Friday, June 29, 2012

The Ridge They Call Hurricane

Super Biker Woman and her trusty sidekick (Christian needs his own super hero name) conquered the ridge they call Hurricane on their trusty bicycle steeds! Carol conquered Port Angeles. SBW and her sidekick climbed over 2000 feet. Carol ate at two DIFFERENT restaurants!

Christian and I left Casey and Brigid's at 9:00am. We stopped at the Olympic National Park Headquarters first. Then, it was 5 miles to the Entrance Station where we paid $5 each to enter on our bikes. Thankfully, those first 5 miles were definitely the steepest. I was glad we stayed with Casey and Brigid because if we had stayed at Heart O' the Hills, we would have had that 5 mile climb at the END of yesterday. That would not have been good.

The park ranger at the entrance warned us to dress warmly when we came down. Apparently, hypothermia can be a problem on an 17 mile descent. We had packed appropriately for the descent.

After a photo op at the Heart o' the Hills campground sign, we started the remaining 12 miles to the top. We pulled off at most of the view points for photos and breaks. I was listening to music on my Rock It, so the climb was fairly enjoyable.

At the first view point, we walked a little trail to another look-out. In a tree near the look-out was a big raptor bird of some sort that was making a low pitched whoop whoop sound.

Just after the viewpoint, we went through 3 tunnels. Christian has a generator hub headlight so he was in front going through the tunnels. I turned my rear flasher on.

We continued to climb...and climb... and climb some more. Sometimes I was not in super granny gear, but for lengthy sections I was. But, like I said, I was listening to music, so it was all good.

Finally, the top was in view! Well, we could see it anyway. We still had a couple of miles to go. However, the views were spectacular! We stopped to to take photos, including some of a couple of bucks with velvety antlers. Finally, one turned and faced me for a decent photo.

We made it to the top after 4 1/2 hours. There is a nice Visitor's Center at the top. Christian and I had a lovely lunch at the cafe. I had an artichoke, tomato, and spinach panini sandwich. Christian had fish and chips. After lunch, we walked around and up a short paved trail. From the trail, we could see Port Angeles.

For our descent, we put on warmer clothes. I put my arm warmers back on along with a long sleeve wool shirt. Then I put my high-vis jacket on with my rain jacket over that. I pulled on my rain pants, my possum/Marino gloves with my rain gloves over the top. I topped off the whole ensemble with an extra buff around my neck that I pulled up over my nose. Needless to say, there was no chance of hypothermia for me! Actually, it was a good ensemble because I was also not too warm.

We came down the 17 miles, that had taken us 4 1/2 hours to climb, in 45 minutes. We made it back to the house at 4:15.

It was a great day and Christian agreed it was worth the ride--even with all the climbing.

Here are some photos...

1 comment:

Marsha said...

The descent sounds like it was a ball...