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Posts Tagged ‘biking’

This photo was taken on a nice sunny day.

The bike ride up the Skalkaho was fun today.  A favorite of mine, it’s 10 miles to the top from my starting point and gains about 1300 ft.  Not too hard, but enough of a workout for me.  It was kinda windy going up and mixed sun and shade.  a few sprinkles.  Thought I’d go to the top and then drop back down to a little lake for lunch.  It took me the usual 90 minutes to reach the pass.  The surface was good, but a little muddy in spots.

At the top. June 3, 2012.  No camera on today's ride.  Good thing too.

At the top. June 3, 2012. No camera on today’s ride. Good thing too.

Right when I got to the pass, out of nowhere, a snow storm blew into my face from the other side.  I mean, I got off my bike and it started snowing.  And blowing hard enough it was difficult to look in the direction of the wind.  I knew this wasn’t good.

Thinking to drop down and revisit the good weather below, I quickly changed into my warm gear, gulped some water and descended.  The snow lasted for about 15 minutes and then turned to rain.  You know, Rain.  Like real Rain.  Like during a thunderstorm down pour.  I got soaked and continued to descend more slowly than usual, since the wind chill was, well chilling me.   I passed the lake by, thinking only of getting down.  I later found a place out of the wind to stop long enough to open some hand warmers in the rain and slip them in my gloves.  Then back to it.  The rain made the surface more muddy which was ok, since it slowed me down.
Approaching the summit on a nice sunny day last summer.

Approaching the summit on a nice sunny day last summer.

The sun came out after what seemed a long time.  But it must have been only 30 or 40 minutes since the storm started.  I stopped and worshiped my favorite star for a while.  After that, I stopped now and then to warm up.   By the time I was down to the car I was mostly dry, but still pretty cold hands and feet wise.  Quite the ride.  Only thing I could have really done different is to have worn my Pearl Izumi long biking pants instead of my stretchy climbing pants and brought along some waterproof glove covers.  It was just that the timing couldn’t have been worse.  I was at my sweatiest when it hit.  But it made for an epic ride and I’m appreciating the warmth of our cabin tonight all the more for it.

Oh, and I almost forgot.  On the drive home I saw a large mountain lion cross the road.  Must have been at least 200 lbs.  whoa

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It’s been a while, but I’m back on the Creek.ImageWater’s high, but dropping.  Fishing’s slow, but improving.

Meanwhile the biking is awesome.  ImageThis is Skalkaho Pass.  Nice ride along the West Fork of Rock Crk.  No cars, mostly paved.  Nice.ImageNear the top.

The wildlife continues to liven up my days.ImageMoose on Upper Rock Crk.

ImageBig Horn Sheep on the move.

Not too bad waiting around for the Salmon Flies.Image

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Rear View

Front View

Occasionally, when spring has broken through the rain, I have run outside to take full advantage.  Love those wide open spaces.

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I’ve been distracted by the fish in Montana for the last couple of months.  I’m an avid catch-and-release flyfisher and the East Slope Cutthroats have been keeping me busy.  In addition, roads like these have kept me on my bike.

So those are my excuses for not blogging or backpacking much lately.

Big Duck Lake – Russian Wilderness

However, I did make a couple of quick trips into the Northern California wilderness earlier this month.  Here’s the photos to prove it.  No new gear testing though.

Clark Jungle Hammock Ultralight with JRB No Sniveler

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The redwoods have enchanted me for decades.  This New Years Day hike was no exception. 

No new gear on this one, just old trees and one repaired knee (my knee surgery was a resounding success!).

When it’s cold here in Southern Oregon, I like to go west to the Crescent City area of Northern California.  The temps were pushing 60 and there was rain, wind, sun and fog over the 5 day stint.  We hiked in the fog and biked in the sun.  

We found a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle at a thrift store for a $1 and assembled it on the 50 mph windy, rainy day.

The biking North of town is outstanding for boomers, if you like easy scenic mountain biking.  This road ride goes right along the coast for about 10 miles.  There’s very little traffic and the few cars you see are going 25 mph. 

It ends at a secluded beach looking out to the historic lighthouse at Point St. George.

We also biked an old gravel road in another area just North of Crescent City:  Lake Earl.  It’s a 5500-acre coastal lagoon bracketed by 5000 rolling acres of state park land and another 5000 acres of a Department of Fish and Game preserve.  This area is closed to vehicles and open to many birds.  In the past we’ve also flat water kayaked and fished here.  As you can see in the aerial photo, it’s adjacent to the sea.  There is also a stretch of wild beach that runs for many miles.

A fine way to start the year.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! Get out there and experience our beautiful world!

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