Back in the hot Hood- temporaily

Heat wave scorches the NW: Seattle set all time record of 103 yesterday. Hood river has been in the 100s but I sought heat relief up in mtns on shoulder of MT Hood @ 4000′ where temps were in the 80s. Came into town today for resupply and another massage.

Some catch up:

Since arriving in Hood river I have 5 rides under my tires for 97 miles and 15,800′ vert. Say it is hilly is so. All the rides have been up off FS rd 44. Tuesday I rode High Prairie. Wed it was 8 Mile creek & Knebal Springs, and yesterday was the tongue dropper of 15 mile creek.

Tuesday I rode out of my camp site to join High Prairie. The map & on the ground did not agree. To prove it out I rode out the road searching for an errant trail. No dice, trail had to be  the one I passed that I couldn’t figure for the map. As I pedaled up to that trail a man & 2 women where there trying to figure the ir map out. i convinced them this was the trail to take. And they believed me and off we pedaled. Shortly the trail turned to freshly cut and the old trail was abandoned, thankfully as it climbed steeply. the folks are from Whistler and were on a mtn biking vaca in the area. Derek & I kabutzed as we pedaled. His wife is an air line flight attendant and flies the 777 Vancouver to Sidney. She likes the plane. The trail was the correct one. Nicely designed trail sections and it is being ridden in. More about this later from Friday. Good hump pedal to top and then a traverse and then a nice downhill to TH. I bid the frogs good bye and pedaled back to my camp.

I was camped in a man made clearing up against the late afternoon shade trees, shade after 4:00 otherwise exposed and cooked. I rolled out awning and hid in the shade it offered. Low humidity and heat seems to affect me more than like conditions in the desert. My solar shower was scalding.

Wed i drove to Th of 8 mile creek combined w/ Kniebal Springs to make a nice loop. I rode here back in maybe ’91 and I just rode Knebal. Hey, the downhill along 8 mile was sweet: buff tread, shallow gradient, bermed turns. Just carve the turns w/ all kinds of fun body English. Then the uphill climb up to lookout and then the drop to Knebal and then the climb out, and then the cold beer and shower. But i am ahead of myself. Climbing out of Knebal the trail tracked around the edge of an old clear cut. I remember it from’91:” amazing how little reseeding and regrowth occured. Let it be known that we have been cutting faster than nature can produce the resupply. Today I parked in the shade @ the TH which kept the van cooler.

I picked a shaded spot for camp that night higher up. Thurs is to be the killer of 15 mile creek, my camp is on the climb up, on the road. Shaded cooler camp. The solar shower sprung a leak @ the outlet, the shower tonight was w/ the Coleman hot water on demand electric pump. The h2o warmed to air temp and even w/ the temp set on cool I was treated to too hot h2o. I have been drinking untreated stream h2o for several days now. I marked in my calendar the days and I am traking my digestive issues. To date noen and the h2o is sweet.

Thurs I headed out for 15 mile from camp by riding the road aways until the trail intersected and then I was off to the work. Nice trails. Found 15 mile camp and drop into creek which was really a descending ridge shoulder and then the creek crossing. Nice deep forest trails like Oakridge and Umpqua. Last part of downhil turned steep and loose rock to harsh the buzz. Almost a 3000′ drop and the climb out awaited the hotter part of the day. i found a bat carcass on the trail which was being consumed by insect larvas and yellow jackets. I thought about bagging the stinky body for to put it in a beattle box outside the van and let the critters strip the flesh from the bones and and the skeleton to my collection. It stunk too much and I had a hard ride ahead of me. A bit further the crashing of broken dead branches caught my attention. I looked in the sound direction and saw the back end of a black bear making tracks away from me. Another black bear story, 3 so far this year. Long pedal and a bit of tired walking to trail high point and then another downhill being spit out on the pavement and then the short road ride back to camp. Today i exchanged 1 word greeting w/ a FS employee and that was the extent of human interaction. Gruesome.

Friday is a rest day to drive back down to HR and the heat and goodness. I picked up my warranty replacement Specialized mtn comp shoes, brown this time, but new. Laundry at another laundromat and this one is run down also. Grocery shop @ Rosauers,  Spokane headquartered.

While in the parking lot a loaded SUV pulls up behind me and a guy gets out and greets me. he is Dave Waag editor of Off Piste backcountry ski mag. Friend Larry & Theresa gave me a subscription several years ago. Last year the mag sent me a renewal notice. i answerd back that I would be doing this adventure. dave saw the van and coneected it to me. He wanted to do a ride but his family is off for a family weekend. dave said that Theresa’s back is doing well.

Later that afternoon Dave left a voice mail about a mtn bike ride and Jimmy’s name and number. I called Jimmy. He said he had seen my van parked up off road 44. He is the one building the new High prairie trail. I complemented him on its design. He appreciated my comments and they are deserved. I might stay for park of next week to ride w/ Jimmy and Dave who are buds.

Jimmy’s trail design is for the mtn bikes as it climbs at a less than 13% grade and enjoys the ride. To me the most startling difference between a hiker trail and a mtn biker trail is that a hike trail usually goes the shortest make sense distance between 2 points. A mtn bike trail is about the ride and distance traveld between the hiker 2 points is of greater distance. I know if I am hiking I want to hike a hiker trail to get to someplace than enjoying the long way around. But i am biking and enjoying riding the other guy’s trails.

Another massage to loosen my right hip which is close to as hard as this oak table I am working off of. Soft tissue belly of the muscle, ouch but increased range of motion. Jennifer suggested finding something else to do tomorrow.

Finished Kerouac’s On the Road. Product of late 40s and introduced readers and the nation to the beat generation. Get your kicks, dig the horn man blowing. He was sort of like Mc Candless (?) from Into the Wild as they both were dead poor, one by life and the other by choice. Bit of intense writing. Per a guest on  The Bob Edwards radio show this book,  Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Huckleberry Finn are the 3 best books of American fiction. Now to reread Huck.

Still hot parked in shade of big leaf maple out in front of a house for sale. From the outside the siding has holes, moss on the shingles, with a run down appearance. Asking price w/ .11 acre is $204,000. Too much.

Called Zysk @ work. Enjoyed our history and characters. I have known Tom for 19 years and worked w/ him. As w/ Les maintaining connection to our pasts is important to me.

OK. Leaving the heat for the cool quiet mtns out of internet and cell, and to find a non riding activity tomorrow, maybe.

Mark, thanks for the stats function which I will learn about.

Hot Hood River

Saturday’s ride w/ Les was in WA back across the river, at a place called Hospital Hill in White Salmon. Les rides a what 6 3/4 travel big which is pounds heavier than my Spot but he can make it go uphill. Maybe our ride was a throw down: his challenge of my riding expertise chiseled from a year plus of riding 4 to 5 times a week on all kind of different technical challenges vs his I ride when I can on a big hit bike on trails that I know. Les pushed me way hard per my heart rate data. I sucked his wheel on the uphills talking to him hoping to shorten his breath. Telling was the sketchy exposed sidehill switchback climb on 9 year old trail built by a woman. Oh, poison oak on the trail edges. We both blew up on the switchbacks, some we made. Trail dropped almost onto lumber mill property and the uphill. Steam and sweat dripped from our bodies. I was completely sweat soaked, my gloves were slippery on the bar grips. Then the downhill, I’ll take my Spot among other reasons but trail didn’t require the beef he rode. While I do not practice Les’ training it served hi, OK in our 2 hour ride. Great trail system, tread mostly friendly, sparse cow plops.

Drove back to his campsite for a shower and then back into Hood river to find Gloria. Getting hot and no wind. On the river is the national sailboard competition w/ low wind speeds. Les went to glop onto his sailing friends and I made the scoot to the mountain bike scene.

I went to Mtn View Cycles as they are a Specialized dealer for my shoe replacements. A desirable woman waited on me. I asked where she came from and she said among other places Mammoth Lakes. I mentioned Brian Davis and she said he makes guitars. Fun talking w/ people that share connections. Mark was my local rider there.

Hot & still in town. Plan is to drive up to Surveyor’s ridge TH for night and ride on Sunday. TH is about 35 miles out of town and up into mtns @ 4000′: trees and no pavement. Found camping spot just off pavement. So nice to have only forest noise and coolness.

Sunday after a scratch made pancake b-fast I rode back out road to TH. I thought I camped on the trail road and was curious why no riders had gone by my camp. Oopps, another navigation lesson. I was @ the TH parking area small as it was and where the trail took off from. Rode nice trail out & back in & out of deep forest and out into open sections on narrow exposed trail to power lines and back. I climbed 3100′ on a ridge trail while already being on the ridge. Hot. No Les today so I was purposefully able to rest my heart sort of.

Back @ camp i waited for the sun to go behind the trees to cool things off. A hot solar shower washed the caked on dust off. No mosqs, warm sleeping weather.

Today I drove down mtn to HR to deal w/ my shoes, laundry, & groceries. Hot! Forecast temps of 100 degs. Replacement shoes will be here later this week so I am heat bound. Being caught by a weather phenomenon that I am choosing to stay in.

Run down laundromat, populated by a western states who’s who in license plates. Sad impression.

Today is a rest day. The massage cleared the pain from my hip until the end of Les’ & my ride. Today it hurts almost as if nothing was done to  my body. Darn.

No maps exist for Hospital Hill as property owner allows bikes but doesn’t want it mapped which will attract more riders. As it is Les, who has ridden it many times, explored a new trail w/ me that lead to the hellish switchback climb out of river.

My clothes supply is 5 days of bike jerseys, 8 of shorts, 10 of socks. The jersey count drives wash day. I have undershort supply of 6 days but then I can wear them for several days because I spend so many hours in bike gear which i will only wear clean. A sweaty, salt streaked jersey just doesn’t cut it. Underwear is OK several days worn. Laundromats are in big cities, not in the outlying areas usually.

Off to some errands and make ride plans for week and find coolness.

Farewell to Bend, hello to Hood River

Pleasant night @ new camp spot, enjoyed the fact that it was well shaded.

Today is short ride, a massage, and drive to Hood River to meet w/ Les and Gloria , buds from Spokane days.

Bend trails are dusty but when I am the only rider, the dust is behind me. Knees hurt, today is an easy day,and tyhat is how I rode even w/ a 17 mile 2100′ climb. Happy Valley is free of snow but mosq’s are still there. Farewell springs trail is beat from all downhillers.

Bike had some issues to be fixed by brains bigger than mine: rear wheel not true from several sticks caught in wheel, a sqreatch in the front end i can’t find, and a loose front wheel. How to get the bike fixed. I picked Sunnyside, the Turner dealer in Bend, where I bought my brake pads. I walked in the store and saw eric who helped me previously. I explained my problems in a begging voice and he said bring it in and he would work on it. WOW! I was expecting something like “can you come back like in 3 days as we are slammed. he put my bike in a stand right from my hand and turned too. The rear wheel needed just a little help, the sqreatch came from the handlebar loose in the stem, and the front hub repsonded to the King tool. He even sort of washed my bike. All for $10.00. I say Super for the shop. Bend is hosting a bike road bike week and the shop was slammed. Eric said the shop hired 2 people and there are as many hours as wrenches want to work.

Then on to my massage. I drove to Amber’s house for the appointment, she has a spare room set up as her home treatment, complete w/ bicycle tools & assorted other toys stuck in the corners. Full nude under the covers massage, 30 m is for her intro fee of $25. She freed up my hips; Saturday’s ride will tell me if I am healed.

She is another free spirit to my bunch of people I have met. She has a sister living in Black Mtn, NC and knows of Pisgah Brewery. Look out Beerbike gang of Bruce & JUT.

Bend has a Whole Foods Grocery store, affectionaly know as “Whole Paycheck”, great grocery store w/ lots of great prepared things to eat. I bought my dinner from the deli section. i firts discovered the chain in Austin, TX.

Long drive to Hood River, actually to White Salmon, WA to meet Les & Gloria @ Everybody’s Brewing pub. Darn GPS would not recognize the Hood River bridge and had to backtrack on I-84 to cross over into WA.

What a feeling of returning to my “home” state, suddenly just crossing the Columbia River my license plate belonged to the physical location.

I savored a good porter and soaked up some past history w/ people from my past. Cal visited 2x and now Les & Gloria. Ties to my past. They are staying @ a XG on the OR side of the river. We drive back across the river into OR and I am no longer “home”, fleeting feeling. But today Les and I are going to ride in WA.

Driving over Eastern shoulder on MT Hood I saw a river running white from glacial milk, finely pulverized rock slurry creating like a colloidal suspension. I have seen streams from Inland NW and Rockies clear to the Mississippi River mud and the porter colored streams of lower LA. I have seen alot.

Off to Bfast & a WA ride.