HighFive Cascade Mountain Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by cyborg, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    It starts like this... a couple of years ago over on the monster WR250R thread, a certain inmate who goes by HighFive (HF) was an early and very active contributor and has given a lot of helpful information to many there. I got one of those WR250R DS bikes and proceeded to learn all I could over in the WRR thread. After some back and forthing, in posts and PM's it turns out HF was coming to the Seattle area on a trip with his daughter and he wanted to sample a bit of the views and greenery of the Pacific Northwest. I offered my WR250R for HF to ride and I would ride my Aprilia RXV550. A date was set and plans made for the ride, 7/16/10. HighFive would bring his riding gear, and I would provide transportation and bikes to ride.

    Of course best laid plans... my Aprilia had a clutch problem just days before the ride and the part I needed would take too long to get, so it was out of commission. :baldy Asking around (OK, begging, pleading, groveling etc...) one of my riding friends Damon loaned me his Enduro racebike, a KTM EXC200, for a day. Whew! Thanks Damon! Saved by the bell. :clap

    So, hmm, where to take him? The closest area I or other rider friends I knew could think of was the Wenatchee National Forest: Maverick Saddle/Mad Lake/Klone Peak area, scenic and not too brutal. A day before the ride I called the Wenatchee Ranger Station only to find out the areas I wanted to ride were still seasonally closed, very late Spring this year. Argh! Another Seattle area inmate ThrottleThrill made the suggestion to try the area near Cashmere, WA - Devils Gulch trails: Sand Creek, Red Hill, Tronson Ridge. Good elevation gain, scenic, real single-trail and open. I printed the map, collected all the gear, loaded the bikes and waited for HigFive to show up the next morning...

    Yes we trailered, I don't know about you, but 2.5 hours of pavement each way on a KTM 200 EXC only very marginally plated...do I need explain more?

    It was a good day.

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    HighFive, you're up...
    #1
  2. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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  3. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

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  4. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Aaaah....Seattle....yes indeed. Still feels like yesterday.

    Yeah, that's what I meant. I'm still sore, nearly a week later. Gettin old, I reckon. :gerg

    Funny how two people can have such different vantage points of the same situation. Cyborg is right....we met on the WRR Monster Thread. He kept posting these glorious photos of his heavenly mountain riding areas, and somewhere along the line I popped off my mouth (it happens): "I've got to come ride THAT with you".

    But, it ain't easy getting to the PNW (that's Pacific Northwest for all you Rebels) when living in the center of No Man's Land (that's Oklahoma for all you Yankies). Took a year and some stunning cunning by Hotel Foxtrot to form a PLAN.....convince my kid she reeeeeally needs to check out the University of Washington for college. Cause Momma ain't gonna let her go up there all alone. :deal

    Ever hear of a slow boat from Oklahoma? No? Well, maybe you should put it on your Bucket List. Took a while, but we eventually arrived:

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    And the "Mountain" was out to greet us:

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    That would be the mighty Mt. Rainier. And it doesn't get a suntan very many days in the year. Yes sir, things were looking good.

    So far anyway...

    HF :thumbup
    #4
  5. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Now here's where those vantage points differ...

    Cyborg's been braggin endlessly about his 150 hp dirtbike (RXV550 twin). Ok, maybe it was 75 hp, but when you spend most your time on a $2.50 dualsport with only about 25 hp, its same difference (a Bunch).

    Man, I can't wait to ride that fire-breathing dragon!!! Besides, were just gonna take the tourist route...site see...take it easy on the simple two track and fire roads, and the like. At least that was supposed to be the plan, cause I still had a few days to spend with my daughter hiking around the hills in downtown Seattle. The trip was for her....remember!

    But what's this I find upon arriving at Rancho Cyborg....??


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    :huh That bad boy RXV is parked "on display" like its in the recovery room following surgery....except the doctor failed to finish the procedure!

    And there is a teeny weeny 250cc Smoker on the trailer next to the 300 pound WRR. :eek1

    Now, I may have been born at night....but it wasn't LAST NIGHT. This is the first moment I'm thinking I might be in a little trouble...ok a lot. :patch

    The dude has had a freaking year to get that RXV ready for this day. So, a likely story I think.....clutch burned out a week ago....uh huh...right.

    HF :baby
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    :thumb

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  7. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

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    Im in, Im in, Im in. :ear :ear
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  8. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman PROUD 2B Riff Raff!

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    You were that close and didn't even say one word....

    There is plenty waiting here for you when you come back :nod

    I am in... :lurk
    #8
  9. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Hey it's only a day-ride folks, not a trip across Borneo the hard way. :lol3

    That was a 200cc 2-smoker BTW, HF gettin' confused there. I'll have to admit I was glad it was a light 200cc later...

    One of the askin's of the Oklahoma boy was "not too tough, still have to do things with daughter the next couple of days". I'd never ridden the area we were going before so of course I couldn't say how tough it might be.

    We head outta Dodge and for you PNW locals, stop at the Sultan Bakery. Been awhile since I ate there and the "breakfast sandwich" I thought would be small, well...

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    HF only gets a dainty donut.

    I was hungry so...

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    Back on Hwy 2, then we turn off at Cashmere, home of Applets & Cotlets

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    Through town then a backroad headed South, turn at an "interesting junction" (OK, junkyard) and end up at the Sand Creek Trailhead.


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    The day is looking good. Nobody around, yet.
    #9
  10. malibu_dan

    malibu_dan Adventuring Mystic

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    :lol3
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  11. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Why....you're right, Cyborg. YOU in fact WERE riding ON a 200 2-STROKE!

    And, the solo doughnut....I was trying hard not to spot you anymore weight advantage than you already had.

    Folks, do you know what that "200" really stands for? I'll tell ya....200 lbs, that's what! :deal Yup...little squirt has tons of power & torque, so much I don't think its all about the motor size. Just sayin...

    This little orange spider just loves to go vertical....like up that trailhead directly behind Cyborg.

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    Almost time for "Follow the Leader". I was particularly fond of the custom decals:

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    Ain't they purdy? Cyborg was a fine host, I tell ya. He even put them on my horse:

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    It was real snazzy! We looked like a fancy sponsored team on an important expedition into the unknown. Well, except for the fat, old, & balding parts.

    While we were stuck waiting on Cyborg's riding buddy to show up, I spent my time adjusting suspension & setup more to my liking. (I think that's why Cyborg really invited my.....to dial in his WRR for him....but I don't mind).

    Finally, his fashionably late friend arrived....Race Ready:

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    Now, I was reeeeeally getting concerned about the trails in them there woods. :eek1

    HF :photog
    #11
  12. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

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    He does that a lot . . . gettin' old and all . . .
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  13. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    I was worse, trust me, since I'm a bit older than HF... uh, where was I.. after the guy on horseback, the owner of the junkyard, told us about the horses he was running and a bit about the trails then mosied on down the road, HF got back to business setting up the WRR. Honest HF, I was, err, uhm, too busy before you arrived to get the setup done. :augie

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    #13
  14. thumpjump

    thumpjump huh?

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  15. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    I'm in :D
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  16. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Soon enough, we finally got moving up the trail. Everything out here is "UP" as I'm soon to learn. Two miles in, Cyborg has a Senior moment. I have to sit awhile so he can go back to Ground Zero and retrieve his Camelback.

    :augie

    Aaah...here he comes!

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    Ok....up up & away....let's go! What's that...:ear You forgot the tire pump. :huh Well, go get it Captain...

    :snore

    Aah....here he comes (again)!

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    Ok....up up & away....let's go! What? Say again...? :ear You forgot to put the Forest Service Permit on your dashboard. :huh

    Hhhmmm....naughty boy. :nono I say "let's ride!"

    And its all "uphill" from here on.

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    Kind of like a jungle around here. The trails are real steep, and real loose, and keep getting narrower at every turn.

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    Don't know where those "fire roads" went, but I'm liking this. :nod Starting to remind me of the Rainbow Trail in Colorado. The slope is steep and the penalty for a right turn is...maybe...death! My competitive juices are beginning to flow.

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    And this was the "easy stuff". This even looks steep in the photos, don't it? Yeah...it was. But I never took a point (put my foot down). :deal

    Here's Captain Rainier on top.....trying to figure out where we were (or weren't).

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    I had been on point, and he thought we were in the wrong place! :bueller

    Now, I don't know about you, but there were trails going everywhere....and I just kept picking the ones that went "UP". How on earth could this be the wrong place? :dunno Here's a 180 degree view...judge for yourself.

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    But Captain Marble is still trying to figure it out...

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    Even calls a buddy to get us "un-lost". :huh We had Cell Coverage at this spot! Secretly, I'm hoping & praying we can stay "Lost" the rest of the day. A huge bald eagle flew right by me at this spot. Ho-chi-momma!!!

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    HF :thumbup

    p.s. Shouldn't the guy wearing "Blue" pants be riding the Blue bike? At least, I thought so...
    #16
  17. killurtv

    killurtv free range moron

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    SWEET TERRAIN!!! That looks so fun.:clap
    #17
  18. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Yeah, yeah, so I had a very distracted day, not usually THAT forgetful but at least the 3rd time back we needed to anyway, coming back from a 16 mile up and back on "unpublished" trails. At least it was nice trail.


    HF dodges the bushes and trees

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    Back on the published trails again. We take a break.


    Wonder if HF likes the area?

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    Most pix were at rest breaks, HF poses

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    Looks around at the panorama of the Devils Gulch area as we keep heading UP and UP

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    North
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    East
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    SouthEast
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    Next UP...

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    #18
  19. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    You know the trail is narrow and the terrain is mighty steep when one foot is on the trail and the other is up on the wall. Take a close look at that last photo above.

    I'm telling you this was some of the most radically vertical terrain I've experienced. It was like a constant hillclimb that had no end. Warning: you do NOT want to blunder and fall off these trails. A few times, I stopped to survey a hairpin switchback and could almost touch the trail above me with my hand. :eek1

    So, the moral of the story is "Don't Screw Up". There will be little forgiveness offered by these mountains. The "Pucker Factor" is probably a bit high, for most. Occasionally, there are washouts that you have to hop across. Just don't miss that 8" wide landing! The downhill side of the trail just crumbles away.....and there ain't nothing below it but 1,000 ft of base jumping!. :pope It could get a little intense....sometimes.

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    Don't be deceived by those bushes on the downhill side. There wasn't anything beneath them but the 75 degree slope for 1,000 ft or more. About same angle as the dirt wall on the uphill side. Kind of place you sure don't want to glance downhill (taking your eye off the trail) while you're riding.

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    What the heck were we doing up here anyway, Cyborg. Geez....I've got a daughter camped out in Seattle waiting for me to return...ALIVE!

    But honestly, I loved it....every crazy thrilling foot of these trails. I was having a grand time of it. I've decided now, this is definitely more harrowing than most parts of the Rainbow Trail (if you need a reference point). Wow-wee-wow Wow!

    HF :yikes
    #19
  20. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    We finally cruised into this spot for an overdue lunch break.

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    Captain Altitude needed more oxygen....to think about what else he forgot today!. :lol3

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    HF :thumbup
    #20