Up high the smoke is less

Monday AM I looked north to the hill for a smoke assessment, I could see the outline. I wanted to ride. Plan implemented, drive up to Swampy snow park and check out smoke opacity. I wanted to ride. OK. I’m pedaling. I wanted another go at South Fork, my most favorite trail here. I was rewarded, just another screamer down. The gradient is a work to pedal up and a hoot to coast down. Heavily ridden: brake bumps before the harder move. Lots of little drops to huck off, mostly roots that become exposed as a result of wearing away the dirt. Great tuned suspension. South Fork Ts into Tumalo creek for an undulating up and fast down then the grind climb up Tumalo Ridge. Smoke is noticeable:

Bachelor in center

Trail emerges from the forest thru the ceanothus I helped cut out.

scorched earth ceanothus clear cut

Then an 19 min slog on an old haul road to Swede ridge trails, I pick the one closer to Swampy which is longer but more pedal friendly to join Swampy back to the TH. My riding ability is improving as I gain further confidence. Ride was 15.5 miles pedaling 2 hrs 2 mins climbing 1716′ better than 110′ / mile. All by myself. Smoke and heat and kids back in school thin other recreators.

Back at Swampy TH there was only 1 rig in the lot. I worked on my bike to identify and eliminate a skritch. I regreased both pedals still the noise. I backed off the upper shock bolt then squirted a dose of Boeshield then retightened the bolt: silence. My shifting was back to doing its misshifting. I called Sunnyside and made a new derailleur replacement for today. I spent the night at the TH.

During last night I stretched out my left leg to move the coves around. Bang: big cramp. I need to work it out out of the bed. It takes a bit of work that exposes me to other cramps. I slid out of bed then worked on the cramp. I even drank about 1 tbsp of straight Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Icky face. The cramp relaxed can’t say the vinegar did the trick.

This AM at wake up I checked out visibility. I could see blue sky. Good enough for me. My ride was out to Swampy then another fun filled downhill down South Fork. Turned up creek on Tumalo creek then climbed up North Fork which is uphill only for bikers. Tumalo Falls:

Tumalo Falls

Just short of Happy Valley another mtn biker was riding downhill. I stopped him telling him the trail is uphill only for bikes. He said his legs played out and his wife left him. I told him he would need to walk his bike down. I was resting at Happy Valley when he showed up. He said walking down sucked so he was going to make his body climb Mrazek then drop down on Farewell. A shrinking snow patch remains. Metolius is a hump climbing up to 6700′ in hemlock old growth. The main Tumalo creek crossing was now all dry feet but needing stepping stones. Flagline has ups and downs before it finally trends down. I am beat. Temps are in upper 80s which is cooking my bacon. Tread is loose and beat up in places, again brake bumps. My shifting acted up again. I made 2 small cable tightening adjustments to no affect then I cranked a bunch of turns and the shifting resolved. I no longer think the problem resolution is a new derailleur. The shifting settled in. Big hot day: 21.2 miles climbing 2913′ pedaling 3 hrs 7 mins burning 1183 cals. I established heart rate zones for the edge 520 to capture aerobic and anaerobic beats per min. This ride  I spent 1 hr 44 mins aerobic but 1 hr 22 mins above. I drank a lot of water.

Empty parking lot. Drove down to town into increasing smoke. Filled water at Visitor center. Shower at snap. Visited Sunnyside to cancel bike repair appointment.

Back out at favorite Phils spot.

Intersesting tree cover: At Swampy going down hill tree cover is Lodgepole, as the trail drops north to where more moisture trees change to hemlock. Tumalo creek is lodgepole but the climb up north fork is back into old growth hemlock as is Flagline till it crests a ridge then back to lodgepole. All about water. North and east facing slopes receive less direct sun which does not dry out the soil so much which then favors wet trees like hemlock.

No results from CT scan, tomorrow  I expect what was discovered. Which will determine my departure date.

Temps are forecast to drop; during the week with thunderstorm teases. Extreme fire danger with woods still open. Seems most of the fires are lightning caused. I worked my fire putting out summer during summer vaca. I left the fire to return to school. I wonder how fire crews on fires today after school starts are fairing.

My eyes are burning. All things have a smoke bouquet.

Still Red plus heat

Yesterday I studied the skies north of my sleep spot. I could make out the silhouette of the hill.

The quality of the view makes my ride decision. I decided to ride a short Phils loop to limit my respiratory intake of particulate matter. I planned on a dawdle pace. I vaped before pedaling away. I very rarely engage preride. SO I pedaled away. I climbed up Pinedrop completely not remembering the climbs. Next I realized I was at the Phils junction. I worked enjoying carving turns on the slight bermed corners and bends. My mind engaged for the downhill. I still walk that rock feature. Bend my elbows, keep my chin over the steer tube, weight the pedals ankling to keep pressure on the pins, and of course the seat slammed down. Brake bumps vary in size and quantity before a hard turn or tech feature and they are soft. I pick a less bumpy line dancing over the bike. Just so much fun. I am pretty comfortable on Phils. I really worked the berms and elevation changes. For a buzzed and to have been an easy ride I knocked 1 min off a previous hard effort. Parking lot is almost empty.

A short drive on Skyliner brought me to snap for a shower  and balance ball abdominal exercises. I can not do a sit up with my knees bent. Two beers at packed 10 Barrel then over to the Lot for food truck dinner at a la carte, guy added extra to my order because he said I am one of his favorite customers. Socially sated I return to my favorite spot.

Smokey night. At wake up the hill gauge was occluded. Weather forecast didn’t hold improvement. Too smokey. I hung all day, I sat outside and read. What I really noticed today was hardly a vehicle or body passed by. Morning temps are rideable enjoyable if only the sky would clear.

I have been studying the forest fire web sites and weather forecasts for possible next stops. 1 is RD 44 trails east of MT Hood or Lookout Mtn east of Prineville. Both are more of this same. I looked for CO data: no fires or smoke. AM thinking of working my way there skipping WA and ID as the fires will only quit smoking after seasonal precip which is not in any forecast.  Need to remain here till I learn the results and treatment if any from the CT scan.

Bedrock tan lines

Plug for sandals: Maker: Bedrock. Last year a person from the company emailed me after finding my web site and offered to put a pair of their new sandals on my feet. I finally got around to sending them my size info as I was never a sandal wearer. They sent to me my pair while I was at Bozeman. Hmmm… tried them on, at first the cord between my big toe and next in line bothered me but in a short while the bother went away. I have worn these things daily except for big cold or snow. There is no arch, just a protective sole. The foot works like it evolved to which is just like the Catalyst flat pedals. Design seems to prevent grit from getting between my foot and sandal. I hike in them. Pretty functional.

Tomorrow’s forecast is more of the same.

Forecast called for haze

Last night out at favorite past Phils sleep spot smoke really settled in. The inside was the same as what was outside. My van even tonight still smells of smoke. Forecasted a sunny afternoon today with winds shifting to from  the north where there are no fires.

Wed night

Today was laundry day which chewed up the AM allowing smoke to clear per forecast. Blue sky is just overhead blow smoke blow smoke away. I drove up to the Green Gate. Just a light haze filtered thru the trees. Route went so: social trail to Storm King, Funner to Larsens TH, Tiddlywinks over to Kiwa Butte to Tylers, to Larsens, to Tiddlywinks to Storm King to social trail to cold beer. 16 miles in 2 hours all by myself. There are some pieces of for me really fun downhills. Tylers is beat which has a lot of grade reversals. Drop the seat all the way then dance on the bike. My tires sounded soft at 17 and 18 psi. The rear wheel squiggled on soft bermed turns. Will add a pound. Shifting worked like it was right out of the box.

Been looking at 46T cogs but haven’t found a SRAM derailleur that will handle 46, presently it is 42 that I ride now. I wonder what I would gain by going lower.

Last night I walked from 10 Barrel to the Lot. I passed another beer place on the way. I looked at the patrons seated about. One caught my eye but I wasn’t sure. He stood up and came over to me, it was Derrick from Oakridge up here working on a trail out in Tumalo. Greetings. We shared dinner at The Lot tonight.

Drove out to favorite spot. Smoke was less:

Thurs night

Still smokey. But I am high and dry.

Forecast this weekend is all but 100 degrees. Think Sat I will drive north to RD 44 trails above Hood River.