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Thread: Lunch Ride: Find the Mountains

  1. #1
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Lunch Ride: Find the Mountains


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    Part 1:

    Still in my pijamas, I had survived three conference calls and run out of design ideas for the latest project. The sun was shining and it was lunch time. If I was only gone for an hour or so, I could afford to spend some time on the bike. If there were ever a truth, it is that Sun in spring in Portland should never be squandered. Giddy Up.

    East out of the city, I turned up along the Sandy River. The fishermen were out in droves. Pickups and american cars lined the road in every direction. My destination was Larch Mountain, a vista point with spectacular views of the Cascades. On such a clear day, you can see a half dozen or more volcanoes rising high and white above a sea of green forest.



    The view from one of my favorite vista points, the gorge as beautiful as ever. Down in the gorge, shadows layer upon shadows, trees upon rock and moss and fern. The wind pushes in, funneled by the mountains and hills and bluffs. Water squeezed and drained from snow fields miles up and rain from minutes or hours earlier. Time is tangible in the decay and forgotten in the urgent growth. Up high on the bluffs that define it, you can see the gorge for what it is, a massive cut through a mountain range - the Cascades. Here the the Columbia River has bisected these mountains for millennia, exposing their history, laying open a story of two ranges of volcanoes, one, the rumbling peaks of today, built on a much older one, both built on vast ancient basalt flows from hundreds of miles away in Idaho. From the rocks at the base of the cliffs, to the crumpled lava and ash at the tops of the peaks, you are looking at moments in time from 15 millions years ago to the present. This is one of those places where the making of the world is seen. And it is but a short ride from my home.



    part 2 coming soon...
    scott conary - BMW... err...umm... bikes are dangerous
    portland, oregon
    www.scottconary.com | new paintings

  2. #2
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Part 2:

    Up and up the pavement to Larch Mountain went with little more than trees and lumber roads along its sides. Seven miles from the top it was still closed by snow - not that I saw more than a hint of it. A confused road crew standing around a bright orange truck blocking the way waved me back. I'll have to wait to see the mountains. Back down the hill I went.

    I'll figure this, shooting from a moving bike, soon enough. Left, right, left, right, the road curved.









    With the day not going as planned, I decided to see where one of the side roads went. The view from one bluff across the river to another. Snow lined the higher reaches, where the bluffs gave way to the foothills of Mt.St.Helens and Mt.Adams.



    part 3 coming soon...
    scott conary - BMW... err...umm... bikes are dangerous
    portland, oregon
    www.scottconary.com | new paintings

  3. #3
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    Thanks Knary, you write well, take great pictures, and have some really great riding. Keep posting!

  4. #4
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Once again Scott, I am wowwwed. Very cool, thanks for sharing.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up thanks also

    Knary, that last pic of the road looks like you were riding between to big green walls with all those tall trees lining the roadway. I agree with lorazepam about the great riding you have up there just keep the ride reports coming. IHCB

  6. #6
    Registered User ian408's Avatar
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    Great job!

    How long were you really gone

    Ian

  7. #7
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Part 3:

    Ok. Gravel road down the side of a bluff? if I have to. I can only guess that the road is maintained as a throughway to the power lines. Undoubtedly it was once a regular road used by regular people supplying the small lumber town. There were no houses and no exits but down.



    Need a car?



    Young(?) Creek created the deep V in the volcanic rock and soil.



    While the creek dropped fast down into the valley, the path cut through the trees hugged the hillside. This was old Page Mill Road, leading down to Bridal Veil, a one time lumber community. Presumably the fast falling water once powered a mill.



    part 4 coming soon...
    scott conary - BMW... err...umm... bikes are dangerous
    portland, oregon
    www.scottconary.com | new paintings

  8. #8
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Part 4:

    Remember to turn off your ABS. I didn't after a stop and the clatter and whir of the ABS was often the only hint that I was trying to use the brakes. It's steeper and narrower than it looks, and the 'bottom' was hundreds of feet below. Not being able to slow down can be a problem.



    Mountain Juice, fresh squeezed, not from concentrate.



    It was truly horrible. A narrow gravel road winding along the steep side of a valley cut into an ancient volcanic bluff with a view out the west end of the gorge cut by one of the continent's great rivers. I wished I was back at home in front of the computer.





    It was even sorta sunny and warm. It really did suck.



    part 5 coming soon...
    scott conary - BMW... err...umm... bikes are dangerous
    portland, oregon
    www.scottconary.com | new paintings

  9. #9
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Part 5/Conclusion (of sorts):

    Art shot - bike in trees. Be the moss.



    Shopping for a house? I've got some quality historic real estate with view for you.



    In the waning afternoon, I dashed up the back and forth of curves that is the historic Columbia highway, a road most used to access a score of waterfalls that roar with water and tourists all year long. I briefly met a couple of older fellows - one on a shiny new red SV650 and one on a KTM LC4. We were all smiling about the crappy day. The KTM rider bitched about how poorly his bike handles dirt and gravel until he spied my filthy GS. On the positive side, it's always nice to see someone doing their own thing - the SV's rear tire was entirely chicken strip (Yes, I know, who cares about juvenile locker room posturing. I don't. But it is interesting to think about how once can ride a bike through curves without leaning).



    Looking west. It was time to head home, still hungry, after the three hour lunch. Though I hadn't managed to see the mountains and horizons, anytime away from the noise is precious. And that I hadn't found those vistas was enough excuse for another ride. I wonder how many conference calls I missed.



    Next...I found some of the mountains. I wonder when I'll manage to post that...
    scott conary - BMW... err...umm... bikes are dangerous
    portland, oregon
    www.scottconary.com | new paintings

  10. #10
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Re: thanks also

    Originally posted by IRONHORSECOWBOY
    Knary, that last pic of the road looks like you were riding between to big green walls with all those tall trees lining the roadway. I agree with lorazepam about the great riding you have up there just keep the ride reports coming. IHCB
    Thanks guys for the positive feedback.
    I love how I can find new things in my backyard without even trying.

    Ironhorsecowboy,
    Great observation. It's one of the failings of doing it through photos these days. I don't think I see as much as when it was all done with words.


    The followup ride was much better. I'll get it together soon.
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    scott conary - BMW... err...umm... bikes are dangerous
    portland, oregon
    www.scottconary.com | new paintings

  11. #11
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    Nicely done

    Thanks. Gonna have to try one of them hour lunch trips myself some day.
    Don't winterize; Rounderize!
    www.yearroundriders.com

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