Wet Feet

I spent yesterday at sea level, I didn’t ride to test my altitude acclimation, I just walked on sand and splashed in the ocean. I scored a camp site at Wax Myrtle USFS campground, half price fee with senior access pass for only $11, makes the price seem almost free.

Over time I have ridden the Umpqua River trail from its source a ways, now I drove to its mouth at its names sake light house,

Umpqua lighthouse

Tsunami potentially affected area, a new danger for me. Not falling rocks but raging sea. Numerous signs directing evacuees to safety when the water starts moving your house off its foundation.

From the XG I walked a one lane service road to the beach which has cordoned off areas to protect a plover bird. Trail / road was just loose sand about a mile in length. Had the entire beach as far as I could see all to myself. Summertime, vacation time, Monday and nobody else out there. Perhaps the trek winnowed out the less I want to see the water crowd.

Siltcoos river in foreground
wet washed feet

The XG did not fill up and is much nicer than the choices, non federal, around Reedsport and cheaper but FS XGs do not have showers as a rule.

After dinner I walked out to the ocean from the XG with desire to see the sun set. However, the 58 degrees with a breeze were greater than my choice of clothing would give me comfort so my visit was short. Amazing, big parking lot prolly for motorized crowd but a short hike to the beach was 1 car full. Living in high 80 and 90 degrees temps must change the body comfort level. I was chilly.

Yesterday I bought a freshly steamed Dungeness crab that I ate for dinner. So sweet and delectable. Learned that the 15th this month is the closing date for commercial harvest. Same day is the opening day of Flagline Trail at Bend.

My sink faucet allows water to escape from its guts when I open the stream flow, I tried replacing Orings which didn’t stop the unwanted flow. I ordered a new faucet today shipped from Kentucky to Bend which will now hold me in town till prolly the eclipse which I was trying to be out of town for.

Today I will drive back to Oakridge and another ride on ATCA tomorrow then back to Bend to ride Flagline before it gets over ridden.

This year I have noticed more litter. The place near my favorite spot at Bend must be a daily visit spot for someone who shares their choice of purchases. A neighboring camp spot in the XG had several cans in the still smoldering fire pit. Who cleans up their mess?

I started looking at rides in CO of which there are many. My thoughts are CO for the fall for the colors. Country roads take me home again. I will make a brief swing thru WA.

No mosquitoes


Mountains and smoke, sea level moisture

Wow, I have let many days pass without sharing. Succinctly, I left Bend this AM, climbed up to Diamond Lake, skirted Crater Lake then made my way to Rogue River to ride a new trail, Mountain of the Rogue which Leslie wrote and article about the trail in this issue of Dirt Rag. I checked their weather forecast wanting temps at least in low 90s. Today was the day. Big drive from dry central high desert Oregon to the sea level at Reedsport. On rt 230 down from Crater Lake there were numerous FS roads closed because of fire activity. Extreme danger. Even over here on the coast there is a burn ban. I checked with the FS visitor center outside of Bend to learn that alcohol stoves are not allowed as they can not be put out with a valve.

So, the Rogue trail was opened in 2015, it’s sort of a one way climb way up to top then descend on a definite down hill only trail. Lots of poison oak. Nicely built trail, give it maybe 5 more years to weather in.

no foot traffic, trail descended per upper traverses

The climb mostly faces south and west which brought to bear the direct rays, been a long time since I sweated my glasses. Bitch. My lap took an hour. Per a local at the TH that was pretty fast. Not smokin but not needing supplemental O2. Still severely dehydrated.

From there making tracks to Reedsport and the coast. Picked a state XG. Drove down the road into the park and only at the XG entrance was there a sign saying full up. Sign should be out at 101 to save frustration. Staying at a Douglas county park.

Tomorrow I will drive up the coast to Florence for the drive back across the coastal range then on to Oakridge again. I ordered and paid for a new Absolute Black oval chain ring to arrive mid week at Sunnyside. Should be back in Bend at weekend then split before the eclipse.

Riding in Bend has been dry and dusty. Deep pumice powder. Again, riding by myself I don’t ¬†eat that dust. Today I left from rd 41 where a few drops hit my windshield this AM. I drove back into Bend seeing water puddles. Town got it but just a bit up the hill, nothing.

Thursday I did another brushing evening volunteer work with COTA. I went again to attempt to correct the scorched earth effort on the ceanothus of the previous week. My observation and suggestion was not well received. The growth does not occur from where it was cut, that branch dies. New growth just occurs. Gary chopped out several root balls which had runners. Not like Knapweed but similar tenacity. A brief thunderstorm squall caught me near a XC shelter where I made a roof over my head for the brief dump. Tonight the brushing was minimal. We walked a piece that I helped brush last year with Woody, the snowbrush did not need cutting.

I only rode 3 days between ;laundry. Hot on all days and on some I rested.

The Runt is still top drawer.

Samsung pushed an upgrade which has affected downloading several web sites.

My replacement Garmin Edge 520 arrived. Beyond shitty directions and the thing won’t allow access to several main screens. Not happy, will learn of its performance when Garmin customer service plays email with me.

Van is running strong on the flats and downhills. On the uphills it is a bit faster than an air cooled VW Westie. I don’t put my foot into it. 208,xxx miles.

Long day, looking for bunk time. The PT worked over my back, visit last week he used just his thumbs for which I am still sore. My right side still restricts my movement both on the bike and sleeping. Dave told me to sleep on a real pillow to keep my back and neck properly supported.

August 15 is seasonal opening of Flagline in Bend. Big ride coming up.

Tomorrow going to walk barefoot in the ocean at sea level elevation. desert to ocean. High to low.

Stayed below 100

Thursday I rode out to learn about this Runt thingy on South Fork descent which I really like. The Runt was Da Bomb: what a much smoother ride. Years ago I experienced the ride enhancement of custom shock tuning by PUSH. What an improvement. The Runt is right there with benefit of custom tuning. Have I said recently how much fun I have riding my bike?

I rode back thru what we cut out earlier in the week. Over cut, just opened up an old skidder road that was better hidden by encroaching snowbrush.

Tumalo cut out

back down to town for town stuff. Slept out beyond Phils. A rig had driven in after I left and left more than tire tracks: litter. I used the can for target shooting. Open door and netting. Story on netting is the night I was parked at the old Camas Ranger Station location on the Umpqua forest at night. I was sitting at my table after dark, light on, I looked towards the door in time to see a bat in full wing extension flying in.It took 3 laps around the inside to find its way out. Netting is for more than just mosquitoes. Won’t stand up to the advances of a raccoon.

Sat was a big day as I rode Metolious WIndigo and planned on walking on snow. I drove up Skyliner and parked at samesake TH. Pedal up Tumalo creek that other rides rode downhill. Hit the filling parking lot at Tumalo Falls. Climb up North Fork which is bike friendly only when pedaling uphill. Courteous interactions with hikers and them with me. I brain farted by not taking in all dimensions of the envelope I ride in and connected with a dead branch with my left forearm ripping 2 serious needing bandages right now wounds. I carry a stocked first aid kit. I dropped my pack and started pulling bandaging stuff out. A rider came upon me and asked if I was alright. I said yes and he started to pedal away. Wait, I said, If you will help me bandage the wound I would be quite grateful. He stayed and wrapped 2 wraps of magic tape over a gauze pad. He left and I followed. North Fork was free of snow. Metolious was free also but I saw some pretty big deep patches of snow that was indicative of how much snow there could have been had I ridden here 2 weeks ago when I originally planed this ride. The ride was 26.15 miles climbing 3,333′ taking 3 hrs 33 mins. The Middle Fork of Tumalo was flowing over the stepping stones to keep feet dry. I could not discern a dry foot crossing so I just stepped. Joy of flat pedal shoes with no cleat under the ball of my foot. One woman just powered thru, one stopped to take off her shoes and socks.

A tree had fallen across the trail and was cut out exposing this cross section:

rotten to the core

I started hearing an awful creak in my bike. I checked and retightened if loose all the bolts. Didn’t stop the noise. I called Sunnyside who told me the squeak guy is in tomorrow and they can make the noise go away. The bottom bracket needed some help and it is now installed such that the chain guard will work. Still a squeak. They charge by the hour and have a methodology for squeak fix. Turns out it was a loose chain ring bolt. No. squeak.

Yesterday Woody called and invited me on a social ride today meeting at Swampy at 8:30 for a shuttle ride back to 7th Mountain. 7 of us, dusty trails. 19.63 miles climbing 1040 but dropping 2835. JoJo rewards us with cold sliced watermelon. Woody says they always have melon because they are from the south. Shuttle back up to Swampy to retrieve our rigs.

Van temp reading is 89 degrees. Haze in the air. Rest day tomorrow topped off with another PT session.

Forest fires in the west, smoke blows downwind. Bend gets some but still clear enough to ride. Steve in Sun Valley says the smoke is too thick to exercise in.