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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hood-Adams-Helens Tour, Days 1 and 2: Tues 10 and Wed 11 July

A funny thing happened on the way out to the MAX station before the ride...

I noticed a weird squeaking noise under my saddle during the ride. At first I wrote it off as spring noise (my LHT has a sprung Brooks Champion Flyer) as it has made it before. But this time it sounded...different. And just before the Hollywood MAX station my saddle came undone. This is when I realized that the bolt holding saddle clamp to seat post had broken into two. Oops. Not a common thing to break, but also something that happened to me before.

Oh well. At least it happened in town, not on the side of the road on the climb to Lolo Pass. I ran over to Velo Cult, but they didn't have a replacement bolt. So off to the hardware store where they did have one.

All in all this business delayed us by 45 minutes, meaning I was late to the ride I was supposed to lead. Nevertheless, Matt P. got any folks who were meeting at the MAX stop, so after getting off the MAX ourselves we met the group of five at the Fred Meyer in Gresham.

The 12 miles of riding from Freddies to Dodge park were mostly good. Nice scenic and pleasant riding with gentle uphills and a nice drop down to the Sandy River. But notice I said mostly. Some punk ass kids in a burgundy Pontiac Bonneville decided to throw an empty box of Voodoo Doughnuts* and a bottle of water at us. WTF? It's been a long time since I've had shit thrown at us from a car. Not fun.

We made it to Dodge Park before dark (for a change.) This new campground owned by the Portland Water Bureau was pretty empty so the crew took up two spots. Dodge Park itself was pretty nice with walks along both the Sandy and Bull Run Rivers. We hung out around the fire until we were all done.

In the morning the rest of the group went back in drips and drabs while April and I lingered a bit and then headed eastward towards Mount Hood. We had quite a bit of climbing for about the first 8 miles, as we climbed up over the ridge between the Sandy and Bull Run valleys known as The Devil's Backbone. It was worth it, as the traffic was virtually non-existent and we either travelled under a canopy of trees or had expansive views. After 15 miles we turned onto US 26. We were very hungry and hot when we got to Welches, where we both wolfed down wraps, bought a shit-ton of local berries, and got other supplies at a grocery store.

From there it was a quiet 5 miles of riding on Forest Service road along the Salmon River into Mount Hood National Forest, where we set up camp at Green Canyon campground. Wednesday night's camping experience was much more wild than Tuesday's at Dodge Park. It doesn't hurt that we were surrounded by actual wilderness, as the road and campground are literally surrounded by the federally protected Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. And we fell asleep to the sound of a rushing river...

Day 1, Tues 7/10/12: Cleveland Ave. MAX, Gresham to Dodge Park near Sandy
13.8 miles
11.2 avg. speed
1:14 saddle time

Day 2, Wed 7/11/12: to Green Canyon campground, Mt. Hood National Forest
24.8 miles
9.6 avg. speed
2:36 saddle time

*If I didn't know any better I would think it was a clever way for Tres Shannon and "Cat Daddy" to market their wares.

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