Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday May 23 - Sandy Ridge Trails

Friday morning, after a hearty breakfast at Zig Zag "cabin," the group loaded up and headed for Sandy Ridge Trails.  It was about a ten minute drive.  As we unloaded the bikes, it began to rain.  A bike laying on the pavement cast a rain shadow.

Sandy Ridge is a great trail system.  The trails are mostly downhill.  The trails are accessed by riding up a paved road that's closed to cars.  The ride is just over three miles to an upper kiosk.  On our first run we rode up that far and then a bit farther.  We hopped on Follow the Leader, rode it down to Flow Motion, rode that one to the bottom half of Hide and Seek, and then headed back up.  Having trouble with the trail names and such?  Well, the map's HERE.

After intersecting the road we climbed back up to take Three Thirty Eight down to Two Turntables (and a Microwave).  We rode this trail to Hide and Seek.  We were on that only to the cut off and then rode the road back up again.  We ended our riding with taking all of Hide and Seek down to the cars.

The Sandy Ridge trails are fast and laid out well so they flow very nicely.  The downside for us is it misted/sprinkled rain all day.  Everyone was a bit cautious on the rock sections.  The trail proper held up very well and we ripped that.

Feeling like we'd ridden enough for the day.  We loaded up bikes and headed toward our next destination.

We stopped at a pass-through town to hose the bikes off at a self-service car wash.

A word or two about Oregon.  There are some things I did not know regarding that State.  Example - you may not pump your own gas.  It's a State law that gas station employees are the only ones who can do that.  The coolest thing, at least to me, is you can get your beer growler filled at grocery stores!

With a full tank of gas and a growler loaded to capacity, our group made it to our next base camp - a campsite three miles South of Sisters, OR.  We camp here the remaining nights and did day mountain biking excursions from there.  Saturday's ride, and the next blog post recap, is the McKenzie River Trail.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bend (area) Mountain Biking Recap #1

I'm back from four days on mountain biking in the Bend, OR general area.  In order to milk this a bit, I'm going to provide a recap of each day's action in its own post.

Day one was drive day.  I picked up Brian (who I'd never met before) and we were off to Zig Zag Cabin.  Zig Zag Cabin is a property very near (like within five miles) of the Sandy Ridge trail system.  And when I say cabin, well, it's much more like a second home.

Out behind the "cabin" is a stone paved, large, fire pit seating area.  When I arrive, most everyone was out there chatting and drinking beer from Sound Brewery in Poulsbo, WA.  They were drinking Sound Brewery beer because one of the owners of the brewery comes to this annual thing.  He brings very good beer.

Inside the "cabin" the first floor is a huge living room complete with large stone fireplace, a dining area, and a kitchen.  Also is a bathroom and the master bedroom.  The upstairs covers about 2/3 of the footprint of the house.  It's the main sleeping area for guests.  All in one big, open room is one pool table and about 8 to 10 double beds.  Everyone, excepting couples, had their own bed.

The evening was spent with introductions, beer drinking, and going over the game plan for the next day.  The next morning, the "cabin" owners prepared a lumberjack style and sized breakfast for us.

The owners are interesting in that they allow this annual thing - in fact look forward to it - as they know one of our mountain biking group really well.  Apparently, a daughter of theirs USE to be married to a dude in our mountain biking group.  But, since they like each other so much, this group gets invited back year after year.  If you think that's a bit odd, or out of norm, wait until I get to later posts and describe other's in our eclectic group.  Mind you, when I met these people, I instantly liked them all.  As I'm sure you know, everyone has a personality.  Our group had no shortage there.  I'm sure they have the same opinion of me.  So I won't be poking fun at anyone.  As I said, I instantly liked them all.

The next post - the first day of riding - Sandy Ridge.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Everything's packed.  I'm picking up one of our group of several tomorrow mid afternoon and we're headed for Bend, OR.  There will be four days of mountain bike riding.  There will be four nights of sampling some of Bend, OR brewer's finest coupled with campfires in the woods.

The good news - I have a new battery for my camera.  My intent - take many pictures.  I due back at my place sometime Monday evening.  The recap probably won't come until later in the week.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Less Than One Week

The mountain biking trip to Bend, OR is coming to fruition.  It sounds like there are at least ten gringos going on this jaunt.

There will be a mix of riding, beer drinking, camping, camp fires, and riding.  I'm in search of a new camera battery.  This is sounding like a trip some dudes label "epic."

Departure is next Thursday immediately after work.  The return is Memorial Day afternoon.  Four days of riding and sampling some of Bend breweries' finest.  Recap after the return.....

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Friday I shall be driving to work such that I can hop the ferry for Seattle immediately following.  I'm off to the main headquarter of The Mountaineers.  There's an installment of "Be Wild" that evening.

From the website:

This series will inspire the everyday adventurer to explore, discover and conserve the wild spaces of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Through stories of passion and adventure we will enable and encourage the community — especially the next generation — to get outside, seek adventure, connect with nature and be inspired to care for the wild places where we play. Join us as we explore the outdoors differently.
The segment I'm going to see is, "Expedition Denali."  Perhaps I'll have a recap early next week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lots O' Stuff Saturday

The original game plan was to do a longer roadie type bike ride on Saturday.  But, with the mountain bikeing trip to Bend, OR coming up over Memorial Day weekend, the mountain biking option was exercised.  I drove to Port Orchard and picked up co-worker Dan.  We spent an additional fifteen minutes driving to KeyPen(nisula) 360 Park.

Co-worked Dan had never been to 360 Park.  This was a perfect opportunity to expose him to somewhere new and not drive very far to get some great riding in.  But, every silver lining has a touch of gray.  Half way through the first lap on the mountain bike specific trails my chain popped off.  Or so I thought.  I looked down at my chain.  My chain was communing with nature laying on the trail looking back up at me.

With a field repair now in order, I sat down in the middle of the trail to do just that.

I've always wondered how the Ellsworth would perform with one chain link removed.  I've never wondered how the Ellsworth would perform with one chain link removed.  So, I removed a link and spliced the chain back together.  Did we stop after we'd completed only one lap?  Are you kidding???

The chain was holding up well.  We finished the first lap, rode another, explored the central meadow area where all the very easy, multi use trails converge, and then headed for the "new section."

The new section is just that.  A very new trail in the cross country variety.  Where as the other portion we'd ridden had a mix of climbs and nice, flowing, banked corner descents, the new had fewer climbs, was not as fast, and a bit tighter.  Not that it was bad.  Exactly the opposite - it was quite good.  But it was also quite different.

We finished the "new section" and rode a double track back to the original section for a third and final lap.  My wounded chain held up the rest of the day.  We headed out after that third lap as I had other things that day.

I dropped co-worker Dan, drove home (without dropping my bike at the bike shop for a new chain as there was not time), showered, and was then off to Kitsap Cabin.  Kitsap Cabin is a property, and cabin (AND a Yurt!) owned and maintained by the outdoor group in which I belong - The Mountaineers.

Earlier in the week I'd received an email stating there was an Open House on the property and would I like to RSVP for dinner there that evening for $8?  Oh yes, I'm in.

I arrived at 2 PM and the gear swap was just starting at the Yurt.  I say "Gear Swap" when in actuality not much gear changed hands but much mingling ensued.  At 3 PM we all exited the Yurt and began an exploration of the property via the trails.

Our first stop was at "Big Tree."  As you might surmise, "Big Tree" is a big tree.  It's a Douglas Fir to be exact.  It is big and definitely a tree.  We back-tracked a bit and then made our way to the outdoor theater.

Arriving at the Outdoor Theater, which has been in operation since 1923, we found rehearsal for the upcoming production in full swing.  It is a musical and, since I don't sing (well), I did not approach the director for a walk-on part in the production.

We made out way back to the Yurt for a PowerPoint presentation on a member's trip to Scotland.  She and her hubby did an eighty mile hike over seven days that took them from Bed & Breakfast to Bed & Breakfast via some wonderful country side and three Lochs (that's "lakes," Gringo) including Loch Ness.  No pictures of the monster shown.

That concluded the open house portion of the day.  We then walked to the cabin and joined quite a bit of the musical theatre production for chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies, salad, and lemonade.  The food was outstanding the the folks associated with the musical eccentric.  I sat across from the sound technician who'd been doing that job for 41 years.

Friday, May 9, 2014

You Should Become Luddite

As a (rather poor) blogger, I know it is hypocritical to say stay off your smart phone and delete your facebook account.  But, here I am, stating exactly that!  What's a Luddite?  Click the link.  Then, watch the video below.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


My Paternal parental unit is restoring a 1964 International pickup truck that's been in my family since, well, 1964.  It is going to become my pickup truck.  It should be ready this summer.  I'll fly back, rent a carrier, and haul it back.  Below are some of the progress pictures.  Sorry for the crappy cell phone camera quality.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Saturday Grand Ridge Trail to Duthie Hill Run

I picked up co-worker Dan and we drove to Issaquah, WA.  Our mission was to ride the Grand Ridge Trail from Central Park in Issaquah to Duthie Hill.  We unload the bikes and were riding about 9:30 AM.

We'd noticed quite a few cars and a trailhead a bit farther South.  It seems there was a half marathon/marathon on Grand Ridge Trail that day.  We did, in fact, see quite a few runners.  As we approached them we engaged our manners and moved off the trail.  As an added gesture of good will, hands were extended for high fives.

We came into the Duthie Hill park from the South on Boot Camp trail.  We rode that a bit and then hopped on to Deuces Wild dual slalom to the center section.  We stopped for a Clif Bar when the first wave of rain hit.  Like many other riders, we huddled underneath shelter.

It did not rain long and we were riding again.  The soil is more gravely than dirt/mud and the trail conditions, though not optimal, were still very good.  We rode several laps around the cross country type trails of Boot Camp, Step It Up, and Moving On.  After playing around for probably too long, we made our way back to Issaquah via the Grand Ridge Trail.  We saw some of the same runners on the course and a second round of high fives were served.

Though I think I wore about half of Duthie Hill home per the wet conditions,

the riding was, again, excellent.  There was fun all around.  The Grand Ridge/Duthie Hill ride has become a favorite.

In sort of related news, Tiger Mountain has opened to mountain bikers for the season!