By morning, it was cold again. And, again, we needed all our layers with a descent being our first bit of riding.
The plan for the day was to take a small road over to connect to to HWY26. We were expecting to turn onto that road about 5-9 miles after camp. My parents, again, were going to meet us for breakfast.
We found our road, which turned out to be a single lane blacktop with turns outs, in about 7 miles. We hadn't yet seen my parents, but we figured they'd find us. They knew the plan.
The road climbed a lot - we were really climbing up the flanks of Mt Hood today, as we'd been starting to do the last couple of days, each day climbing more than descending. It was a great bit of riding, though, with hardly any cars the whole time we were on it and it was very pretty.
We kept riding with no sign of my parents. I started thinking about looking for a stream for a water source to have breakfast. We figured if we hadn't seen them by the time we'd done over 15 miles, we'd just stop and have breakfast. Everyone knew that we were going to camp at Frog Lake Campground that evening. If we didn't see them for breakfast, it wouldn't be a huge deal.
Right around mile 13, they showed up. They'd, of course, missed the turn and had gone a ways before coming back. We sure were hungry.
After breakfast, they went off in search of yet another hot springs they'd read about that was nearby and we rode on.
Bunny bundled up on the bike before it warmed up, an action shot:
Just before we were thinking we were ready for lunch, our road widened out into two lanes, although traffic was still very low. Shortly there after, we came to the Clackamas Lake Historic Ranger Station and Museum. It was a small cabin with some displays that was pretty interesting.
One sign tickled my fancy. It'd never fly in this day and age. It was maybe from the 70s or so and there was a very angry fire fighter/ranger pointing to a raging forest fire behind him. The caption said, "Your Forest. Your Fault. Your Loss."
With water available and a picnic table, we decided it was time for lunch. It was refried beans in pita pockets with olives and seasonings along with apples and grapes this day. I tried for nut butter and beans alternating for lunch for most of the trip. This day, for some reason, lunch sat like a rock in my stomach. Anthony had said a few times that he had a hard time riding after we'd eaten a big lunch, but I hadn't yet faced the issue. Today, right at the end of the trip, I sure did. It was very difficult to ride. Luckily, our accents were sprinkled with a few descents in the afternoon and I just took it easy.
That afternoon, we got our first view of Mt Hood. It was a true homecoming feeling.
It was a shock to our systems to hit HWY26, which is pretty busy. It was still very pretty, but now we were on a shoulder of a very busy road with semis as well as cars and RVs going by. We only rode on it for about 5 miles, though, before coming to Frog Lake, our camp ground for the evening.
It was still early - around 2:00 - and I knew we had 60 some miles to go the next day, so I asked Anthony if he thought we should go on to make sure we could make it home the next day (which was only Friday!). He felt we'd be okay, so we called it an early day and made camp. It was our first fee campground in many days, but there aren't a lot of free camping opportunities on the more major roads, so we were okay with that.
We spent the afternoon checking out Frog Lake, eating, going for strolls and visiting with my parents after they showed up about an hour later. Davan and I wadded in Frog Lake, but didn't feel much like swimming in it, even though the afternoon was pretty warm. It was a rather muddy.
My parents had found their hot spring and reported that it was not a great one. There wasn't any real infrastructure there, so the very hot spring water was side by side with the cold river water and it was hard to find a comfortable temperature.
We had a lovely evening with my step dad providing back ground music for most of the afternoon and evening. We polished off a lot of our food, saving, of course, for breakfast and lunch the next day.
The wind was picking up when we went to bed and I spent part of the night listening to the ominous creaking of near-by trees rather than sleeping, but the temperature was mild and it was my last night in a sleeping bag for a while - a mixed blessing.