Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mostly Downhill and The Case of the Missing Chocolate Bar

I say today was mostly downhill, but first I had to get over Santiam Pass. I camped last night on Suttle Lake at Blue Bay Campground. Suttle Lake is basically at the base of Santiam Pass. That means that, right out of the park, I was climbing. It took me 1 hour and 35 minutes to get to the summit. Along the way, I stopped at the Mt. Washington Viewpoint.
All the dead trees are from a fire called the B&B Complex Fire (to the best of my knowledge, no Bed & Breakfasts were harmed--no, actually, B&B stands for Booth and Bear Buttes) in September of 2003. In all, 38% of the Mt. Washington Wilderness was consumed by the fire. It was caused by two separate lightening strikes.

Upon reaching the summit, I took the required photos. Here's one with Betsy.

As an aside, I've noticed an interesting thing these past two days going over mountain passes. I seem to get a sinus headache only if the pass is 5000 ft. or more. Yesterday, going over McKenzie, I had a headache at the summit (I also had a headache riding up to Paradise at Mt. Rainier back in June. And I had a whopper of a headache on the plane to Austin in March.). Today, even at the top of Santiam (4817 ft.), no headache. The headaches are a little annoying, but I know as soon as I drop down in altitude, the headache goes away.

After Santiam I had, give or take, 35 miles of downhill. After the summit descent, I had to go up a few humps, but then it was 27 miles of nothing but downhill. I was cruising! Oh, and I employed zero brakes coming off the pass. My maximum speed for today was 38mph. Not as fast as the ride in Eugene, but I'll take it!

I stopped at Whispering Falls campground and had a little lunch. Then when I got to Detroit (pop. 279), I thought I would pick up a couple of apples since I am running low on fruit. The small market had one apple (not just one kind of apple, but just one apple). They wanted $1.50 for the one apple. I thought to myself, that poor apple is just going to get thrown away because no one in their right mind will pay $1.50 for an apple! Instead, I had ice cream and a bottle of Powerade.

From Detroit I had to do about 5 more miles of climbing to get to Humbug Campground on the Breitenbush River. Since I am, once again, at a Forest Service campground, there are no showers. However, there is the river. Once I figured out how to get down to the river without killing myself, I took a little bath (in my bike clothes--doing double duty of washing myself and my bike clothes--that, and I was too chicken to bare it all in the freezing cold water!). I even washed my crocs. They were becoming more of a brownish-green than the lime green they are supposed to be.
The trail is still pretty high above the river.
Bike clothes drying on a rock.

And now for The Case of the Missing Chocolate Bar!

When I restocked groceries in Eugene, I bought 2 Chocolove chocolate bars. I ate one while I was still in Eugene. I packed the other one in the pannier. When I got to Belknap Hotsprings, I pulled out the remaining chocolate bar and noticed it was pretty well melted--not surprising given the weather. I put it back in the pannier when I left to go to the pool. I remember taking it out again as I was preparing my dinner. It was still soft. After I finished my dinner and put everything away, I'm sure I also put the chocolate back in the pannier. Now, here's where my memory gets a little fuzzy. In the morning, I don't remember taking it out of the pannier while I was preparing my breakfast BUT, I wouldn't have had to as I had put all my breakfast stuff on the top. I also don't remember taking it out yesterday (or even seeing it in the pannier) at Suttle Lake.

Today when I pulled into Whispering Falls, I thought I would see if the chocolate bar was firm again. I opened up my food pannier and dug around for it. I couldn't find it. I looked in the other pannier, but it wasn't there either. Not wanting to completely unpack my panniers, I just had some raisin bread with peanutbutter instead.

After I set up my camp here at Humbug, I took everything out of the front panniers. Yeah, still no chocolate bar. I even looked in my handlebar bag thinking I might have stashed it there to harden. Nope, no chocolate. 

So, it's a mystery. What happened to the chocolate bar? Did I only think I put it back in the pannier? Did I not put it back and a critter helped itself? Who knows???

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