Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 19! Climb, Climb, Climb

We woke to a 40 degree morning. Brrr!!!! It was really cold for riding. We put on pretty much all of our layers and rode off.

We'd have had breakfast first thing if my parents were around because of lack of a certain water source when we'd want to be eating, but, because they were there, they moved the van about 7 miles up the road to this dam, where we were much warmer and had a lovely view for breakfast:

With the van around, even though we were still carrying all of our own stuff, we entered a new phase of the trip. We figured it was phase 5. Phase 1 was from home to the coast. Phase 2 was along the coast. Phase 3 was getting from the coast to Crater Lake. Phase 4 was the few days in between Crater Lake and meeting up with my parents. We figured phase 6 would be after they left. The plan was for them to stay with us a couple of nights.

We rode off and they went to the near by hot springs. I'll tell you what, it was hard to ride off into the cold and skip the hot springs. It was too early in the day for such a break, though, and we weren't excited about the thought of having to ride more after a good soak. We had miles to do. How many? Well, we had some goals.

In Oakridge, Anthony looked carefully at what was remaining for the trip and announced that 45 miles a day would get us home by Saturday. Wow! We were really thinking we were going to make it! We'd decided that we wanted to be home by Saturday to have at least one day of recovery/unpacking/down time before Anthony had to go back to work. We'd decided that we'd have my parents pick us up and take us home then if we weren't going to make it. But, 45 miles a day was totally do-able! The day before, even with me taking it easy, we'd made a little more than 50.

This day, my jealously over the hot springs led us to hatch a new plan over the course of the day. We'd get in as many miles as we could comfortably do, more than 45 for sure, and then the next day, when we'd be getting to Breitenbush Hot Springs, we'd have a short day and soak there for a bit in the afternoon.

We slowly warmed up, shedding layers. This day's ride involved a more major roads and more traffic, which was too bad, but the scenery was still quite nice. We started noticing signs for an upcoming lake and decided that made a good goal for lunch. Then we started to climb. And climb. And climb.

We climbed right past a waterfall that could have been seen from a little pull out - Anthony and Davan too far ahead for me to call to them - and missed. Anthony stopped a little later and I expressed my disappointment that we hadn't stopped. I must say I was pretty darn civil about it and he was regretful. It was my opinion that we were doing the trip to see things and if we could see something cool without having to go out of our way, we should do it! Anthony agreed and said he'd not let something like that pass again.

We were stopped at an entrance to a camp ground and we considered stopping there for lunch. It was well after noon by this time and we were hungry. However, the lake - Clear Lake - wasn't far off - maybe a couple of miles. Of course, climbing that could still be a long time, but we opted to go ahead and get there.

We got to the turn off for Clear Lake and the road started dropping. Severely. With switchbacks. We went down a few, but then realized that we were getting into a hole we really didn't want to climb back out of, so we went back up to the road, agreeing to stop for lunch at the next reasonable location and fortifying ourselves with raspberry candies by Panda. (We like the licorice the best, but the last store had only had the raspberry and they were pretty good, too.)

Shortly, we got to Fish Lake Campground and turned off. Well, it looked like it was, sometime in the past, a developed campground. Now it was more like a large semi-clearing, but hey, it was good enough for us. It was already about 2:00 and we were hungry!

Lunch was bean burritos with olives and seasoning plus apple slices. A chipmunk quite enjoyed our apple cores. Even though we weren't trying to feed them to him, not being into feeding wildlife, we had them sitting by us and he bravely came up and stole them one by one. We figured it was whole natural food and probably okay for him to eat, unlike Cheetos or the like and just let him.

As there wasn't any water source at lunch (there was no lake for all the name was Fish Lake), we went on with the plan of stopping as soon as we found a likely water source. About a 1/4 mile down the way, we found the Fish Lake Interpretative Site. They had picnic benches, outhouses and signs about local history, but no water. We looked around a bit, used the facilities and moved on.

Only about another 1/4 of a mile on, my parents passed and we flagged them down, asking for water bottle fills. They asked how much further we wanted to go so they could scope out a camp site for everyone. We opted for another 12-15 miles.

Then we climbed some more. We kind of wished we'd asked for a shorter distance. We kept climbing. We knew that soon there was supposed to be a descent and, after a while, we did hit a downhill. But then there was another up. It went on like this for way too long for my end of the day legs, but we finally did reach the descent, a lovely, long fly down the hill...but not as far as we'd climbed. At this point, we were starting to climb up the flanks of Mt Hood.

We stopped for the night at another free site about 12 miles shy of Detroit. It was a good camp site, with some wood in the fire ring (and a low fire danger area) and a fence to climb on. Davan and her Tad-ku (what she calls my step dad) built a fire, which was something Davan had wanted to do the whole trip, but we hadn't. After dinner around the fire, she sat for a long time, listening to Tad-ku play guitar:

But, after a while, her natural state of energy had her up and moving, playing on the fence, accompanied by Tad-ku's music:

We weren't right on the river this evening, it being down a short hill from our campsite, and we were hoping that would make it not quite so cold, but it was still a cold night. I, again, dressed in my tights and long sleeved shirt inside my sleeping bag for sleep. What can you expect for the Cascades in September, right?

We fell asleep with 55 miles under our belts, feeling good about making it home in a few days and looking forward to visiting Breitenbush Hot Springs the next day.

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