Monday, May 18, 2009

Bridge of the Gods / Scott's Birthday Ride

Scott had proposed the BOG for his birthday ride. The weather completely cooperated. Carpooled over with Susan, we all met in the parking lot at Edgefield. Long time since I've started/ended this ride at Edgefield.

Much discussion about which variation of the route was to be followed. While most of it is a given, there are variations from Edgefield to the I-205 Bridge and then through Vancouver/Camas/Washougal.

Pre-ride route negotiations

Richard and Nance had an early flat; Susan and I went ahead, knowing they'd all catch up.

Susan and houseboats on Marine Drive

Took the quasi-RACC route through Vancouver. The stretch on 164th down to Evergreen was...interesting. Or at least the driver who wanted to go in front of us and turn right, rather than tucking in behind us and easily turning right, rather than sitting out in the lane waiting for us all to pass, made it interesting.

Pause at the Burgerville, where Andrew shared his fries, and I ate a bar. Then a different route east, following 3rd through Washougal, until it met up with SR-14. I was stopped at a light, and found myself all by my lonesome, wondering when the heck I'd intersect SR-14, so I finally called. Turned out it wasn't much further.

Leisurely climb up to Cape Horn with Susan. A nice motorcyclist (they were out in droves in the nice weather) offered to take our picture. He didn't want to be doing yardwork today, either :-)

Susan on the climb to Cape Horn

The nice motorcyclist who took a pic of Susan and me at Cape Horn

Me at Cape Horn

Dooooooowwwwwwwnnnnn. If I was less of a chicken descender, I'd like this part a lot more. Once we pass the Prindle School, it gets less steep and more enjoyable.

Rolled along to Beacon Rock, where we refilled our water bottles, and talked with some folks about the ride. "Where'd you start?" Troutdale "Where are you finishing?" Troutdale. "About how far is that?" About 85 miles.

Enjoyed a great tailwind all the way to the Bridge of the Gods, had an uneventful crossing (I looked down the whole time, but no boats going under, darn). Susan got in line to pay toll; I had to convince her that we didn't have to pay anymore. Laura was waiting for us.

Found everyone at the deli. Tuna sandwich, Fritos and orange juice. Then Susan, Laura, Einar and I took off for the ride on the Old Columbia River Highway, which is now a non-motorized trail. Kind of like riding through Middle-Earth - mossy, green, filtered sunlight, at least 15 degrees cooler on a hot day...

On the Scenic Highway MUP

The landslide from last summer was cleared away - the fence is still missing a section, but the trail is clear.

Short stretch on I-84, then off onto the Scenic Highway. And into the trees, which made a nice buffer from the headwind, although I just tucked behind Laura and sucked her rear wheel for awhile.

Horsetail Falls was running very high, and doing a nice job as Mister Mistee. Wow, that felt good! More pictures.

Horsetail Falls

A short while later we stopped and explored the newly-reopened Oneonta Tunnel, and enjoyed the mist coming out from Oneonta Gorge.

Oneonta Tunnel

On to Multnomah Falls for the obligatory ice cream.

Rollering west, then up at Latourell Falls for possibly my slowest ascent ever to Crown Point, where I found Laura, Susan, and Einar. More pictures.

Bridge at Latourell Falls

Scenic Highway

Me, Little Pink Bear, Little Pink Bike, and the Columbia Gorge

Then the last little bit of climbing and downhill all the way back to Troutdale, water, Arnold Palmers, snacks, and Scott's birthday celebration.

Scott (birthday boy) and Nat at Edgefield

A great day for a ride with friends!

85+ miles. Rest of pics here

No comments: