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Bike Rides Kittitas County

Sometimes a ride goes wrong

Labor day weekend. It seemed smart to get off the beaten path and try something new. The “Frog Ride” is one of my late summer favorites. The first part of the ride along Kachess Lake can be wet and is inhabited by plenty of frogs. Once you get off the gravel, mountain views are a real treat.

The Frog Ride normally returns to Easton via the Palouse to Cascades trail which we ride many times a year. Looking for options I found that NF-4826 connects to U-Fish Road, which would in theory complete the loop back to Easton. 4826 and the first section of U-Fish were a delight. Good gravel and a gradual descent.

There are cabins and a couple of lodges on the way, one guarded by these Totem Poles and they really should have told us not to go any further.

A sharp left brought a healthy climb on large, loose rock. Time to dismount for the daily hike-a-bike segment. Once up there was a gate across the road with signs stating Private Property. It wasn’t hunting season so we hoped that we wouldn’t be shot, not wanting to descend the loose rock “road” and then climb back up to where we turned off on NF-4826. Fingers crossed we proceeded across the private property where the scenery was stunning. Another gate and we were back on public roads and onward to the car.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to use U-Fish Road. One end is I-90 and the other is the Yakima River. Now I need to figure out how to identify private property on potential routes. As more of us turn to gravel riding the ability to plot successful routes without intruding on private property will become critical.

Categories
Oregon

Sisters 2022

July 11-14, 2022

A redo of our 2013 ride only starting in Sisters rather than Oakridge. Eight riders and two in our support crew. Riders: Deb & Dave Wirrick, Ken Wallis, Mark Peterson, Terri Iverson, Betsy MacInnes, Werner Krampl, & Rollie Herman. In support: Judi Richardson & Karen Herman.

View right outside of Sisters

Day 1, McKenzie Pass the easy way
McKenzie Pass the easy way
Yes, 4 days of scenic riding!
If this only kept the Backroads riders quiet

After descending towards Rainbow we stopped on the McKenzie River for a “refreshing” dip. Then in to Harbick’s to relax and recharge.

Our second day was Rainbow to Oakridge and the weather was toasty. No swimming today but we did have headwinds at the finish.

Butterflies were everywhere
Started the day crossing the Belknap Bridge
Then treated to a wall of Sweet Pea flowers

But then it was climbing with plenty of tree cover all the way to Box Canyon Horse Camp for lunch. Then a long descent to Westfir and finally Oakridge.

Day 3 saw us retrace our route back to Rainbow. The long descent of the previous day became an all-morning ascent back to Box Canyon for lunch.

Our second covered bridge, The Office Bridge in Westfir

There was some concern from some of the riders about wildlife. Specifically bears and cougars. This proves that cougars (cats) and deer can peacefully coexist.

The end of the road for this trailer
The site of a cookie break, yum!
Big trees and blue skies
Big bumps

After Box Canyon the new roads returned for a speedy descent to the Terwilliger Hot Springs. Deb, Dave & I made it all the way to the pools after some serious hike-a-bike. The pools were too hot to be refreshing.

Day 4 was the Queen Stage, back to the top of McKenzie Pass- the hard way. Close to 4 hours of climbing.

Categories
Bike Rides Oregon

Multi-Day in Central Oregon

It was raining this morning, a perfect time to burning limbs, pine duff and other winter debris. While drying out I went down a YouTube rabbit hole and found: https://youtu.be/9kjhuYrLDpg about the Oregon Ramble Ride.

The route is on Bikepacking.com https://bikepacking.com/routes/central-oregon-backcountry-explorer/ and it starts in Prineville, the home of Les Schwab Tires. For those who went on the first McKenzie Pass ride I believe we went through Prineville on the day of the DEATH RIDE.

I have been giving some thought on how to couple e-bikes with multi-day bikepacking.

  • Find campsites for each night that have power. Logistically difficult but not impossible. Campsites could be motels.
  • Carry extra batteries. The super expensive option that also adds a ton of weight to each bike. You would still need power every other night or so.
  • Have a support vehicle with either a larger inverter or small generator. If you watch the YouTube video they have support vehicles at the camp sites.

Charging time is an issue. For my bike with a Bosch motor and using the standard 4 amp charger it takes almost 5 hours to get a full charge. 50% in 2 hours or so. One can’t rely on charging while eating lunch or having a beer. Hopefully you don’t suck the battery dry but there would need to be a way to charge everyone’s batteries efficiently.

Categories
Bike Rides Idaho Oregon Walla Walla

Terri’s Ride Suggestions

Walla Walla

https://cascade.org/rides-and-events-tours-cascade-club-tours/fall-walla-walla-tour-lite


Idaho Panhandle

https://www.pegasusbiketours.com/_files/ugd/f4f9b0_efda0ffee18f4aa787b4e66ac782f6aa.pdf

(Howard and I have done parts of this route and it was one of our favorite tours)


Willamette Valley

https://www.pegasusbiketours.com/_files/ugd/f4f9b0_d2ba491b58624e94ab4799597b2d029b.pdf


Fall Ride – Klickitat State Park Trail

Klickitat State Park Trail – from Lyle, WA to Klickitat, WA (or vice versa)

https://www.parks.wa.gov/869/Klickitat-Trail

Klickitat Accommodations https://klickitatriverinn.com/

Lyle Accommodations

The Lyle Inn is expensive, so some sleuthing of an alternate place would be needed

https://thelylehotel.com/

Rollie’s additions:

I think the 32 miles must be to Goldendale
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/39217713

A while back I found this
https://buckyrides.com/chenoweth-upness/
Same general area and billed as a good fall ride.

And here are more options in the area
https://dirtyfreehub.org/gravel-search/?lat=45.450539&lng=-121.123729&zoom=9&cat=5&cat=2

Categories
Kittitas County

Kittitas-Vantage

Time to do a bit of recon on the Kittitas to Vantage area. P2C is open between Kittitas and Vantage as is the Beverly Bridge across the Columbia River just south of Vantage.

It was suggested to take a day and ride to Vantage and spend the night “wild camping” with the rattlesnakes and other creepy-crawlers. This doesn’t allow for recharging e-bike batteries but there are options.

Wild Camping Not Allowed

“Wild Camping” doesn’t seem to be an option. You can’t camp on this section of the trail and everywhere we drove there were “No Camping” signs. We found three campgrounds that could work and one other option if pain was your thing.

Wanapum State Park Campground is right on the Columbia River. The web site says each campsite has power, probably wind generated using the 50mph winds that are discussed. This campground is closest to the trail but still a hike from Vantage. It is the largest of the three offerings.

Wanapum Park

There is also the Vantage Riverstone which has both rooms and camping. This offering is right in the heart of Vantage.

If more miles and climbing are requested, take the newly opened Beverly Bridge across the Columbia and climb about 1500′ over 20 miles to where motels have been springing up to service the Gorge Amphitheatre.

Finally as you start heading west on the Vantage Highway there is Rocky Coulee. First come, first served tent camping at $10.00 per night. This is also a way out of Vantage but had toilets, not sure about water.

Rocky Coulee Site Map

The P2C trail goes from Kittitas to Vantage with a trestle over I-90 and the Beverly Tunnel. 28 miles and only 940 feet of climbing. Reversing the route back to Kittitas the climbing increases to 1960 feet but this is a rails to trails route so the grade is under 3%.

Trail looking North from the Vantage end.
Trail looking South from the Vantage end

Taking the Vantage Highway back to Kittitas is a bit over 26 miles with 2200 feet of climbing. Going in this direction there should be a headwind the whole way. The pavement is fantastic, the shoulder non-existent.

From Renslow to the Columbia River: The trail runs through the Yakima Training Center, managed by the U.S Army. Trail users are required to self-register at one of the two trailheads at Renslow (west) or Doris (east).

Sign-in Form

There is one last option if a day trip was desired. East of Kittitas there is a trailhead and starting from there the out and back route is about 42 miles and around 2400 feet of elevation gain.

The trailhead on the Vantage end is quite a distance from Vantage or any services other than bathrooms. Water for the full ride would be needed but per the regulations you wouldn’t need to worry about the weight of firearms, they are illegal.

Categories
Uncategorized

January First

Hangover Edition

We all have been good, not a hangover in sight. When our daughter was young we would pack up the cross country skis and head for the hills. Fresh air and hopefully sunshine would start the year off right and put the holiday season in our rear view mirrors.

When cross country skiing it is always important to be equipped in case you run into a snow snake. Anti-venom must be carried!

Anti-venom #1:
Hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps – yum!

Anti-venom #2:
B&B – doesn’t take much

Post adventure celebratory anti-venom:
Hot mulled wine or cider

There you have it, call if you need medical attention.

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Uncategorized

December Thirty-First

New Year’s Eve. It’s time to splurge so break out the caviar and let’s celebrate in anticipation of a better 2021.

Option #1
Champagne – what else! Not any Champagne, it must be French.

Option #2
Vodka shots – straight from the freezer. It doesn’t need to be Grey Goose but get something good, not Relska.

A bit of a complaint:
My bank account would be much healthier if François-Paul hadn’t introduced my daughter to Champagne. Not swill, but the good stuff. Now she rapidly passes by the Cook’s display and heads to the French section.

A fact about François-Paul Briand:
By now you are aware he wants to be a Barman. His real skill in this realm is with Champagne. He can open a bottle with his bare hands and pour a tray full of glasses so that they are all perfectly equal. When portioning out the remainder of the bottle, again every glass gets filled equally. Simply amazing!

Option #3
Pisco Sour– consumed in large quantities by the Briand’s, Pascale and the Herman’s in Quito, Ecuador on December 31, 2000.

  • Champagne or Vodka? Vodka
  • Champagne pairs well with? Pretty much everything.
  • Vodka pairs well with? See above.
  • What is FP’s favorite Vodka? Grey Goose- it’s French of course!
  • Does a Pisco Sour go with caviar? No Way!
  • Did I hear someone ask for an encore? This was supposed to end with today’s posting but it seems fitting to have a hangover edition tomorrow.
Proper wine chiller
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Uncategorized

December Thirtieth

The last birthday of the month belongs to Jim Brose. Cocktail hour is a ritual at the Brose household. First he has to get all the offerings out and standing at attention. It must be all that training the Army gave him prior to deployment in Vietnam. Each bottle in its place, perfectly aligned and then one can proceed. What is Jim’s adult beverage of choice?

Bourbon – just add a glass

OK, I didn’t get them aligned to Jim’s standards and unlike at his house, these are all unopened.

Jim also likes gadgets. Maybe these would make a good birthday present?

This photo is imported from New Zealand
  • Do I like Bourbon? #1 on my list.
  • What does Bourbon pair well with? Ice!
  • Give me more! Brisket done on Jim’s smoker
  • Is all Bourbon whiskey? Yup
  • Is all whiskey Bourbon? Nope

For other birthdays there has been a second offering so in honor of the “Dead at 27” club-

Southern Comfort – You might think this a strange choice and I don’t know anyone who drinks it, but Janis Joplin sort of brings us back to the Vietnam era.

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Uncategorized

December Twenty-Ninth

30 days to the start of the Seattle Boat Show! What used to be an ordeal is now fading into the back portions of my mind. However the boat show does bring back one memory from a company who had their booth next to ours for several years. Intellian provides those dome shaped antennas for vessels to get either satellite TV or communications. The company is based in Korea and every once in a while we were able to sample some of the food that came back from business trips. Sorry to say that Paul Comyns never provided adult beverages to go along with the food but we did get to hear about one of his favorites.

Soju a Korean beverage best described by reading a LA Times article.

Locally Uwajimaya carries it and it is inexpensive.

  • Have I ever tried Soju? No, but this bottle is waiting!
  • What does Soju pair well with? Korean food and beer.
  • What does Paul have to say about Soju? One tends to consume copious quantities when in Korea.
  • Why didn’t Paul ever bring some to his booth? The Rug Patrol was always on the lookout for food or booze not purchased at the show.
  • What about at the 2021 show? Since it will be virtual I am sure that there will be plenty of Soju in the Intellian booth.
Categories
Uncategorized

December Twenty-Eighth

We have gone all month without thanking those who have helped us through this pandemic. I am only aware of one in our midst who qualifies as a front line worker, Ryan Cummings. While he appears to be a fan of nice Italian Red Wines, it seemed appropriate to look back to 1918 to find out what he would have been drinking then.

According to History.com, Bootleg Whiskey was the ticket. Not only as an adult beverage, but also as a “respectable medicine”. On November 3, 1914 Washington State passed prohibition, five years before the country as a whole. By 1918 Ryan would have been pretty thirsty and most likely had an illegal still somewhere.

Option #1:
Corpse Reviver – Cognac, Calvados and Sweet Vermouth stirred over ice and strained in to a chilled glass. Consumption recommended before 11 AM or “whenever steam or energy is needed”.

Option #2:
“One brave soul from Nova Scotia recommended 14 straight gins in quick succession as a cure for the Spanish Flu”.

Option #3:
Bovril Tea – meat paste in a jar made in to beef tea. Florence Nightingale said (?) in 1860 that “the tea had great nutrient power in sickness”.

  • But Bovril Tea doesn’t contain alcohol? Yup, but the story is too good.
  • Do any of these work? According to the advertising, 100% effective. Effective for what I don’t know.
  • Do I plan on trying any of these? Well I have consumed Cognac, Calvados, Sweet Vermouth and Gin at some point in my life but not Bovril. Doubtful it will be added to the list.
Ryan says you can’t go wrong with this one!

Let us all raise our glasses and thank those who are on the front lines during this pandemic. THANK YOU!