After a good portion of time away from the computer I had to return. Money was running out and I started getting antsy. We’ve been back for a couple weeks now and life is busier than ever. But I’m not complaining, far from it. I’m just using it as an excuse for watching Law and Order reruns.
But since we’ve been back from Hawaii, I’ve been riding quite a bit. Weekly team rides, the regular commute, and finally some good racing. Last weekend the Dalles Mountain 60 happened and it was wonderful. I left Portland just before 7 and made it to The Dalles just in time to roll out. The race started from a coffee shop called Holstein’s around 9. Shortly after crossing The Columbia we started climbing up Dalles Mountain Rd shrouded in fog. The fog was thick enough to obscure anything past twenty feet, making the climb rather surreal. And then, just as we crested the top, we broke out of the fog into glorious sunshine. The descent was a tricky, muddy mess, which negotiated at high speeds was a real thrill. Finally out of the mud, the gravel kept dropping and at one point I glanced down to see 34mph on the computer, I was hauling balls. And then things started slowing down.
The route took us east to Hwy 97 where we dropped for about 1/4 mile before crossing the highway to take the old Maryhill Loops Rd. Tight hairpin turns on smooth tarmac made for a great descent.
Soon after we dropped back to the river and crossed over back into Oregon. A quick stop for a can of coke got me headed back towards The Dalles. The route back took us on Old Moody Rd which seems steeper every time I ride it, but eventually it leveled out. Five of us cruised back into town together fighting a headwind the rest of the way.
At that point I think most people headed home.
I decided to camp out and made my way to Deschutes State Park. It’s a nice place, and during the winter it’s practically empty. I found a good spot and made a nice fire. In the morning I woke up, made some breakfast and headed down the old rail-trail. About 6 miles in I stopped, enjoyed a nice beer, and watched a hawk fish from the river. It was slightly surreal, and although I had intended to ride the entire 16 miles in, decided to head home instead. It was a great trip, the race being the highlight.
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All of the photos from this trip can be seen here.
Looking forward to Echo Red to Red this weekend! More great racing and camping is always welcome.