Saturday, May 7, 2016

Who Wouldn't Want to Ride a Road Called Poodle Creek?

I'm back in Eugene spending time with My Sweet Baboo (and my son and daughter-in-law too, of course). Last time I was down, I did a ride north. When I got back to the house, I looked at the route. I saw that if I had turned left onto Hwy 36 (aka the Mapleton-Junction City Hwy), I would have come to Poodle Creek Rd. I had seen the other end of Poodle Creek off Hwy 126 (aka the Florence-Eugene Hwy). With a name like Poodle Creek, who wouldn't want to ride that road??? I mapped out a 61 mile route to include all of Poodle Creek Rd (I'd be sure to see some poodles if I rode the whole thing, right?).

I left the house at about 8:45. The forecast was for sunny skies and 81 degrees. It was already 63 when I left, so no need for leg warmers. I had my sun sleeves on, though. This was going to a rather long ride as I was riding Stella, my Cannondale t2 touring bike. Of course, I've ridden her many more miles than 61, but not for a really long time. 

I headed west the usual way via the Fern Ridge Trail to Greenhill Rd. Along the trail, I saw this heron waiting for something delicious to come swimming over the waterfall.
Must not have found much because 40+ miles later when I was coming back, it was still there.

When I turned off Greenhill onto Bodenhamer, I saw a bunch of cyclists coming the other direction. Maybe sometime when I'm down here I should see if there is a bike club (I'm sure there is) and what kind of group rides they have. Could be fun...

I also saw a bunch of turkeys out in a field. A couple of big toms too.
Not the best picture, but I didn't have my turkey caller to get them to come closer. 

It was a great day for seeing all kinds of birds. Besides the turkeys and the heron, I saw quail go scuttling into the bushes, several red-wing blackbirds, and lots of hawks circling over the fields. Speaking of fields, does anyone know what is growing here?

As I was riding on Clear Lake Rd near the Fern Ridge Reservoir, I saw a log in the water with a bunch of turtles sunning themselves. I stopped to take a picture, but all but one brave soul plopped into the water.
See the brave one?

As I was riding past the park, a guy came riding up alongside me. He asked where I was riding today. I told him about Poodle Creek Rd. He said that is a popular route, but they usually go up Poodle Creek from the other end. Up? That sounds like I'll be going down! Okay by me! His buddy caught up, and they took off, riding faster than I was on Stella.

At Territorial Hwy, Clear Lake Rd becomes Lawrence Rd after crossing the hwy. Now I was on a new road for me. I could still see the guys for awhile, then the road started gradually climbing. It was a fairly long climb. As is usually the case in this area, there was an equally nice downhill on the other side. Before long, I came to Hwy 36. I turned left to continue heading to Poodle Creek Rd. The hwy was kind of busy, and there wasn't much shoulder. I hoped I wouldn't be on it too long, but when I looked to my left, all I could see were hills, mountainy-like hills. As much as I wanted to be off the hwy, I was hoping I wouldn't have to climb over any of those hills! 

It seemed like there was a break in the hills. Sure enough, I came to the turn onto Poodle Creek. Notice on the sign above, it also says Noti 8. Noti was on the other side of Hwy 126, so Poodle Creek Rd must not be very long. It ended up being about 7 miles. I didn't see any poodles, but maybe this was the actual Poodle Creek.

Although it was a nice road, there weren't any particularly long or epic downhills.
In fact, this was uphill.

I came out to Hwy 126, and did a little jog left then right onto Noti Loop Rd. Right after I got onto Noti Loop, I saw this fella in the middle of the road.
Knowing he was bound to get squished, I helped him off the road to a safer location. Yes, I know, turtles being turtles, and liking to sun themselves on warm roads, I probably only prolonged his life a little bit more...

When I came into Noti, there was a market, so I stopped and had an ice cream bar. The primary industry in Noti appears to be timber.
The market, and a big pile of logs being kept wet by sprinklers.

The road next to the market was also where I wanted to turn. I knew where Vaughn Rd came out (in Crow), but I'd never been on it. It was a nice rolling road with very little traffic.

Nice green fields.

I came out to Territorial Hwy (it really winds around) at Crow. I didn't want to ride Territorial Hwy as I have been on it many times. Vaughn Rd became Central Rd...and went up a big hill. Oh well, I was on Stella, and she has pretty low gears. The climb wasn't terribly long, and, as usual, the downhill was nice on the other side. When I was planning the route, I think I was going to somehow connect to Greenhill Rd without going on 126 (except to cross it). None of the roads off Central rang a bell. I ended up on 126. It was the most unpleasant portion of today's ride; lots of traffic, and not the biggest shoulder. I was on it for about 4 miles or so before I came to Greenhill Rd, and could turn off it. 

Once on Greenhill, I just rode to the end of the Fern Ridge Trail, and rode the trail back into Eugene the way I had gone out. It was a beautiful day for a ride, and I actually enjoyed being on Stella. She's not the fastest girl (average speed 13.7), but she is comfortable to ride.

No comments: