Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 3 - Legs F, G, & H - Clearwater to Finish

Rising around 7:30am after a very refreshing night's sleep, the camp was barely stirring. Riding these dual sport routes takes a lot of energy and the rest was really needed. We all prepared our various breakfasts and I found a skateboard in the bushes and it provided a little morning entertainment.

Here's Paul from TouraTech showing how to do it solo and behind a bike.

Even yours truly got in on the action.

Of course the skateboard wouldn't go anywhere in the sand!

Finally around 9:30am, we got back on the road to ride once again. Could getting a late start have consequences? Stay tuned!

Here's some riders coming up a series of twisties and what's with the sign? Road closure! What would that mean?

Along the way Rick and I took each other's pictures. Bart was riding ahead of us at this point.

Dave, the ride organizer tried to keep the group "somewhat" together and at one of our re-grouping spots, I caught the following picture of a "few" zip ties.

This fellow could really ride his bike despite its look.

Turning onto and following the north shore of the Lake Quinault Road, I passed by this nice chainsaw carving.

Then I came upon a long wooden bridge that helped to keep the larger RV's off of this road.

Throughout the ride I also saw a number wild fern plants, but finally stopped to photograph some.

I'm now on the South Shore Road and there are two very scenic waterfalls that begged to be photographed. The first one is in the gravel section and I had never seen it before. The second one is on the pavement section and I have pictures of my Wing in front of it.

Arriving at Quinault, I refueled the bike and grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Quinault merchantile store (multi-bean soup & a cheese sandwich) as the others had been there some time and my pace was slower as I was taking a fair number of pictures.

Leaving Quinault, we were about to finish Leg F, and start our trek west towards Lake Wynoochee and Hoodsport. After climbing using the Quinault Ridge Road, we encountered one of several washouts. I found these interesting and one can't fully appreciate how big some of these are.

We made our way to Lake Wynooche and our river crossing.

This was the only river crossing of the trip and it is accessed by a ride down a very overgrown former logging road which terminates at a rocky gravel bar. Fortunately the water level was down and we proceeded to cross the river.

Climbing back up we were now on Leg H (we had to skip side trip T, but more on that later), and we caught a view of Lake Wynooche.

Darkness was now pressing us because of our late start and the number of earlier picture stops, so there are only a couple more pictures.

Arriving at the Brown Creek Campground in the dark, we were presented with a series of tanktraps. Rick bailed from the ride and headed for home in Kalama, I got some help getting over the first tank trap and then rode past a major washout where I met Bart who had ridden over 3 tank traps but couldn't figure out the route in the dark. So we elected to return to the Brown Creek Campground and take the FS23 road back to civilization.

Bart and took a break at the US101 intersection with the Purdy Cutoff road and then re-aired our tires a short while later before catching a very late ferry to Seattle from Southworth.

While taking the ferry, we marvelled about the route and tentatively decided that we needed to return and re-ride the last two legs along with side route T in the daylight. We weren't sure when we could do it, but the seed was planted. It had been a great 3 days of riding. Bart and I became riding friends and we dreamed together the possibilities of doing future rides. Thanks go to David McKay for putting together the GripTwister tour. It's a terrific way to see the Olympic Peninsula from a dual sport perspective.

When would we return?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday - Day 2 - Legs D, E, & F

After a short night of sleep, I awoke at around 7:30 and was able to greet many of the riders that I hadn't seen the night before. Many were amazed that we rode in the dark and came in so late.

I brewed up a cup of tea using my very small alcohol burning ADVRider stove. Note the flames under the steel cup.

(Note to self: "Don't handle the cup after heating water this way!"

Heading up Route D, we came across this cool old water tank.

You can see that the road was paved. There are many sections like this throughout the Peninsula and it's a welcome relief from riding some of the gravel sections. Speaking of gravel, the gravel in the north and east portions of the ride tended to be on round gravel, while the gravel on the south and west sections tended to be crushed and much easier to ride on.

There were a lot of elevation gains in this section and lots of photo opportunities.

And here's Bart riding in "Scout position".

We leapfrogged with Ian from Touratech on his Triumph Tiger. Here he's doing his best Lewis & Clark pose and seems to like the ride.

Of course, what ride report from the Olympic Peninsula could leave out some flower or logging residue pictures?

And some more mountains

Riding out of the mountains, we found ourselves in Forks for a little fuel stop and a time to eat. Forks has gained recent notariety as the setting for a series of Twilight books about a Vampire named Edward and his teenage girlfriend, Bella. The town is clearly capitalizing on the trend. By the way, the Twilight sandwich was very good.

Here's David, Dan, and Ian.

Riding up the Clearwater Road, we came across these unusual mile marker signs. I wonder what they mean?

Unless you've ridden this road before, you wouldn't know that there is a correctional facility along this road and there is dense underbrush on both sides of the road that the escapees wouldn't even attempt to traverse. So they come out on the road and having 1/2 mile markers helps pinpoint them when pedestrians are reported to search parties as being on the road.

The rest of the day's ride took us up and over several saddles before dropping down into the Upper Clearwater Campground where we were to camp for the night. It was a very tranquil scene and it was good to arrive around 4pm and be able to set up camp for the night in the daylight.

Here's the bridge that spans the river. Those beams are laminated wood and note the rope swing that's available to use on those warm summer days.

One of the riders, Rick, camped with his Hennessy Hammock and it was impressive in how easy it was to set up and the sheer comfort.

The river was nearby.

Not a bad view out of my tent!

While we waited for riders to arrive, there was a little "shrimp on the barbie" to be prepared and eaten.

Walking around the campground, I came across this little mushroom.

Then the hunters who were camped across the campground from us brought by some great treats (elk jerky, dried salmon, and pickled vegetables) which were enjoyed by all.

Eventually all of the riders showed up. Dinner and libations and some rousing stories were enjoyed around a blazing campfire before we retired to our tents and a good night's sleep. We still had one more day of riding and much of that 3rd day's route I had not previously ridden.