Sunday, May 1, 2011

Portland to the Coast- First Attempt Overnight

Winter is a perfect time for planning the things you want to do the rest of the year.

Donnie, Wes and I finally picked a spring weekend that seemed warm and dry enough to make the trek across the Oregon coast mountain range from Portland to Tillamook. We all chose 29'er bikes with frame bags, printed our maps, packed our food/shelter/clothes/toys and jumped on the ever convenient lightrail to take us beyond the anti-fun suburbs.

Photo essay from here on:

So many good trips start with cheating our way out of the suburbs. The end of the lightrail line is a convenient 15 or so miles from where the pavement meets the gravel.

Last call for minnows

Out in the country, we can still see snow in the distance

Where pavement meets gravel

The steep Mt. Richmond climb is a quick lesson on what the next 50 miles will be like. You quickly drop into the small chainring, stop to let some air out of the tires and unzip the layers. As if the forest is there to both welcome you and ask if you've kept yourself fit during the winter.

That's right, no motorized vehicles inside the gate

On top of Flora Mainline Road

Karate Monkey- loaded

Huge swath of tree farming

Down dog view of Barney Reservoir

Barney Reservoir

We almost ran over this little red dude

Sweet camping spot

While we only got a small fire started, it was a killer sunset

I knew it was cold during the night because I slept with all my clothes on, in a fetal position most of the night, with my hood covering all but my mouth and still shivered my ass off. No wonder, it had to be in the mid-upper 20's F overnight. My drom bag was 1/3 ice.

We took our time getting up, but had sun as soon as we started riding

We met a dude named Ron, who had motorcycle camped by the river. He showed us a couple cool spots on the map to check out next time. Ron was an awesome local, had tons of knowledge of the area, and was drinking a PBR at 11:30 in the morning. Hell yeah.

Back on pavement again, 12 miles to Tillamook through the Trask River valley

Mexican food and beer at the courthouse picnic table, right across from the Police station, hence the brown paper bag

Tillamook Wave bus. $10 back to Portland with our bikes.

We finally made it from Portland to the coast off-road. Well, close to the coast and mostly off-road, but it was still very satisfying after all the talk, planning, mapping research and waiting for good weather to melt the snow pack. As the sense of satisfaction set in on the bus, we couldn't help but think about where the next trip will be.

We could have ridden this in one day, but camping overnight was fun and it allowed us to test some new equipment before making a commitment to it during a longer trek. I just know I'm completely addicted to riding in the woods, be it singletrack or gravel roads.

Ride profile here

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