Still hot, dry, and dusty around Bend

Weatherman is teasing with 20% prob of t storms. If dry lightning possible fires. Dirt here has no organic, it’s crushed very fine volcanic ejecta. Best to first or way off the back.

My back is allowing me to just about standup straight. Became aware of lower back lack of give. Started specific stretch.

Today my plan was to either go on a Woodie ride or my ride up high on part of Metolius. Met a local at burnt out Swampy shelter who said still sufficient snow to create route finding to say nothing about hiking and pushing my bike. I rode a loop to shelter at sector 16. Big 2.5WTtires create some floatation. “Dirt” erodes on downhill side of roots creating drops, not much air but a smile for a pump.

S Fork Tumalo creek lodge pole fuel load forest

Before man attempted manifest destiny nature would have burned small fires to consume and reduce fuel load. Now fires have way more fuel to burn hence hotter and more expensive fires to put out.

Localized high density population of ceanothus silk moths. Last ride there w/Steve I saw mass quantities of black “caterpillars” feast on name sake plants. This visit saw only the veins in the leaves and a few cocoons. No cocoon material was know. I saw movement in a manzanita, it was an emerging adult from the cocoon. Very violent gyrations as it worked to free its self to a one night stand, she to lay eggs and suffer the males’ fate of starving to death or be eaten. Today at snap i saw lots of moth wings in a tree island, no bodies. Splat marks on asphalt said they died with their wings on. I freed one and placed it on a rock in front of my van and settled down to watch. It freed itself then beat wings to the sky. And then a robin snatched it out of the sky. It prolly pulled off the wings as unnecessary roughage before shooting it. Casual observation indicates the birds are having easy pickings. I watched a female lay her eggs on blades of an evergreen grass

Yesterday I rode S Fork then down Tumalo creek. Same as with Steve on July 9, 14 days ago. This day I rode a bit slower allowing radar to kick in to see that the infestation was down low also. Snowbrush leaves eaten down to the veins. defoliation. Metamorphis¬† moves to cocoon and an aging process. I saw very few cocoons. As I observed I saw movement in a bush, violent enough to move leaves around. A metamorphisizing moth was working to shed its cocoon. I took video of the gyrations. I didn’t stay around to watch the adult emerge. What I saw was eaten down leaves, a few stray cocoons, a few attempting to emerge but no flying adults. Had natural predators picked them off?

Bachelor and Tumalo
this season fire this side of Mrazek

This morning a cramp attacked my left leg. Shit! Remedy is to stretch it out but first I had to shed the sheet and comforter while not starting camps elsewhere. First time for one in the AM. Working muscles differently with these Catalyst pedals. Last Sun I really put in some effort on Petersen ridge. Pedals allow more application of what leg power I have. Worth reading to learn about his take on body dynamics on a mtn bike. I am a much stringer rider with these pedals then learning how to put power to my feet. Smokin.

I made Thurs a normal wash day into a rest day allowing my back to rest. Stopped at medical clinic where I am a repeat customer and asked for a PT referral. Fri the PT office calls while I am huffing up Funner. An appointment is made for Tues. I camped at spot off rd 41 which has become very popular. Fri I started out on a short ride form camp on Catch and Release intending to ride up on Funner to Larsen’s then cut over for lower Tylers. I missed the turn onto Tiddlywinks and rode all the way to Wanoga. Turned around and rode back down. Stiff lower back ain’t now fun.

Friday night I drove up to Wanoga finding a neat spot off the pavement. However, nothing but dried up volcanic dirt, Lots of easily created dust. Sat I rode from Swampy down South Fork, zooming down Tumalo creek then climbing up Tumalo Ridge then Swede ridge back  parking lot.

Let me say this about that about shuttle riders. Money eliminates sweat work. Unscientific analysis tends to believe the lesser practioners of Trail Love are pay to ride riders. I have paid my way up also but I have not given up to me proper behavior.

Today I drove back to town for a shower and beer. I ran into Todd, the math prof, he said he would come drink a beer at 10 Barrel when I was there. He and his wife sat with me under a shade umbrella at a10 Barrel. we regaled each other with stories and insights to life. Both are college profs.

Tomorrow is fridge service date and turn my bike over to Sunnyside to shorten the brake hoses. Hot and ry. Perhaps get a ride in before the appointment.

Monday I stood in line at the post office for the mailed test strips. I saw 2 young women with PCT packs.I asked if it was PCT, yes they said. We stood chatting for several minutes with each of them wearing their pack. One woman’s name was a take off on nail painting. I saw that her nails had remnants of past polish. I offered mine to which she dove into painting her friends and her nails. I offered and they accepted a short ride to the outskirts of town on rt 20 to Sisters then up to Santiam pass to pick up the trail. No test strips, PO couldn’t find per the sender that the package was delivered: Overnight UPS to USPS. Something triggered Verizon to upload voice mails from weeks ago. One was a UPS person asking for an address to drop of the package. If shipped USPS “general Delivery’ is correct address to use. UPS needs the street address of the PO. However if shipped general delivery to city PO with the PO street address things get crazy. Tomorrow I will call UPS and give them the street address of the PO or pick them up.

Life goes on: dry, dusty, and extreme fire danger.

3 beers, a long taste of corn, and numerous puffs affected this blog.








Poked way too many times

Way back in the ’80s before mountain biking really consumed me I was a mountaineer and back country telemarker. I moved to Spokane and the continental snow pack that didn’t corn up like the Cascades which shorted out my spring skiing. I still backpacked 1 week solo trips. I missed spending entire days in the back country. Mountain biking trails open for bikes gives us riders a glimpse of what is out there. We ride, pedal out to our rigs, maybe drink a beer, then head back to lots of people and pavement. I miss spending nights out and hiking where bikes can’t go and at a slower less attention demanding pace.

Hence a 4 mile out and back overnight at Sister Mirror Lake in 3 Sisters Wilderness. Monday I got my backpacking stuff together. I took over a grass patch in a shopping center parking lot setting up my tent, blowing up the air mattress, and cleaned and started the Whisperlite stove. Enough dried food things, some I forgot what they were went into my food bag. Yesterday morning I parked at almost empty small lot and got it on. Laced up above ankle hiking boots and slung my pack on my back. Two years ago I made this my first backpack trip of the shoulder recovery year. Took about 1 1/2 hours to hike to the lake basin. Trail is thru hemlocks blocking any views and most of the sun. Mosquitoes attacked in manageable numbers on my shorts and short sleeve covered body. As I drew closer to the lakes basin the numbers increased.

I pushed to camp spot on a bluff above the lake believing that being above would escape being a part of creating the next batch of suckers. Not so. I dropped my pack and dug out my rain parka and pants. My hands were full not able to even shoo the suckers away. The rain pants are too narrow to fit over boots meaning I had to sit down and unlace each boot, slip on the pants then relace. All the while being fodder. Covered except my face I walked around the lakes basin. I encountered 3 male thru hikers. One said that the snow in the Sierras nixed their thru route causing them to drop off and head north for less snow. One guy had a great head net. Back in ’15 a drought dried up the mosquito nurseries, this year, with bodacious snow cover, the beds were back nurturing a bountiful crop. I sought relief inside my tent. Dinner was a quick affair then back inside. My tent is essentially a mesh tent attached to a coated fabric material rain cover. Every time I zipped open a door to leave then zip shut after crawling out then reverse the process getting back in. A new population flew in. Once the screen door zipped shut I began shortening the lives of the insiders.

so close so far away… on their side of netting

My sleeping bag is a Feathered Friends down comforter and I used it as such. Worked out OK. Didn’t sleep well. I started up about sunrise hoping that the chilly temp would keep them grounded. Way wrong. Seemed like there were even more. Breakfast was a hurry up affair. I packed up my dew wetted tent and the rest of the stuff just stuffed into the pack then headed out wearing rain gear. I walked thru frosted grasses on the lake shore and the snow patches were frozen solid. Yesterday hiking in 4 guys hiking out were dressed the same way. Just nasty. My back stiffened up like it did last year. What’s up with that? what exercise and / or stretch am I missing. Back at my van hardly a mosquito was seen or felt.

My original plan was to ride South fork today as I am already up high. I am curious to the growth phase of the ceanothus moths. But my back said no. I drove to MT Bachelor parking lot parking on pavement. I unpacked my stuff and dried everything in the bright sunshine and low humidity. Everything ready for another go. Sucking on 4G all bar speed.

Local knowledge says don’t wide Waldo Lake until at a minimum end of July. Prolly holds true for here also. Back in ’78 when I was hiking the PCT I passed thru here about August 13th and the start of the wet summer. Rain kept the count down.

Yesterday marked the start of the 10th year of my odyssey. Nine years doing what I want. No closer to a house build date.

Stick your nose in, it smells of vanilla

Ponderosa pine that is. What were you thinking?

Dry side tree cover. Try it, forget what your buddies say about your nose stuck in the bark.

Steve scored an empty FS XG camp spot at McKenzie Bridge XG. Still under heavy wet side wetness for big tree cover. Plan on Fri is to do our own shuttle of McKenzie River Trail (MRT). My van was parked at the FS ranger station. Steve shuttled us up to Fish Lake, the top of the MRT. We hung our solar showers on the back of his van. Broken glass in the parking lot yet a sign warning of video surveillance. Steve left a beer in my fridge before leaving. He told me I am a bad influence drinking an adult recovery drink.

This is my 4th ride on the MRT, and the last. Trail down to Blue Pool has dozens of hikers seeking the natural wonder. Many feet have displaced the dirt between the basalt rocks turning into what was a one place only walk to many many others. Nasty riding walking in volcanic left overs.

blue pool

Several skim cut logs with one hand rail bridges crossed feeder creeks. Rear wheel wheelie or carry it.

Trail flattened out becoming a forest dirt track. We bailed seeking the expedient pavement surface. Head wind. We took turns pulling the other back to the RS. Loaded Steve and his bike into my van then drove the 20 miles uphill to his van and sun heated solar shower water. Steve turned the AC controls on for the way up. Maybe it works, perhaps it doesn’t. I asked him to turn it off once we reached his van. I live in the outdoors, by leaving my windows down I am experiencing what I will be playing in.

Deep tree cover


We stopped at a pub in McKenzie Bridge for a beer and dinner. Farm raised salmon, we settled for my one skillet dinner back at XG.

Steve’s dad was experiencing threatening conditions keeping Steve on nerves. Sat we had shuttle arrangements with Horse Creek Lodge to ride O’Leary. I did not sleep well Sat AM as I heard movement in his van at like 6:00. He said his dad is of serious concern such that he needed to head to MT. We bid adieu after 7 days of riding, trails that I shared with Steve.

I drove to shuttle pick up right on highway. The other riders were Al and Deb who we camped near back outside of Bend. They ahve been playing for some 20 years sailing then RVing. Shuttle ride up to Horse Pasture Meadow took lots of minutes. A black bear yearling scampered across the logging road ahead of us. (Bear story for the year, more are extra). Big out there ride, go big or keep pedaling.

Al and Deb on O’Leary

I rode this ride back in 2013, my memory recalled some nasty stuff. Some existed by much has been updated to new bermed turns. What I also remember was the dry masonry rock work built by the CCC back in late 30s. Still holding bench cut trail in place.

CCC still creating partial bench trail

Then the trail bore modernization. Gone was the woods dirt CCC built tread, replaced by amazing amount of hand work to make the trail (what). Bitch about change of legacy trail. Modernization makes it just like say Back 40 outside of Bentonville, AR. New work eliminated the over the rear wheel descents. Sadness really set in when riding King Castle descent which used to be old woods trail, replaced in parts by bermed corners. Tell me of bermed hiking trails you have walked. 16.46 miles climbing 2005′ descending 5430′, pedaling time of 2 hrs 18 mins.

I visited with the co owner of Horse Creek. She asked how was my ride. I dissed the reworked stuff. She said the trail showed signs of increased wear. She wrote a grant for $ to rework the trail to new FS requirements. Bermed corners. It is what it is. I wasn’t part of the decision making.

The shop displayed this bike for their location.

close to what I rode and raced back in 1986

Non indexed shifting. 3X5 gearing. Scary but state of the art.

I spent the night at the local airport.

Sunday I drove over Santiam Pass heading east against the weekend traffic heading back to city jobs. I stopped in Sisters to ride Petersen ridge trail network. Up on the west back down on the east. Lots of turning on sort of firm pumice. I worked the carving of turns and working hard at pedaling, dropping cogs for more gusto. Worked the stuff.

Drove on to Bend. Shower, groceries, then beer and dinner at 10 Barrel.

As mtn bikers we just ride the trails then we move back to some kind of creature comfort. We just pass thru. I was an avid backpacker which allowed me to spend 24X7 in nature. I hanker for spending time out walking. My choices in life resulted in several permanent injuries. For hiking the biggest is left foot damage which causes a limp. I will backpack a short mileage distance tomorrow to Sisters Mirror lake, enough of a forest hike, spend the night out then hike back.

Corn and flower have taken effect.

Good Bye.