Saturday, July 4, 2015

Day 16--Hot Springs and Warm Lake

I went to bed really early last night (for lack of anything better to do...and I was a bit tired). Consequently, I woke up at 5:00. I laid there for awhile, but then thought I may as well get up (also, my pillow had mysteriously deflated during the night). It was actually quite cool this morning. I even put my jacket on!

I was on the road at 7:00. I was on the lookout for Teapot Hot Spring. It's, supposedly, a soakable pool at the river's edge. Welł, I never saw it. The next one was Mile16 Hot Spring. It was supposed to be between Milepost 15 and 16. I passed 17, but never saw a sign for MP 16. I knew I had to be getting close. There was a pullout from the road, and a set of stairs. I figured, although there was no sign, this must be it. I jackknifed MC and JP, and walked the trail down to the river. It was a very steep trail. My bike shoes were, perhaps, not the best footwear.

As I worked my way down, I saw there was a guy just getting out of a pool of water. Ah ha, I was in the right place! 
The water was very hot. There was a pool just below, but that was cold from the river water. I took off my shoes and socks, and my baggy shorts. At first the water was too hot, but finally I got used to it. It felt good on my heat-rashed, hairy legs. 
Nice hot spring water. After a bit, I got out, let my legs dry a little, and put my shoes and socks back on for the hike back up.

Back on the bike, I began the climb up to Poverty Summit. I'd go up for awhile, then I'd come down a little, then back up. I kept thinking I was at the summit. But then, I'd resume climbing. I got very good at knowing if the hill was at least 8% grade (I could tell by how slowly I was pedaling). I spent much of the morning in super granny gear. The views were pretty though.

Finally, I knew I was at the summit. There wasn't a summit sign, but the place was called Poverty Overlook. Here's a panorama from the overlook.

From there I had a some real downhill. But, before I could relax too much, I was climbing again...*sigh*.
Just before the end of FS 674 (or 474 depending on which sign you look at), it flattened out some.
The "stick" forest in the distance. There was a major fire in 2001.

I came to a stop sign and turned onto a two-lane road for about .6 miles. Then I turned onto a gravel road. This was my only gravel for today.
This road took me to North Shore at Warm Lake. Here there are 4 campgrounds (all pretty small, except Shoreline). I'm at Picnic Point, a walk-in campground of 8 sites. Only 5 and 8 were still available. I'm on Site 8, and it is quite nice. Site 5 had a view of the lake, but no shade. I treated myself to lunch at the lodge (nothing fancy here, and not a big place). While I was eating lunch, a couple I had seen at Poverty Overlook came in. I said hi again. They are brother and sister, Tony and Angela. I think they are staying in one of the cabins. After I set up my camp, I went for a swim in the lake. There I met Lisa and her son Dylan. Lisa is a flight attendant based in Seattle. They have friends who have a cabin here.
Warm Lake (curiously, not that warm--of course, not that cold either. I think it should be called Tepid Lake).

This area, the lake and the route I rode today, is all about the salmon right now. Everyone I saw today was fishing, or looking to fish. I didn't see anyone catching any, though. I guess it's the thrill of the hunt. There were RVs, campers, and tents parked all along the edge of the road. There are a lot of campgrounds, but most people seem to just park on the road next to the river (I believe roadside camping is free).
Picnic Point CG. My site to the right.

I didn't go as far as I was supposed to today. Since I climbed for most of the day, and next up is the climb to Warm Lake Summit, I just didn't feel like doing that 7 mile climb. We'll see where I end up tomorrow. After some more pavement, I'll be back on the dirt.

Total Miles today: 27.3
Average speed: 6.02

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