looks
I managed one dark, blurry snapshot of my ride home on Thursday. Home is that spot just under the darkest cloud in the sky. I saw one other rider that day. I know there were at least a couple others out there somewhere. All the other photos posted today are cheater pics, pulled from the archives or taken from the car. Like I'm going to stop in the middle of a down pour to take a picture

...well...I might.

Tomorrow is bicycling day. Sunday looks to be cold, but dry. Maybe Sam and The Princess will get out for a little ride!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wilhoit Spring

Last Sunday we went in search of a mysterious little park on the edge of the Cascade foothills, near Scotts Mills. I found the park on google maps, but it doesn't appear on my paper map. My favorite kind of drive, wandering around beautiful back roads looking for a little treasure. We eventually found the tiny park, and frankly when we got there if it wasn't for a sign showing the location it would have felt like we were intruding into someone's yard. A small parking area was located just off of someone's driveway.

Once upon a time Wilhoat Springs was something of a resort. A hydrotherapy resort due to the mineral springs. This sort of place was quite the thing back in the day. Nothing much is left of the resort, part of a foundation, a hand pump (so you too can partake of the mineral spring if you so desire!), and the mineral spring itself.

A pleasant aroma of sulpher
Wilhoit Springs

There were a few trails, but the day was damp and cold so we weren't inclined to explore. The water had that distinctive sulpher odor. Terrible to taste, but rumour has it that it makes a nice pale ale.