Another trail from “The List” checked off today. The Mckenzie River Trail was simply amazing with pretty much everything I think a singletrack connoisseur would want in a trail. This excursion is in the discussion of the best 25 miles of trail I have ever been on. Props to Nichol for shuttling me to the trail and showing up at end with beer!
Tomorrow it time to head home but we are most definitely going to be back to Bend!
We were digging the scene in Bend so much that we extended our stay in Bend for a few more days.
We did another super fun ride that included Dutchmans Flat, Flagline, Swampy Lake, Swede Ridge, Area 16, Upper and Lower Whoops, Phils Marvin Gardens and COD. It was a 35 mile day on tasty singletrack. A great day to be on a bike.
My work project completed on schedule and Nichol flew up with her bike to start our play project. Saturday we bolted from Washington to Bend Oregon for some MTB fun for a few days before heading to parts further south.
Nichol setup us up with a nice pad for the stay.
The opening day ride was a shuttle up to Swampys where we did the Swampy Lake loop to Swede Ridge, Area 16, Upper and Lower Whoops followed by some Phil’s and Bens.
So I had told Nichol that route was 25 miles long. This was indeed true. At the Phil’s trailhead it was 25 miles. I neglected to mention the ride from the trailhead back to town. So for the last five or six miles Nichol accused me of trying to kill her.
I think she did pretty darn well today and I did not hear to much protesting on the last few miles. (I did however ride a little further ahead which maaaay just have been slightly outside of earshot!
Once back in town all was better as we recounted the days awesomeness over tasty beers.
I got up at O-damm early this morning to knock off a long time on “The List” trails. The Mt Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument’s Ape Canyon and Plains of Abraham trails did not disappoint. Mother Nature only allowed partial views of the mountain today which clearly means she wants me to come back. The climb up through the old growth forest spared by the eruption was sublime. Climbing up onto the plains was a WOW moment. It was amazing to see what the mountain did when it decided to give its etch-a-sketch a little shake in 1980. It’s going to take me a few days to process all of the life enrichment I took in today.
Over the last few days the smoke has been pretty thick considering how far away the Canadian and Eastern Washington wild fires were. The day after my last ride I was pretty congested and “hackie” so I decided to forego fun on the trails for a few days.
The smoke was pretty thick.
A little bit of rain and favorable winds cleared out the smoke enough to get a ride this afternoon. I made a return to Banner Forest for some twisty fast singletrack fun.
A had another good week of getting in some good afterwork rides in out at Green Mountain State Park. Most of the week I focused on zipped over the west side of the west side of the park to get to know that side better. Plenty of trail on that side as well.
I have been getting in some good after work rides out at Green Mountain State Park. This place is my current “local” trail with the trailhead just 10 minutes away. For my first ride back out here I kept it simple doing and out and back on the Wildcat trail to the Green Mountain peak. Round trip was 8.4 miles with 1,740 feet of climbing. The views included the Olypmics Mountains, Mt Rainer and downtown Seattle. Later in the week I was reminded that trails can come and go on timber land and following one of the trails I remembered from eight years ago netted me a solid 10 minutes of bramble bushwacking at the bottom of the far side of the mountain from where I started. I was not exactly chasing daylight at that point but once you get under the trees it seems much later in the evening. I found myself putting a bit more gitty up on the pedals to get back to the trailhead just to realize I had more daylight left than I expected. Good times!
Had a great day out on the Olympic Pennisula. I revisited the Lower Dungeness and Gold Creek loop I had done some number of years ago. The last time I was socked in with clouds but today was clear skies and sunshine. Such good singletrack. I do have some tweaks to make to my review of this trail. Look for those at some point.
The last day on my commute up the coast trip included a return to the Siouxon Trail which I rode a portion of like 15 years or so ago. This time I did a much bigger chunk of it that included some rough climbing on bits that do not see anywhere near the traffic the stuff along the creeks. Fantastic waterfalls and pools along side the trail were just killer. Really good stuff. I am going to update my site on this trail.