Banner Forest

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.

The Opening Week in Washington

Last week was really busy.     While work was plenty busy, I did have enough time to get out and about on some trails.     After starting the week out by finding out with my bike being stolen, I was able to get my hands on a rental hardtail on Tuesday.    Wednesday after work I hit up Banner Forest.   I had hiked a small slice of this area in December of 2008 but this was the first time on the bike.   This places is a lot of fun.  Lots of the twists and turns and quick up and downs on nearly all singletrack.   Quite the fun XC playground.

Wednesday was supposed to be a quick afternoon ride at Green Mountain near Bremerton.     The trail was billed as well marked out-up and back-down.    Just a few miles into the climb I spied and sweet looking narrow singletrack heading off to the west and someone had made a wooden arrow on the ground pointing to it.   For those that know me, know what happened next.   Yes I took the sweet looking singletrack that was not on my map.   This was indeed a really awesome singletrack saw much less traffic the the one I started on.  This trail lead to another and another and the next thing I know I was much futher out than I had planned on being.   I had to dust off  some orienteering skills that I had not had to use so thoroughly in quite sometime.  When all said an done my 12-14 miles afternoon spin ended being a stout 21 miler that ended in the waning moments of the day.

 

 Saturday it was raining the Seattle-Tacoma area so I headed inland to the east of Mt Rainer to ride the Ranger Creek and Palisades trail.   The 20 miles of pure singletrack did not disappoint.   I am going to get back here when the sun is out.

Sunday I headed out to the Olympic Pennisula for a ride that is considered a Washington Classic/Epic.   The Lower Dungeness to Gold Creek Trail loop. For much of the ride I was in the clouds which made the fantastic singletracks take on a primordial rainforest feel. The cloud ride in thick old growth woods was sometimes spooky and I often found myself whistling so as not to surpise any critters further up the foodchain.

I’ll get some proper ride reports put together when I get some downtime, but for now it will just be the samplers.

Washington Area Added to the Website

I have finally gotten around to compiling all of my pictures and notes from my April trip to Washington.  It was enough stuff to add a Washington section to the site.   If you have been following the blog a good portion of the stuff will not be completely new to you.  I have however added more pictures and in some cases some maps and GPS files.   So click away.

Puget Sound Area Overview Page

Banner Forest, Washington

  I’m spending this week in the Puget Sound/Seattle area. I have been here about four or five times but it has always been during July or August which most folks will tell you is a pretty glorious time here.  The rest of the year is known for a lot of overcast and rain.  The weather was just that when I arrived Monday evening and all day on Tuesday.   However, just as I was finishing up work in the afternoon the Sun made an appearance.   I had not planned on grabbing a rental bike until later in the week so here I am off work with sunshine and no bike.  The time involved with chasing down a bike and then getting to a trailhead would eat up most of my daylight so what the heck, I’m going for a hike.  So straight to one of the Banner Forest trailheads located near Port Orchard I went.


This place is known as a mountain biking area with about 10 miles of singletrack.  I only scratched the surface of the trails here on my hike which may have been 3 miles at most.      

Most of the stuff I hiked was twisty  with some small ups and downs that looks to just be a hoot to ride.

I love the the flora of the Pacific Northwest.    Green green green and very mossy.


I saw a few log rides as well as few spots that have oppurtunities for some minor air time.

This was a pretty cool log ride.  It is optional as the trail runs about half way down it’s long length.  Then the log is cut where it crosses the trail.  Log riders have to come of the log and immediately get back up on it on the other side of the trail,  ride the next section the make turning roll off the log where you merge back onto the trail.   Very Cool!

While I have been up the Pacfic Northwest and B.C. before, I had forgotten how the thick foilage in places can really make for pretty dark shade.  I was enjoying my hike and I traveled back into the woods a little further than I thought so the waning light and thick foilage made for a couple of spooky spots near the end of my loop.  

I’m going to be spending a few weeks in Seattle Area in few months so I have a feeling I’m going to get back over here with a bike. Oh, two minutes after I got in my car it started raining.