No echo from Echo

Hot night even @ 3500′.

Plan today is early start on Echo Ridge trails then drive back to Wenatchee for Walgreens script refill and other supplies and spend time away from Republic.

Trails here are a ST on the XC groomer trail, as a result they are all but buff and lack tech features. They are as imagined but spinning sort of fun. Rode for over an hour for fill then headed down river. GPS nailed the spots. New battery in Suunto, script refill, and supply of EFS electrolyte powder. Hot: my van displayed 94 degrees.

Going to spend the night back up Mission creek out of cell reception. Tomorrow I might ride Chicamin ridge then head to Republic on Fri. Just kind of biding my time b4 Spokane visit then on my way again. Have a list of Spokane tasks.

Just way too warm.


37 months later and it’s Echo Ridge

Tonight I am sitting above Manson, WA on the east side of Lake Chelan. I am here seeking new trails to ride. Yesterday i finished w/ Winthrop & the Methow. I need to be on the east side of Sherman Pass Fri PM for weekend rides w/ Randy & CO. I came up empty for ride info on Chelan but I reasoned that the local shop would have ride ideas. I know of nothing between Winthrop and Fri’s camp so I thought Chelan might be happening. Got into town then smart phone located the one bike shop in town. Their wholehearted suggestion is the Echo ridge trail system. On the other side of the lake are Pot Peak and Devil’s backbone that I have ridden in the past but deemed them too far back there to ride by myself.

So, I shopped @ Chelan Safeway and headed out. Lake Chelan is like a fijord in that it is a river bed in a narrow canyon that nature plugged the downstream end. Incredibly clear and cold and deep. Temp in 80s sweating but the sun bathing people were doing just that, not even a twinkie wetted. Must be cold. Stehekin is some 50 miles uplake via lady of the Lake people ferry that stops @ flag stops. I have taken the boat up to Prince Creek for 3 day backpacks hiking to Stehekin for boat return. Angels’ Staircase looks down Prince creek but I could not see where it emptied into the lake.

Echo Valley is a downhill ski area which lift top is below the XC trails that I will ride tomorrow. Bike trails are ST down the XC trail wide enough for a groomer. Earlier this evening @ the TH a guy pulls in w/ a bike on the roof rack. He recognizes my van and story and wonders aloud if I knew where I was. I am here for the experience and time killing. Maybe it will be a safe ride.

Sun night I stayed @ a snowpark up Lost River from Mazama for the Mon ride. Hot night, didn’t sleep well. Mon I met Bill and 5 other riders @ the Mazama General store which has great baked stuff and more. I ate a maple roll b4 pedalling off. Kept it down but it was not a wise decision. The riders, to me, are road riders that ride mtn bikes as our route was double track to logging road up and down. Drank a canned Moose Drool beer, didn’t notice an aluminum can taste. I bid adieu.

Drove to Winthrop to MVSTA office seeking a shower. Talked w/ Paula who works there. She is a water color painter and the walls displayed 3 of her paintings. Pretty. Took shower. Afterwards I learned about the fall mtn bike festival plans.

Drove back up to upper TH of Buck mtn where I stayed previously as I needed to escape the heat. I ate a grocery store Dungeness crab. Aging losses the sweetness of just cooked. I have had better.

So, today I drove to here. Tomorrow I ride here and move on to …. ?

The guy I met @ the TH is a recreation specialist for the USFS on the local ranger district. Interesting discussion and I missed the primo sunset. He officially is working to expand mtn biking as there is no local effort championing their own cause. He rode Oakridge and Kate’s cut in I helped build. Most everybody I have talked to after the trail was completed said they rode it. Kristen & the Canadiens rode Alpine during peak:

beargrass going off

Nothing like that here in the dry.

Eric @ PUSH called about my shock I learned from voice mail I received after they closed. Mtn time zone.

Saturday night in the woods above the Methow

I wonder if my dad ever wonders about how i spend my Saturday night?

Darn,Wait Wait don’t tell me will be on.

Drove back to Winthrop. Dave stopped to talk to me, just pulled his truck over. We agreed on a ride on Sat. Kristen walked up and the gears spun more. She and her Canadian friends and me will ride Cutthroat Pass on Fri then they will ride Angels’. Enjoyed a pink @ the school house.

Tonight I decided to try the spot up where the Buck mtn trail goes off to single track. 3600′ elevation, above the 2000′ valley. Cooler temp.

Friday I am to meet Kristen and gang @ Red Barn and we would drive up river to TH. The route will take us up to Cutthroat Pass and the PCT. I met Nadine and Gary who are just finishing up their 2 month tour, and Jeremy.  We met and set off. Young people again.

Up to the pass we continued.

Looking East

Looking East. The Canadian gang.

Up into the alpine which is very rare to ride into this zone. Trail to the lake was nice Cascade woodland.  Above the trail become loose talus riding as we rode up into alpine zone. I walked several switchbacks but rode the entire trail, of course at Life Style Rider pace. At the pass small black color flies just chewed me up shortening our stay. Rocky alpine decent back up what we  rode. Fun.

At the TH I shared cold beer from my fridge. We sat bug free @ a picnic table @ the TH. Meets criteria for a Forest Pass pay to recreate license opening displayed on vehicle dash. We sat and chatted. Initeria over came us to head down mtn to Mazama General Store. Kristen ran into Don Portman whom she introduced to me. I gave him my lycra telemark pose pic.

Conversation over another beer generated dinner plans @ Kristen’s house. I made Waldorf salad after a shower. Met Brian, Kristen’s husband. He works from home supporting internet applications. He makes neat wallets out of duct tape. Their 2 dogs independently freaked on me but over the course of the evening I was able to engage them. The riders from today minus me will be doing Angel’s St AM leaving @ 7:00. I was tired and they needed to get to bed which suited me fine.

Today they left then I drove to Dave’s house for 8:30 potatoes and eggs bfast and a ride on his home trails. He built his house off Goat creek rd 8 miles up river from Winthrop and then a little ways uphill off the valley floor. Nicely done. And his Sprinter was parked in the carport. 2 fried eggs & toast and a plate of home fries, I filled to the brim.

We loaded our bikes into the back of is truck under the canopy. He drove us uphill on logging roads until his routes TH which was a wide spot in the road. When putting my bike together I learned that i left my wheel axle, Maxxle, back on my van. We drove back down to his house. We could have ridden from his house to where we jumped on the ST but we would have been worn hard b4 the enjoyment. Truck ride assured more smiles. And the drive to get the Maxxle allowed my full stomach to work thru a load.

Trails are cow path shared, new summer cut in, overgrown skidder roads. Cows are grazing and splattered the used stuff sometimes freshly on the trail. Green gunk sticks to the tire long enough to splatter up on a rider’s shorts. Worse is the front tire throw up into the face. If you can’t take a hot steamer to the chops you are not a mountain Biker according to Chopper.

Hut on ski trail system above Dave's

Dave and I enjoyed our company which enhanced the ride. Back @ his house he offered a shower which I accepted to wash off the dust.

I headed back to Winthrop bought groceries, a pint @ the Schoolhouse then drove back to where I spent 2 nights ago. In town my van’s thermometer read 90 degrees. I gained around 1500 feet and the temp dropped into the 70s. Nice night again.

I got invited on another’s group ride on Monday.

Randy is gathering folks for a ride @ Sherman Pass Kettle trail for this coming weekend.

Since I have been in Winthrop I have ridden 4 rides on lesser know trails, ones that you appreciate a local to show.

Kristen is sharing her pics of Cut Throat that I will add. You will see how rugged these North Cascades are. Peaks are less than 9,000′. I like these mtns.

So, the developing a pay to play mtn bike trail meca has been affected by facts and area history. Now if anything it would be on USFS land and figuring ways to pay for it.

I have been listening to Willie’s Place on XM as in Willie Nelson type of music, white man’s blues.

I am running my old circular handlebar grips on my wider bars. My left hand has stiffness and movement pain. I am concerned that the rough downhill off Angels’ last Sunday might have broken away insufficiently healed bone ends as i have grating sounds.

My bike is not as plush w/ the Fox shock.

Bed time.