Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mama Cass Goes to Eastern Washington, Or...

...I Saved His Butt, He Saved My Hands

A few weeks ago, my friends Bill and Melody asked if I would like to go with them to their place in Twisp to do some mountain biking. Well, sure I would!

So, here we are! We left yesterday evening and arrived after midnight (it's about 5 1/2 hours). Of course it was pitch black when we arrived, so I had no idea what it looked like until morning. Bill and Melody have a beautiful yurt (we're not talking Oregon State Park type yurt here). It's all light and beautifully bright woodwork with windows all around, and a big skylight at the top of a center post wrapped in white lights. It has all the comforts of home, including an outdoor shower (there's an indoor one too).
The very cool outdoor shower.
The backside of the yurt.

I woke up to light streaming through the window in my room. I couldn't wait to see the view! And what a view it is!
Fog in the valley.

After breakfast, Melody and I took the dogs for a walk. 
Mikayla the Queen, and Mariko the Prince (3 months old-- he'll be as big or bigger than Mikayla when he is full-grown).

We walked up the hillside behind the yurt--up and up.
The yurt in the distance.
Even higher!
Panorama from the top.

Mikayla is a dog of advanced years, yet she made it the whole way (at her pace).
I'm coming!

When we returned from our walk, Bill had the bikes loaded on the car. We changed into our biking gear. Bill forgot his bike shorts. I offered up my Icebreaker shorts to save his butt. He accepted. 

I filled my hydration pack, and made sure I had snacks. Apparently, food is the most important thing to me, because when we got to where we were starting, I discovered I had not put my bike glasses in, nor had I put in my gloves (geez, you'd think I'd never biked before!). Fortunately for me, Bill had an extra pair of long finger gloves. Thanks for saving my hands, Bill! 

We headed out toward Sun Mountain. We did about 7 1/2 miles of pavement, a good chunk of it uphill. Mama Cass and I are not so speedy going uphill on pavement. Bill and Melody got ahead of me, but I knew they would not turn off without me. 

When we got to the start of the trail, I took my rain jacket off. I was cooking in it! What was supposed to be 60% chance of rain ended up being mostly sunny! 

We took Chickadee Trail up to Thompson Rd. We climbed quite awhile up Thompson Rd. There were some great views along the way.

The colors are spectacular!

Once we reached the top, we picked up some double and single-track trails. This was pretty easy, so Mama Cass had no problems. In fact, the downhill portions were so much fun! I am getting braver in letting the bike run.

We came out to a viewpoint called "Room With a View". Yep, it sure was!

We continued riding. It started to rain, but it didn't last long. Soon we were back to sunshine. During our ride on Rodeo Trail, I couldn't help but have a running soundtrack of Aaron Copland's Rodeo running through my head! 

Coming along Beaver Pond, I had to stop and take this photo.
Beaver Pond in Fall

We continued doing ups, and longer sections of downhill. The dappling of the leaves on the trail made for such pleasant riding! 

We came back down Chickadee to where we had started the trail. Instead of continuing on the road, we took another trail that was mostly downhill...screaming-good fun downhill! I managed to glance at my speedometer to see I was going 26.1 mph! This was a part single, part double track trail! 26.1 mph! WOO HOO!!! I had a hard time wiping the grin off my face!
Goin' down, down, down!

All good things must eventually come to an end. We popped back out to the pavement. All that was left of today's ride was to ride back to the car.
Still a nice ride!

We rode a total of 33 miles. It was awesome!

Here's a few parting shots.
Rockin' those shorts, Bill (and also blending in nicely with the Fall foliage)!
Mama Cass shadow picture!

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