Fall Photos, Ramblings

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This first set of photos is from a coast trip I took with some friends back in October. We took OR-6 out with a detour into the forest part way. This wound up being a great way to do it, although we did lose our way and had to hop back out to the highway somewhat prematurely. This day of riding was especially memorable due to extreme wind and rain. I was actually blown off my bike at the top of Cape Meares (which is still closed to cars and super nice to ride, by the way). Luckily it was pretty warm, and we had a dry cabin to stay at.

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Chris, Clayton, and Geoff prepared a wonderful feast for us, including vegan chili and tater tots. We listened to the MusicChoice Easy Listening station and played a round of Evolution before turning in for the night. We decided to get an early start around 10am...

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We took the Nestucca River route home, which was still closed to cars but passable on bike. This meant virtually zero traffic the whole way. We had on and off rain all day and occasional glimpses at a deep blue sky behind the great cotton ball clouds. It was a perfect fall overnighter.

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Above, Geoff tosses a pizza crust. You read right, he baked four pizzas while camping, including a gluten-free one just for me. What a guy!

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Above: that's Malcolm, he's a puppet and he's good at karaoke. I like to have him sing My Heart Will Go On. Below: the best part about camping is hanging out at the picnic table in the morning. It was another late start. We are a bunch of night owls.

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This last set of pictures is from a solo scouting ride I did. The general idea was to find some more fun ways of getting to the Cougar area. It was great, except that the stretch along the Kalama River wound up being on Weyerhauser land (I have since learned that they have a map of their holdings online). Above: the first part of the route uses a section of the Silver Star Prison Break route, which I would highly recommend.

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The Yale Bridge is my favorite bridge in the whole world. On my first organized brevet,  I remember bombing down to it in the aero tuck, trying to hang with Michael P. and Chris W. and being blown away by it. It just comes out of nowhere.

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From Cougar, I rode up to Merrill Lake, which looks like a great place to camp. It's out of the way, and not super popular. It was super windy when I rode through.

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The final stretch along the Kalama river was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, it's on Weyerhauser land and requries a $75 permit. It does make a much safer connection back to the Columbia than riding on highway 503. Next time, I might be tempted to head southeast, and return via the gorge (especially when the historic highway trail opens up again).

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Looking forward, the Evergreen Grinder is going to be tons of fun. At least three of us are planning on heading up, maybe more. I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends, and meeting some new ones.