August 27th, 2009
Internet access is a lovely thing to have. I am parked on a side street in shade of tree in Chelan, WA. Lots of ties to Lake Chelan area from introduction back in ’70 on Safety Harbor fire and many subsequent visits for backpacking along upper shore of Lake Chelan to numerous mtn bike rides. Hot & dry w/ lots of sunburned / tanned tourists.
2 days ago I drove over the divide between Leavenworth & Entiat, an OK logging road system that spared me 40 miles of pavement. Drove to end of Entiat River road and then 4 miles up logging road to Entiat River TH. Too late in day to ride so I hiked 3 1/2 miles in on trail that I would ride to get a feel for a ride. these trails are closed to motorized travel so the tread should be in better shape, or so I reasoned. Hikers and horses pulverized the ground exposing roots and the pumice dirt underneath. Deep dry woods. My Sporttiva shoes are an open mesh upper. When i removed my shoes my shocks were dusty and my feet looked like I had been walking barefoot. Tomorrow’s ride could be slow and dusty.
I drove back down the road and found a spur road that was level and camped.
Wed Am I drove back up to TH and same cars were still in parking lot. Geared up & headed out. Trail was faster than I expected. Passed where I turned around yesterday. Trail climbed and I started hike a bike more frequently & longer. I reached the intersection of the dead end trail up to Pyramid Peak and stopped to access my desire. The trail climbed another 2300′ in 3.6 miles. I decided that I did not need to see the view from it’s summit. The trail climbed up to Grouse Pass @ 7400′ after pushing my bike over rocky sections. Up near the pass the tree cover changed to larch which to me is pretty. In the fall the needles change to a golden color and fall off. Too early for that this time. Trail dropped off pass. My reading of the small scale Green Trail maps indicated the trail would be mostly a traverse to trail junction dropping down the Entiat. Small scale maps lack detail and I paid the price as the trail had a few more ups. Sketchy ST bench cut into hillside w/ a bit of exposure. Pretty country.
Made the trail dropping down the river. Made it back to TH unscathed. No berries at all.
AT TH my solar shower was hung off my van in the sunshine awaiting a toasty shower. The outside of the bag was hot, later I learned that the h2o was tepid even after soaking sun for almost 5 hours. Something about the air temp robbing some of the heat. I decided that nobody would be arriving @ the TH so I took a naked shower. I was soaping myself up when a white FS truck w/ lights on came around the bend. I covered myself w/ my towel. the guy waved @ me and said Hello. I asked if he minded and he said no so I dropped the towel and continued. He parked just out of the way and left me alone. I later thought that he might be writing me a ticket for nudity. He left and I sat in sun drying off.
I was planning on riding Devils’ backbone the next day from either Entiat or Chelan side. I figured I could ride up Lake Creek some 4000′ climb to access the ridge. I remember a nasty talus slope that we climbed up when I rode the backbone previously. It was serious carry a bike and I did not want to deal w/ that again. But I would ride out till that spot and turn around. Today when I drove down off the high point I decided that I didn’t really want to do this massive ride. I chose to drive to my next ride up above Twisp, Foggy Dew.
My memory of where I was during the fire of ’70 never gelled. I stopped @ the Entiat RS and asked for info on the fire. Tom, the rec staff guy about my age offered info. He said that I was there. An empty field was turned into a fire camp where we were flown by Chinook helicopter out to our spike camp. I don’t know where we dug line and camped for those 9 days and he didn’t either. Further conversation he told me the FS guy from yesterday told of interrupting a guy taking a shower. I introduced myself. I learned a bunch of stuff about protecting our forests from all kinds of user groups.
I stopped @ a produce stand and bought some tasty things and talked to 2 people working there who were interested in my adventures.
Shopped @ Safeway in Chelan and you are now caught up.
Off to Foggy Dew. I will drive to the upper TH saving myself a multi thousand foot steep logging road climb. Cheating, maybe.
August 24th, 2009
Yesterday after the Freund canyon ride I treated myself to an ice cream cone and later a beer. Then I drove out to Lake Wenatchee SP for a shower and then up Chiwawa river road up Chikamin road. I remember finding berries @ 3000′ or so on my ride there several days ago. I stopped just past where the trail kissed the road and walked into the woods. I found berries but nowhere near the quantity and quality that I found on the other trail. I picked enough for Bfast but not enough for a larder. Next idea was to drive to the upper TH and hike down on the other trail. The road kept going up on a single lane gravel road.
The road dead ended and I camped. Tonight I will have a view of the sky that had been missing; however I was in the shade of a ridge blocking out tomorrow Am sun. Cold clear night. At 7:00 AM it was 37 degrees and I was cold. The sun created the ridge about 9:00 and I set out to check out berries where I was camped. Wow! I scored w/o hiking. I now have about 2 1/2 sandwich baggies of frozen berries. This is special as I had none last year because of my travels and the year before in greater Spokane there were none. Blueberry pancakes for Bfast!
Pot score fell thru as my man told me he was an hour late getting to his connection and by then the cops had busted the connection. Moving on.
Got my hair cut and beard trimmed in Leavenworth.
Plan now is to drive up Entiat River to ride Cathedral Peak. Might see where I spent almost 2 weeks back in ’70 fighting a forest fire.
Cooler temps are much enjoyed.
August 23rd, 2009
Been out of internet access since Friday, kinda of enjoyed it.
This time has been all about scoring pot. I am at Lake Wenatchee SP at the beach when this my size guy, tanned as in dark wood color, all but shaved head, necklaces, sunglasses says hello and within 2 mins of banter he tells me it is dry here and he has been looking and wanted to know if I had connections. I got a name of a guy that I would have to establish rapport w/ to work thru him except he didn’t work till later in the week. My guy says he is working something that might happen days later. I told him I would return next day and compare notes. He is there when i arrive next day. He says he might have something happening this afternoon at the lake so hang on. I waited. He came by and said no deal. I said my turn for my contact. I jet into town visit where he should have been, no he is now working flipping burgers. Not there, he did that gig and was off riding. My end fell thru. I called my guy to relay bad news. He said he is going back to Sound for weekend and will work a scxore over there and if I was interested let him know. We exchanged calls Sat. AM and he is set for success and I enjoyment come Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile I did get in 2 good rides in Devils Gulch area. Last spring was flood rains causing Mission Creek to retake the road bed for it’s own several places before TH that added 3.3 miles of road ride to start of Devils Gulch. How to share the image w/ you of the junk yard of a living quarters this man has made for himself that is right at road’s edge on the way in. I won’t try.
I parked @ Sandhill TH which is new TH. From there 2 single tracks and an old road take off for a lengthy approach to devils Gulch trail. Today i rode the road as that is how Zilly described it and I was a slave to his words. Bear tracks going in opposite direction. Too dry for berries. Made top of Sand hill and dropped down on ST. Several places the trail had been washed out and was rebench cut back into mountain side. Trail intersects w/ DG several miles from start. My ride plan was to ride DG as an out & back, somewhere in my insane mind I considered making a big loop but that idea fell away as I continued to climb DG. For the most part the trail is rideable up and is for the most part just a pleasant grunt. I am sweating profusely. Going up makes time pass so much slower and allows for a small gape @ the surrounding views. Rain damage and dirt bikes riding it whenm it was too wet created pedal stopping ruts about 6″ wide in places that add an additional technical challenge. I am on a small rocky bench cut on steep hillside section and I see 2 riders off their bikes just upahead. Their dust is still in the air. One is sitting on edge of trail with his legs over the side and he is clutching his knee and asks me, Sir, do you have anything i can put on this to stop the bleeding. he takes his had away revealing a gash about 2 inches long and it goes right to the bone. Shit. I say yes and drop my pack and pull out my presonal first aid kit. The wound bled slightly and stopped, I had almost as much blood spilled on my legs from the normal over grown trail scratches. The other kid I get to squirt h2o from his bottle on the wound while I spill my first aid kit out in the dirt. I select a big gauze pad and the roll od 1/2″ wide adhesive tape. The tape won’t tear w/ my fingernails. Dig out my new repair tool that has a knife buried in the cluster. Cut the tape. Won’t stick to his sweaty leg so I place several encircling strips to hold pad on. No bleeding which is very good. He asks me how he shoud get out. i said keep leg straight and go straight to medical attention.
I stop further up @ a trail junction catching my breath and sanity when the rider from the truck that parked beside me early this AM but did not say Hi stopped for a chat. 56 yo male and we have ties back to Eric Eaton from Tacoma. His ride was ride up the road to TH and then DG out & back and he was on his way back. I told him of my ride and he remarked that he did not know anybody who rode it my way which added more miles to just DG. I told him of my other long ride over Tanneum years earlier and he was more impressed. Us old guys still get around. His tracks going up were the most visible and I noticed that he had a lot of front wheel wandering which is common when slow riding esp when struggling uphill. I wander sometimes but mostly i have a strong spin that lasts until I blow up which keeps my wheels mostly in line. Hooray for me.
My 70 oz of h2o are almost gone when I reach the upper TH, my turn around point. Sweat has been pouring off my brow much to my happiness in that I have enough fluid to sweat. I am going to need h2o b4 I finish my ride. I have a side stream picked out for resupply so i heartily suck on my h2o hose. Funny how the trail is much more narrow and dangerous going down that when pedaling up. Refilled my bladder and sucked more. Made lower TH and rode the 3.3 miles on the flood damaged road. The creek flowed over the road either washing away the gravel road bed and leaving behind sand or just added sand to the gravel. It is closed to motorized travel because of washouts. The first one was right @ Th and I thought this was driveable, but further down the road was completely washed away. Ride thru cazy man’s place. Kid made it out.
Back @ van to complete the ride and drink my beer reward. 37 miles, 5 1/4 hrs, 6343′ vert. Hot day. Take a solar shower. Spend the night downwind from a CXT outhouse that is malodorous.
Sat my plan is to ride the Sand Hill loop from the TH because there are 2 trails here that I have never ridden. Concern is how they ride uphill. Just because it is a worn trail doesn’t mean it is a good riding trail. Before each ride I clean & lube the drive train and today i checked the air pressure in my shock w/ my shock pump. Lower pressure so I pumped. All that did was let more air out. Shit, either the pump is bad ( bad) or the shock valve failed like b4 ( badder). I hung for several minutes hoping that a rider would show w/ a pump to learn which of the bads it was. Nobody showed so I drove back into Leavenworth to visit w/ now my sharing bud, Eric @ Der Sportsman. Learn that the pump has left this working life. New pump. Back to TH which now has several cars.
I take off on my ride. The uphill trail is grunt rideable. Sweating again in slightly lower temp today. For all the cars I expected to encounter other riders but I saw only 1 coming down DG. Still a 2 hour ride and 3000′ vert.
Hang in parking lot. I set my chair to face the TH to greet riders and hopefully score some pot. I talked w/ several riders but they didn’t have what it takes, that certain je ne sais pas about them to ask. The last riders down were a bunch of full on downhill riders and I knew success was at hand. One guy gave me a pinch. Score!
Spent 3rd night @ Sandhill as it was in the trees and cool. Slept w/ down blanket last night. Temp was 42 @ 7:00AM.
Today i am at laundromat in Cashmere, home of Applets & Cottlets. I am undecided upon an easy short ride right out of Leavenworth or another brutal day up Mad River. Check out clothes and decide.
Clothes put away and ecision will be made as I drive into Leavenworth.
On a ride in OR coming off High Prarrie I made a perhaps poor choice of drinking water as it was too close to a riparian area and I think I am now host to lower intestinal riders. I experienced this on PCT hike and after a month or so it cleared up.