Monday, July 15, 2013

John Wayne Pioneer Trail

If you don't know the drill yet, or are a new-comer, clicking on the pictures does make them bigger.  Word.

This past Saturday I ended up in North Bend, WA with a co-worker.  The task for the day was to ride the Snoqualmie Valley Trail to

Rattlesnake Lake and then the

John Wayne Pioneer Trail east to Snoqualmie Pass and through the 2.3 mile long tunnel.

Both trails are rails-to-trails trails.  From North Bend to Rattlesnake Lake and from the lake to the pass is uphill at some rate.  Given it is an old railroad bed, the maximum incline was 3%.  The trail was pretty much up at some percent slope.

Along the way there were climbers climbing and

belayers belaying.

When we departed North Bend is was about 55 degrees.  The day was supposed to top out at 70.  It was a great day to be out riding.

There were many wildflowers blooming along the way.  I stopped to take a few pictures of them.

We arrived at the tunnel about dinner time.  Convenient picnic tables aided our feeding.  As aforementioned, the tunnel is 2.3 miles long.  It is big enough to fit a railcar through but it is unlit.  We strapped the bike lights on a started in by walking our bikes.

The idea of starting our walking our bikes was to get our eyes accustomed to the dark.  It was bright sunshiny out on Saturday and five minutes of walking helped much to prep the eyes into Vampire mode.

Being inside the tunnel can be described as weird.  It was quite cool.  In fact, when I stopped to take a picture and put the camera in front of a bike light to see where the "on" button was, I could see my breath.

We passed under where the Pacific Crest Trail goes through and popped out on the other side near Hyak.

We continued on the trail until we came to a lake.  Much to our surprise we found a sign indicated the lake was "closed."

The reality is the lake was not closed on this particular day.  However, they (the proverbial "they") do close the lake from time to time when they are doing blasting near an adjacent highway.  Evidently, blast particulates sort of bomb the lake when they do blast.

Once again no bears were seen.  Though we did see a Deere on the trail.  Other than that, not much wildlife presented itself for our photographic excitement.

We did have some nice views of the Cascade Mountain Range, though.

On our way back we found climbers up the wazoo.  We slowed our pace to a crawl to not run over any of them and to watch a bit.

For those not in the know, the old television series Twin Peaks was filmed in North Bend and Snoqualmie.  At least some of the outdoor scenes.  Twede's Cafe was featured on the show.  So you Twin Peaks afictionados, consider yourself covered with the photo below.

Saturday ended up with 63 bike miles.  It was a fun day and ride.  All of the pictures from Saturday can be seen HERE.  I'd go for the slideshow option.  Click the button right below the photo count in the upper right-hand corner.  It's a square with an arrow thing in it.

Sunday was Olympic National Park recon day.  I've photos to download from that trip.  Wednesday I'll post the recap with some of the pictures and a link to the whole batch.  The short story, it was wonderful.  I'm scheming a backpacking trip there in August or September.

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