Thursday, September 24, 2009
Mt St Helens Permanent - It was a blast !
Seven of us (Left to right - Steve Davis, Vincent Muoneke, Jeff Loomis, Lynn Gil, Mark Thomas, and Dan Jensen) headed out for a ride on the first full day of fall. The forecast was for a great day and we weren't disappointed. The ride started in Winlock, so even though we left home early, we didn't start riding until 8:00AM. It was cold to start ... frostbite anyone? I'm glad we didn't start riding earlier. But it soon warmed up.
I'm not going to name names, but someone got lost before we left Winlock ... we hadn't gone even a quarter of a mile and we had all left together! Granted he was following the route sheet and the Garmin course, but Vincent somehow missed the e-mail describing the detour and then must have been looking down when we turned. Fortunately we backtracked & found him before many bonus miles were generated.
Mark had discovered before the ride that the Winlock-Vader Road was closed. Not only did this mean we were able to come up with a detour up front, it meant we got to skip a potential coffee stop in Vader. We made up for it by catching the Castle Rock Bakery for coffee & pastries. Bucking the trend, I went for the soup option.
On our way up, we were crossing a bridge when we noticed a backpack and rope on the side of the road. Curious, we stopped and peered over the edge. It was a loong way down, but the strange part was there were two guys climbing up! And we thought we were odd! Hopefully noone tossed their stuff in their car and drove off with it.
Not for me thank you!
We made it to the top around 3:00 PM ... and were tired & hungry.
But the view was worth it!
We eventually recovered enough to get back on our bikes for a great descent back ... interrupted by a 1,300 foot climb up from Coldwater Lake. We made it back shortly before 8:00 PM. There had been 9,000 feet of climbing ... more than I had expected.