June 30th, 2009
Quiet night out in the close in toolies. Made scratch pancakes for bfast and putzed around postponing ride because I had all day to ride as I plan to stay tonight in same spot. Have shower h2o and set solar shower in sun to heat.
Rode 24 miles on almost deserted trails during mid day. Came upon a rider fixing a flat and he accepted a tire patch from me.
Hot solar shower washed off dust.
After dinner the woman half of the couple that Chris and I met on Saturday stopped by on her walk. They are camped just a long stone throw away Her boyfriend is subjecting her to baptism by riding. He heads off and she follows best she can. And has bruises to show for it.
Quiet day. Nothing rattling around between my ears either.
Tomorrow will be a big ride day here @ Phils. Fun riding thru P-pines on tight twisty dusty single track. Not much for big climbs or downhills albeit 2268′ vert in the 24 miles. Little climbs but not like the East but not the grinders of other western climbs.
June 29th, 2009
Sunday i woke to an alarm outside Chris’ rental for our 7:00 departure for McKenzie river trail. Chris found a shuttle and we are to meet @ 9:00 for ride up to upper TH. Drove past Santiam Lodge that is still boarded up. I spent 2 nights there on my PCT hike. West of summit was skeleton forest from past burn.
Dropped into McKenzie drainage and found Belknap resort just before 9:00. Shortly Marlene from the resort arrived w/ big pickup. She was a lively person. Drove us to start @ Fish Creek. We elected to start @ uppermost start and rode the rough hike a bike basalt section around Clear Lake that is beyond clear. Part of the trail over the basalt was paved. Extra 1 1/2 miles or so was not needed.
Crossed the river and then the real fun started. Great woods ST w/ a testing section of more basalt but way more rideable. On my previous ride of this trail i walked a bunch of the basalt and I tossed over those parts in my mind from then on. I recalled the memory when I rode over that section and put the demon to bed. River is impressive w/ several h2o falls, the blue pool where the h2o resurfaces after flowing under ground. And the h2o is clear h2o blue. Encountered hikers on way to falls. Everybody was polite and sharing of narrow trail. Lower seat and high rise wide handlebar made big difference. Also PUSH suspension.
Exited trail early and rode pavement about 3 miles to van parked @ RS. Learned that the river is diverted for a hydro electric project but some h2o seeps under the lava and emerges @ Blue Hole.
Stopped @ barbecue restaurant in Sisters. Heavy traffic going other way as weekenders made their way back to west side.
Chris and I were standing @ my van out front and a woman on her bike showed up. Chris started the conversation and she stayed. Her name is Sky, just new in town, renting a room in house just thru the hedge from my van, is a photographer, and amicable. We floated her photo idea of photographing riders out @ Phil’s. Invited her over for a showing of The Big Labonski that I have. She declined. We stayed up till 11:00 to finish fighting sleep off after the hard ride.
Today I couldn’t sleep in.
Chris and I were getting ready to walk downtown when a male biker rode up. He was curious about my adventure. He said that he is an ultra endurance athelete and he learned last weekend that he has lost skills learning about other people because of the hours of solo training time. I told him I noticed that in myself this weekend in talking w/ Chris. Solo life really becomes you and only you. It’s important to have interpersonal conversations. And then we walked downtown and noticed the fine women. Bend has a lot.
I sprayed h2o & scrubbed w/ dawn & bristle brush the Turner. Bike shows wear w/ scatches and grime almost impregnated into the surfaces.
I stumbled onto Cog Wild while trying to drive to campspot beyond Phils. Trying to meet another Chris who I met in Moab.
Years ago I found this partially shaded secluded camp site just pass Phil’s. Since my last visit it was partially cut taking trees above maybe 16″ diameter. Surface logged leaving skidder scars and slash. Former spot lost its shade and gained slash. Fortunately another spot was just a short drive. Tomorrow I will ride from here.
81 degrees and cloudless and Oregon 4000′ desert air.
June 27th, 2009
Cool morning, mosquitoes weren’t quite stirring. But by 7:30 when I headed out, the shes were seeking me out. No repellent but wearing long pants, wool long under wear top and a vented cap. The trail gained slight elevation thru lodge pole pines. Mosquitoes were on me like flies on stink only worse. Trail wandered thru forest until hit road of upper trail head and then the elevation kicked in. Ran into snow in the trees and lost the trail but found it in places and then finally it was open up in alpine. Went above the bowl where us forest fire fighters back in ’70 engaged in a boot skiing contest dropping in off upper lip. Memories. Trail is now snow free. It joined a rock rib thru a steep scree slope. A band of frozen snow hugged the shadow of ridge where trail went. Needed crampons and I only had an ice ax. Down climbed around end of finger. Pretty dicey on just volcanic rubble. rejoined the trail for a short jaunt to summit. Even experienced a few mosquitoes @ 8360. 3 hours of non stop climbing to keep ahead of mosquitoes.
I used my Garmin etrex GPS with the track feature turned on so that the gps wopuld guide me back on my up route to get me down thru trees to snow free trail. I lost the trail in the trees and releid on gps. I have a leaning curve to move down. There were times when the track back sent me back up mtn. I was bush bashing down thru open woods ove old growth blowdowns. I had a good idea of where I needed to go. When i sat down to decipher what the gps was saying I was feasted upon. I never spent quality time w/ the gps. I hit the beat up road to the upper TH and turned right and picked up the correct downtrail. The mosquitoes were even more. As I looked in the air ahead of me I could not see any flying but I was swarmed. I have 3 confirmed 5 girls at a swack kill. Got back to van and open door, climbed in, & shut the door. Plentiful and big.
Drove into Bend. Called Chris and found him at the Deschutes brewery taproom. I joined him for a beer and tales. Chris is living in eastern NC and has visited here before. Great guy. He bought me dinner and I continued to tell stories. We made ride plans for Sat. I camped street side @ this really great house he is renting for family vacation. For several days he is batching it.
Sat AM we drove out to Phil’s TH outside of Bend. I have ridden here maybe 5 times as I would stop here on my trips South and if possible on the way back to Spokane. And I had a map and Chris had reading eyesight and more accurate comprehension of the map. I just bumbled along. We spent the 80 degree sunny, cloudless day riding our 34 mile 3709′ climb loop.
Amazing thing about riding here is the sheer number of rigs @ TH but once got a few miles away the trails were all to ourselves. Trails are dusty. I rode Chris’ wheel when there was no dust but once he hit a dirt patch i would drop back a ways to let the dust settle to be able to read the trail. I like riding here. We rode the Whoops trail section down. I watched Chris huck the whoops. twisty and i mean sometimes brutally twisty trail. I really enjoyed the riding w/ my better configured bike.
I fixed my chicken dish & Waldorf salad in his rental kitchen. Turn on the hot h2o faucet and hot h2o comes out. Wonderful.
Tomorrow we are crossing the divide to ride McKenzie River trail. OK. Chris found a local who will shuttle us to Aintree ( Deliverance town) @ top of trail. The ride is technical but it will be downhill which makes the drops & rollovers easier.
We saw a noticeable number of wonderful women riders. Neither Chris or I see this quality on our local trails. I will be staying in Bend area for several days for enjoyment.