Tour without a goal – 28 July 2014


mountain wind
-Hōsai Ozaki

butterfly way
The best riding on this tour has been on the forest roads right in the trees: Old Blewett Pass, the roads around Mt. St. Helens and today on the edge of the Mt. Hood wilderness. Things started slowly with a near five mile climb but this was followed by near dozen mile decent. The forest road was never wide but a certain point, deep in green trees, it became a single lane road with the occasional wide spot to allow cars to pass. It really was just a bit wider than a modern bicycle path. Nearly empty as well this was really my own private ride in the woods.


But all things must pass and after the epic descent I had to climb out of whatever little valley I was in. It was now quite hot as well and this climb regained 2/3s of the vertical feet I had just eschewed but in more like five miles. Fairly tough but on this climb and near the descent from it the views opened up again of the heavily forested hills well above the Clackamas River. No altitude is gained without immediately throwing it away it appears and I was right back onto the descent.

far above the roaring stream
green hill after green hill after green hill

This was a steep descent with a wild hairpin curve and with the occasional car one had to keep on ones toes. Eventually the degree of descent slackened and campgrounds began to appear. It also got hotter and hotter as I descended into the Breitenbush River valley. At the bottom was Detroit Lake and the tourist town of the same name. This was a madhouse of people out recreating on this quite hot Monday. The lake was thick with boats and swimmers other recreations trying to escape the heat. I got what supplies the town had to offer and headed back down the route toward the mountains. With the shadows growing longer and a bit of a wind at my back I pretty quickly made it into cooler (though still hot) climes and at the Whispering Falls USFS Campground I ended for the day. Camped right above a rushing river there is a nearly hidden trickling waterfall across from my site.

struggling up the mountain
under the blazing sun
— wild strawberries

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