A Boy, His MotoredBike, and A Volcano
August 17-19, 2009
What an Adventure this was!
Ocean Park to Mount St Helens and back...3-days, 300 miles.
I left Ocean Park at 9am Monday, and arrived 111 miles later at the Silver Lake Resort...a marvelous place to be the "FNG"...I met some Navy Veterans (me too Navy) who helped me with hot coffee in the morning & cold beer at nite, and they kinda got the clerk to give me a "Support Our Troops" discount so's i could use the RV space next to them & have an outlet to charge my lights at night.
VERY NICE people, both resort staff & my fellow campers.
Tuesday I hit the road about 10am for the 43 miles to the end of Rt 504 and Mt St Helens. I climbed a sum total of 3700 ft in elevation, but I think I re-climbed some of it several times...going in both directions there were bridges to nowhere, downward sprints that curled your toes (remember we have to climb this going back) and upward gr-i-i-nds that made me wanna toss in the towel (remember we get to zoom down this when we go back)...
The Bike performed flawlessy! I didn't always, tho...I had the devil of a time keeping the fuel mixture right, and should have switched to a lower gear before starting out. When I started up one of the many 6% grades, it took mere minutes to decide to stop and gear down...but I still spent the entire day on the pedals, sometimes at 11mph for 4 miles at a time...just keep your head down and don't stop until you roll over the crest.
But a few miles of 40mph downhillin' makes you forget ALL about that climb, believe it!
This is my view from Silver Lake, approx. 32 miles as the crow flies.
This is where the real Adventure started for me, approaching my first bridge-to-nowhere
And this is that bridge, one of two that soar over Kid Valley.
You get to swoop down on this bridge, but it ends with the beginning of a long climb...the second bridge is just out of sight to the left, it's a long graceful curve to the right...and if you look at the far slope, you'll see where we're heading after that.
Note how generous the outside "lane" is...and very clean...both ways, all the way. Don't look down on the bridges, tho, the concrete sides are low enough to see over when you're that close...can you say "vertigo" ?
So...up, down, up, down...up...up...2 hours of hard riding...
And Then, I Was There.
Thanks For Stopping By!
Oh yeah...and then I went home.