Getting One Last One In
Friends, it's been quite the season for the bike tour around Urban Adventure League HQ. Besides the two longer tours (2 weeks mostly solo in Eastern Oregon, early June, and 1 1/2 weeks w/April around the Olympic Peninsula, late July), I've managed to swing a 2-4 day "short" tour practically every other week since Pedalpalooza. Besides old faves like Cape Lookout on the coast, we've hit up Astoria/Cape Disappointment, the south side of St. Helens, and up the Clackamas River to Mt. Hood. April and I even managed to do half of Cycle Wild's week-long tour in mid-September, heading out to the coast and back inland through the sweeeetest route between Newport and Corvallis.
And now it's October. The rains are coming, the days are getting short. But I feel the itch to get one last one before hanging it up for the season.
As for where to go, the destination is obvious to me: the Gorge. Despite being my favorite local touring destination, a spot I usually hit up 2-3 times for camping (plus one to three "just a day ride" trips), I only managed to get out there once in the summer, a one-day trip to Ainsworth (part of my Pedalpalooza Gorge ride). And I have three days to play with this coming week, with the weather looking good (partly sunny, high 65 F).
And I have to get out quick! While most of the campgrounds around Portland are open year-round, the ones in the Columbia Gorge do close for the season. The National Forest ones (like Eagle Creek) already appear closed, and the Oregon state ones (like Ainsworth) close "in October". But of course the state website is vague about WHEN in October they close, so the longer I wait in the month, the less chance they'll be open (as I learned once, a few years back.)
And that should be it. The winter will be the time that I'll start all my wild schemes for touring in 2011!
Oh yeah: If you are interested in learning about camping in the off-season, Matt Picio of Cycle Wild will be having a Winter Bike Camping Workshop at the Hawthorne Hostel (3031 SE Hawthorne Blvd) next Saturday October 16th from 4-6pm. The workshop is FREE!