All the rigs getting packed. Mine is done!
Goodbye Cabin! See ya next year (hopefully)!
All week I had been able to avoid going up the steep part of the Chumstick. Not today. It's not that bad, just a bit over a mile. Then it's downhill all the way to Leavenworth (more than makes up for the climb)!
In Leavenworth, I stopped at Safeway to restock food. I didn't have to get much because I'd been able to take some of the leftover food from the cabin (we always bring enough for a small army).
Back on Hwy 2, I noticed there was much more shoulder on the eastbound side. I guess this is the first time I've ridden this section in this direction. It was much nicer...until they added a rumble strip. It wasn't the worst (not like Hwy 95 out of Moscow, Idaho).
I took the exit to Hwy 97, to head over Blewett Pass. Hwy 97 was quite warm, and hardly any shade. The incline, however, was not bad. I knew I had to go by Blu-Shastin RV Park before getting to Scotty Creek Rd/Old Blewett. I had stayed there when I last rode to the cabin (via the Coast and Eugene aka, "The Long Way to the Cabin Tour"). It seemed to be further than I remembered, but I finally rode by it (slightly envious of the people swimming in the pool--did I mention it was hot?). I was keeping my eyes peeled for Scotty Creek Rd. Riding, riding, riding... Finally, I had to stop in a patch of shade to eat something (nothing like standing on the side of the highway eating an apple with peanutbutter).
I continued riding, but I was beginning to think I had somehow missed the turn onto Scotty Creek....or was I supposed to turn on Ingalls Creek? No, I was absolutely positive it was Scotty Creek. The climbing wasn't too bad, but I was just one gear down from super granny. I'd already gone through 3 bottles of water (because it was pretty darn hot)! What was great, though, was that since I had placed all but one bottle in the freezer last night (the other in the fridge), I still had ice!
I was pretty convinced I had missed the turn. I don't know how, but I did not remember it being so far up Hwy 97 to get to Scotty Creek. I was to the point of deciding my blog post would begin with a photo at the Blewett Pass Summit sign along 97, with a caption saying, "What's wrong with this picture?" By the way, the purpose for going over Old Blewett is that it is shorter, less elevation, virtually no cars, and much more shade. A winner all the way around. Oh well, I'd still have the descent...
Then...I saw it, the sign for Scotty Creek Rd/Old Blewett! What the heck? How did I not remember it was this far up 97? I guess, since the last time I was going the other direction, my mind did not register how many miles I went downhill before getting to Blu-Shastin and, since Kyle and I had last done it this direction in 2009...serious bad remembering!
Finally off 97 and on Old Blewett (at almost 31 miles from the cabin).
What I did remember was, from this side, the climb was 6 miles. Like I said, at least there was more shade. By the time I reached the summit, I was down to my last bottle of water (no more ice, but still cold). I wasn't too worried as I knew, from the summit, it was all downhill to Mineral Springs.
200 meters to go until the summit. In racing, we call this the "Zoom"...yeah, there was no zooming.
Now you can see it.
On the way down, I had to stop to take this photo.
The descent was fine, just had to watch for potholes. Back out on 97, I only had 4 1/2 miles to Mineral Springs Campground, still going downhill. Across from the campground, there used to be a pretty good restaurant. Sadly, it has been closed for a couple of years now. It's for sale. At least I wasn't counting on it for dinner.
Total miles today: 45.5
Average speed: 8.64