Sunday, June 2, 2024

Another Weekend…Another Bikepacking Trip!

Olympic Bridges Overnighter-Day 1

The peeps for this trip were Piper, who organized the ride, Deb, who generously came and picked me up, Karen, Nicole, and Cathy. I only knew Piper and Deb, so it was fun to meet new friends. 

Getting ready. 

Nicole, Karen,Deb, Cathy, Piper, and me. 

The weather forecast was better for Saturday, so we reversed the route to do the longer miles in better weather. It made for a bit more climbing, but also some awesome downhill. Plus, tomorrow will be short, and mostly downhill (likely in the rain).

We started from the Vance Creek Viaduct Trailhead somewhere around 10:30. 

I was, as usual, the slowest. Billy is not the lightest, but that is merely an excuse. These women are strong riders. 

There was a brief moment of some spitting rain…enough to put rain jackets on, which meant, of course it stopped. 

Spider Lake

Almost to the campground. 

We stopped periodically to snack (and wait for me to catch up), and still arrived at Brown Creek Campground fairly early. I think we were all a little worried it might start raining, so we all wanted to get our tents up while it was dry. 

We found a spot that would accommodate 6 tents. 

And, of course, a picnic table!

There is a water pump and potty shacks. At first we didn’t think the pump worked, but it just needed more priming (pumping). No need to filter. 

Piper and Nicole went for another 10 miles for fun. Once they returned, it was reasonably late enough for dinner. 

Post dinner, we walked around the pond on the nature trail. 

And now for a hike!

Some big ol’ maples!

The mosquitoes drove most of us into our tents. Now we’ll see how long before the rain starts…

Day 2

Lo and behold, it did not rain overnight! In fact, we were able to get our tents and gear packed up, and breakfast cooked and eaten with no rain! Just as we were ready to go at about 8:15, it started raining. If there was no way to avoid it, this was perfect. I put my rain jacket and rain shorts on, along with my Showers Pass gloves at the campground. I opted to not put the gaiters on. If we had been camping again tonight, I would have put the them on because my lower legs were pretty grimy at the end. 

We had the steepest climb of the trip right out of Brown Creek CG. No one was warmed up. There was some walking. I was grateful for Billy’s easy gear, and managed to ride it, wheezing like a donkey, of course! 

We just had about 13 miles back to the cars. There was an out and back to Lake Cushman, but there was no point in doing that in the rain. Would have been awesome on a hot day. 

We made our way to the High Steel Bridge. 

Long way down!

Piper, Cathy, and Deb

The other side. 

We didn’t go to the Vance Creek Viaduct train bridge. If we were going to do that, we would have needed to do it yesterday at the beginning. I didn’t care one way or the other as I have been out there before. I don’t know if everyone else had been there before too. 

We arrived pretty wet at the cars. We were quite speedy getting bikes unloaded and on bike racks. 

This was a great weekend! While I do really like the longer trips (more bang for the packing prep), these overnights are fun too. I thoroughly enjoyed spending the weekend with these wonderful women! A special thanks to Deb for picking me up and bringing me home. If not for her, I would have likely not been able to go (or unwilling to ride the extra distance to and from the start). 

Day 1 Route. 

Day 2