The Final Gravelpalooza of the Season, and the Perfect Quote for the Day
Today was Joy Ride Bikes' Gravelpalooza 14, the last one of the season. Today would be epic! We would climb to the top of Capital Peak! The views would be spectacular! There would vistas along the way where you could look back and see Olympia and Puget Sound. You'd be able to see Mt. Rainier in all its glory! There were even two epic options: 30 miles starting from the intersection of Waddell Creek and Sherman Valley roads (the Y), or a 60 miler starting all the way back at the Skep in town (I'll admit, 60 sounds way more epic than 30). The 60 milers would meet us 30 milers at the Y (they started at 9:00, we started at 10:00). To top it off, Joy Ride was going all out and providing food and beverages! THIS WAS GONNA BE AWESOME!!! The only problem was that someone neglected to order up some sunshine from the Weather Gods. Instead, we got the default weather of...rain, rain, and more rain. Well, what else is new?
There was a pretty good size group. I didn't do a total head count, but there were 8 women! I think that's pretty good! We headed off toward the C-line. As the fellas of "Tim's World", gravel riders extraordinaire, say, "It's ALLLLL UPHILLLLLL!" Yes, from the parking area, and for 7.5 miles, it is all climbing. At one point as I was pedaling along with Kalen, I told him it seemed like we had been climbing forever--it had only been 5.4 miles! I think it was maybe on C7000 where most of us finally had to walk. Then, the last push up to the peak was just that...a pusher! But...we made it! Of course, due to rather limited visability, those of us (okay, me) who had never been there before, didn't realize we were at the top until we were practically there! We only spent enough time at the towers to take a few photos. Tim took this one of me and Andy.
Me and Andy at the towers of Capital Peak
It was also a little breezy at the top, so we headed back down. The original plan of epicness had been to descend to Mima Falls trailhead for some food and beverages, then ride back to the cars. However, due to the fact that it was raining, and it seemed like we were smack dab back in the middle of winter (minus the snow), we just took the C-Line back down. Brian had moved the location of the tent with refreshments (and most importantly, a heater!!!) close to the Falls Creek turnoff. While we were standing there, shivering, eating sausages, and various other delicious goodies, I heard one of the guys say through chattering teeth, "What is this, a Parkinson's convention?" Not to belittle a terrible disease, but it was a perfect quote for the day!A special shout-out to Brian Koder for cutting his ride short to set up this amazing food stop for us! Now I can say I've been to "The Peak". I'll have to wait until next time before I can say I've seen the "View from The Peak"!