Wednesday, July 13, 2011

From Hood River to The Dalles and Back

After determining my detour route this morning, I left all my bags behind except my handlebar bag and a bag with my raincoat and spare tube strapped to my rear rack and headed toward The Dalles on the Historic Columbia River Gorge Trail. I wanted to ride the trail and go visit my grandma's friend, Ellen.

I got to the trailhead parking lot and saw two touring cyclists there. One was on a recumbent and the other was on a Bike Friday (the second one I've seen in as many days). They were two women who were doing a loop ride from Portland back to Portland. It was the first time I've seen a group (in this case, just two people) of just women.

I got on the trail and shortly after I did, it started to rain. I stopped, when it started to get heavier, and put on my rain jacket and helmet cover.

Soon I came to the Mosier Twin Tunnels. They were pretty cool. I was stopping all along the way to take photos.

At Mosier, the bike trail ends and the route goes on Hwy 30. There is very little traffic. I worked my way up to Memaloose Overlook, then continued up to Rowena Crest Viewpoint. The views of the Gorge are pretty great up there. Then it was down through the Rowena Loops--basically a looping, switchbacking road down to level with I-84 along the river.

From there it was just a handful of miles on into The Dalles. Since it was about 1:30, I stopped for lunch before heading over to Ellen's.

Ellen and I had a nice visit of about 1 3/4 hours. Then, I had to head back to Hood River. I knew I had to go back up to Rowena Crest. Really, it wasn't that bad! Of course, it helps when I'm not carrying anything!

As I reached the top of the crest, another cyclist passed me. We started talking and ended up riding all the way back to Hood River together.

I returned to my cousin's house at about 6:15. All in all, it was a great day for a bike ride! By the way, the rain stopped not long after I put my jacket on and didn't start up again until I was coming back into Hood River.

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