Michelle has a rule for me on Fathers Day. I get to do what I want. I know it will come as a shock to find out that I normally want to take a bike ride!
This next Saturday, I am riding the Tour de Blast up to Mt St Helens and back.
That ride has a 5 mile, a 7 mile and a 9 miles climb! It is a quad buster. So I knew I wanted to get a ride in today with hills in.
I also wanted to try something new. There is a covered bridge close to us. By car and main roads its maybe 12 miles away.
However, taking a bike up and over Drift Creek Road to Bear Creek road would give me over 40 miles, and one helluva lot of hills! Plus, its is a very low travelled road. Perfect for a ride!
I took off, but not as early as I planned. Evidently when the alarm went off I just turned it off! But a little after 7 and I was riding.
Four miles into the ride, you make a left and start a long slow slog, soon finding yourself in the trees.
Everyone knows how much I love riding at the ocean. But there is just something about being in the woods. Lately, I’ve been reading up on Forest Baths. Essentially spending times with the trees. letting yourself relax, experiencing nature. breathing the oxygen the trees exhale and just loving the forest. It helps the body stay healthy and heal itself. It was easy to do today, even with a LONG hard climb.
The climb was steady for about 5 miles. Then at fork in the road, the sign pointed me left. Which led to a long easy down hill. One would think this is good! But I was coming back the same way I came, which meant I knew this hill would be waiting!
I stopped at Drift Creek Falls trail head for a snack. Evidently this is bear country, as they have installed special garbage cans.
Good things bears can’t read! The instructions are on the can! I am glad they are as I had to read them to operate it! A piece of left over pizza was perfect!
One thing I haven’t mentioned was how quiet and peaceful this ride was.
Most of my rides hereare on HWY 101, with loud cars. It is pretty, and I love it! But, aside from those times you can get off the main road, it aint quiet! This ride was! I didn’t see more than 4 cars the whole time up, and maybe 7 coming back. I went miles with nothing but nature sounds and smells. A couple times I stopped both ways just to smell and listen! If you can handle hills, the quiet along this route makes it worth it! But I digress!
From here, though the climbing started again. I didn’t keep track of the overall all climb this time, but it seemed like 3 miles or so. Thus far 8 miles of climbing!
I got to the top and headed down. I knew the covered bridge was before HWY 18, but I had no idea how much before. I also knew somewhere down there I would find one of these.
I don’t know what it is about the Oregon Coast. But you can be traveling on a perfectly nice road, and suddenly its gravel for a mile or 3, then road again. Did they run out of asphalt? Did they do it just for fun???
And this time it was steep as well! I had to ride the brakes hard enough to keep the speed low, but not so hard to skid out and slide… NOT easy. I was happy to see the pavement on the other side! But remember, I still had to go back UP!! It was a 5 mile descent.
I made it to the bridge at drift creek
Te rafters inside were cool!
But it sure looks like it needs a new roof!
The Caretaker was there doing some work so I talked to him a bit. Turns out this bridge was a few miles up stream when first built, but was going to be torn down. The owners of the property it sits on now organized a local army of volunteers to move it! Damn that would have been a site to see! I would volunteer for something like that.
He also told me his own piece of property was homesteaded in 1909, before this bridge was built , by a moonshiner. The property had, and still has, a very clear, and strong natural spring, perfect for making your own whiskey! The original owner did very well for himself during the prohibition years.
Evidently, the caretaker has a number of home brewers of beer who come to him for the water. No chlorine, fluoride or any unwanted chemicals. Just pure mountain water!
It was time to climb! OK the gravel road was steep and the gravel made it harder! Plus some cars did go by kicking up a bunch of dust. Which leads to confession time. For the first time since my first year riding I stopped on a hill!
I never stop!
But I needed a drink and it was too rocky to let go with one hand, the dirt was in my eyes, and I just decided it was time… 150 feet around the corner the gravel stopped… (YEP I was a bit mad at myself…)
Anyhow, I finished the 5 mile climb and we are now at 13 miles of climbing!
I stopped near the top for a shot of the view! I was NOT at sea level any more!
I also discovered I had ridden over Cougar Mountain! Who new I had my own mountain at the coast! Plus the tree are only 5 years older than I am!
I bombed back down to the trailhead for another snack, then that last long slow slog to the final down hill. I was a bit tired, so I didn’t check the odometer, so I will say it was another 3 mile climb. 16 miles of climbing. Not bad!
I stopped at the top of the last long downhill for the reward, Trail Mix Cookie from The Red Roof Bakery!
Headed down the hill and 4 miles later I was home. 45 Miles and and 5700 feet of climbing! Next weeks Tour de Blast is much longer, but only 1300 feet more elevation! I got this!
Now, let us now forget it was Fathers Day. Michelle knew I was gonna be hungry!
There sat a huge baking dish of chicken pot pie!! I am not ashamed to admit that is half gone!
One great ride, and I WILL do it again!