Thursday, July 11, 2013

Passes, and Cherries, and Pears--Oh My!

This morning as I was pulling out of Oak Fork Campground on Timothy Lake, Everett walked by with Avalanche. I asked if I could get a photo of the two of them.
Nice guy and nice dog.

I left Oak Fork at 7:50. As usual, there was very little traffic at that time of the day. I rode the rest of Skyline Drive to Hwy 26. Today, my memory was correct in that Blue Box Pass was a pretty easy climb. I didn't even get into Super Granny Gear!
Even though it seems like a high pass at over 4000 ft., I started at about 3500. It was just 500 ft of climbing over about 3 1/2 miles. 

As I came down Blue Box Pass, I went by Wapinitia Pass. Okay, so it's not really a pass I had to climb...but I'm counting it anyway!

I stopped to use the restroom at the Chevron station and bought a snack. I also checked in with my cousin in Hood River--my destination for the next two nights. 

Next Pass on the list--Bennett. It was about 8 miles to the summit. Along the way, I came to Barlow Pass.
 I also got many great views of Mt. Hood as I worked my way around it. At one point, the way the road curved, the mountain was in my rear view mirror. Then, I go a little further, and it's in front of me again. Kind of seemed like the mountain moved!
I got to the top of Bennett at 11:45. Four Passes before noon--not bad!
I was really looking forward to the downhill. Oh, it was a nice downhill, it just wasn't as fast as it could have been considering the headwind.

I followed the route through Parkdale. I stopped along the way to take some photos of the beautiful cherries.
The trees were loaded!

I also went past a number of pear orchards. The pears are coming along, but won't be ripe for awhile.

Last time I came this way, the map took me on a hilly, circuitous route into Hood River. This time I knew there must be a shorter way! So, I followed the signs directly to Hood River. At about 5 miles out, I Google-mapped the directions to my cousin's house. I was just 3 1/2 miles away! Of course, I had two big hills to climb (still not as many as the other way). 

I arrived before my cousin and two of her girls left for Sunriver, so I got to see them briefly. It's just Claire and I for the two days I'm here. We'll have fun!

Here's a final shot for today seen from the Dee Highway.
Curse you Red Baron!

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