Beautiful first ride of fall and 5781. First ride since Mary's Peak two weeks ago. Historic forest fires had the valley smoked in for 10 days. Couldn't even go outside. AQI was in the hazardous range. Then came some rain, including a deluge thunder storm, and now the air is fresh and clean.
Just took it easy and stuck to the easy route, out Fern, back Bellefountain.
Labor Day club event. Hot day so early stat in Philomath.
I felt much stronger than on the July 4th edition.
Out and up Decker via Peterson, then up the horse trail. Took the second right hoping to get back to Decker but instead climbed for a couple more miles. Eventually found my way down to Botkin and hwy 34.
Well the fellow I talked to was right. Just past his place the road is very overgrown. Doesn't look like a vehicle has gobe up there in years. Not so much nettles though but everything else. I was able to dodge most of it going from right to left, and sometimes riding the middle which was soft weeds. There were deep water bars cut in the road as well, which I guess they do when they decommission a road. And it was wet in a lot of places. It crosses the creek on an old, but sturdy bridge and then starts clibming. I couldn't make much progress as it got steeper. Knobbies would have helped. After a couple of miles I gave up and headed back.
Since I had turned back when the going got tough the last two rides I decided I should go up Hilltop, which has always seemed like a mega climb. What a difference smooth pavement makes. It was not hard at all and so plesant in the cool shady woods. I went up to almost the highest point, around the bend from the photo op of Mary's Peak, and then left on the spur road that goes above that clear cut, to try and get a better view. None was to be had so I headed back down. Super fun downhill.
Went back to camp, which I had already backed up before the ride, and had lunch. I wanted to get some more, easier, miles so I drove to Eddyville and did the Crystal Creek Loop. Very enjoyable to ride the old highway with no traffic.
The fellow I talked to the night before on Grant Creek said Feagles Creek would be in better shape. He was right. It appears to be a main logging route. I was passed by one empty truck going up. I just went a few miles up to where it was getting pretty steep and turned around.
I then continued west to the C2C which I rode up to the west end of the national forest segment. Very overgrown since last year. Ridable but overgrown.
Plus a couple of miles in town before I left. Drove out to Big Elk CG. Set up my tent, had dinner, and went for a ride at dusk. Grant Creek is lovely. I saw where the west section of the C2C starts. I went as far as the last house, which is only 2 miles up, where I talked to a guy who said the road was overgrown with stinging nettle farther on. We shall see...